Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Kazakhstan

Is Afghanistan Strategic? Ever more so, though too late for the USA… 

Did you hear of Carlos Bulgeroni?

There is great avidity for the oil and gas originating from Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kirghistan, and particularly Kazakhstan)

He is an Argentine entrepreneur, founder of Bridas, the 4th largest oil company in Latin America.

In 1992, Carlos snatched a couple of pipeline oil and gas concessions from Turkmenistan. One of the pipeline was to end in Multan (Pakistan port) and must cross Afghanistan from north to south and passing in the valleys of Afghanistan close to Kandahar. This was the $3 bn Daulatabad project.

Unocal (12th largest US oil company) and founded by Roger Beach join in the project. Unocal brought in the Saudi oil company Delta Oil in order to bypass the signed deal with Bridas.

Another planned pipeline was the Chardzhou pipeline joining Turkmenistan to Gwadar (Pakistan port on the Gulf) and crossing Afghanistan and passing close to Herat.

Otherwise, the pipelines had to cross Russia, Iran, and pass by Azerbaijan and eventually end on the Mediterranean Sea (Turkey and Syria)

In 1994, the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan fully supported the new militia forces of Taliban (Students in religion) in Kandahar on the premise that this force is not tribal and can bring security and stability to Afghanistan.

These students attended religious madrassa tightly linked to the Indian Koranic school of Deobandi, a sect that prohibits the cult of saints. This sect is mainly a Wahhabi brand of Sunni sect as predominant in Saudi Arabia.

Taliban did bring security and stability at the expense of everything else: freedom of opinion, of expression, of education, and denial of women’s basic rights… and demolishing all the monuments that are not related to their Wahhabi brand of Islam.

The only lukewarm condition of the US was to kick out Ussama bin Ladden and his Qaeda from Afghanistan.

The Taliban were happy to oblige, but they failed to reckon with the large web of Ussama in the Afghan’s fabrics.

Ussama decided to punish the US and started to plan the blasting of the World Trade Center (1996) and partially succeeded.

In September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers fell. Most of the kamikaze were Saudi Wahhabi.

Mind you that Ussama made sure that the strong leader Massoud of the Tajik forces in North-East Afghanistan is assassinated: He was trying to prevent the US from finding a unified front to launch its ground invasion.

Too late. Russia got hold of 90% of the oil and gas concessions in central Asia and signed deals with China to buy of the oil and gas for the next decade.

The central Asia pipelines are crossing Russia toward china and many of them are done and functional.

Note: The late Saudi Turki Al Faisal was the chief of Saudi secret services GID at the period and this monarchy has been supporting the terrorist Islamic factions for over 3 decades.

Currently, these factions are pissed off with their “monarchy and the 5,000 princes” who used and abused of them for so long and refuse to admit them back home after serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria… Saudi Arabia is about to brace for a civil war, with trained and extremists “revolutionaries”, more obscurantist than their monarchy.

Yesterday, the monarch Abdullah announced that the former minister of the interior and GID chief Mokri, the youngest son (35 of them) of the founder Saud bi Abdul Aziz, to become the third in line for the monarchy.

 

 

 

A Turkish cultural movement: Fathallah Gulan?

There is this educational movement initiated by a former Turkish official preacher or Moslem cleric, called Fathallah Gulan, who currently resides in Pennsylvania since 1999, for supposedly health reason.

The movement has established over 1,000 schools in over 100 States.  The schools are gender separated and offering a mixed education of Western scientific reasoning, latest technology know how, and Islamic value system.  The schools teach in local language, English, and Turkish.

Turkey and the Capital Istanbul are to be the Grail for must visit to graduates as was Paris, as is New York, as will be Shanghai.

The primary target States were the Central Asia States under the former Soviet Union such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan

The Turkish graduate teachers were “voluntarily” sent to remote towns in Central Asia States since 1992 to open schools, teach, and set up businesses.  The ideological undertone was that the roots of the Turkish race are from this regions and the citizens in these States have to regain pride and dignity in their Turkish origins.

Initially, poor students were encouraged to attend these schools for free education and board until this schooling system prospered and rich people patronized it.

Currently, fees are around $5,000 in Kazakhstan because 30,000 applied for 1,400 vacant places.  Schools in a particular State are totally independent from even the nearby State and teachers are not to visit schools in other States.  Management and administration of Schools in one State have a branch office in Istanbul.

Teachers wear black suits and black ties and they do not grow beard.  Higher level students play religious advisors or chaperon in Islamic value systems and ethics.

Women are not permitted to accede to the higher administrative and decision spheres in this multi billion enterprise.

The initial teachers were principally educated in Catholic schools and propagated the same teaching programs. For example, these schools teaches both the creationist and evolutionary theory of mankind.  Graduates from these schools contribute heavily and generously to this organization once they establish their own businesses.

This organization is not formally registered as a political party or as an official movement: it has no formal constitution or program; its finances are not transparent.  Its members are not asked to formally register in the organization.

It is a “secret” organization except for its educational purposes.  A former Interior Turkish minister estimates that 70% of the police force are members in that organization.

This “organization” claims not to have any theocratic ideology.  Anyway, Islam is one of the rare religions where knowledge and sciences were encouraged to acquire, practice, and disseminate everywhere, even when its political systems where fundamentally theocratic.

Thus, teaching Western sciences and reasoning are no foundation to believing that in due time this organization will NOT establish a theocratic system in Turkey.

Note 1:  Current events are demonstrating that this movement was the precursor or the catalyst of the Turkish Moslem Brotherhood in power under Erdogan PM.

Note 2: This December 2013,  Erdogan sacked the ministers of the Interior, Finance and Justice on ground of frauds committed by their sons. Erdogan has decided that this powerful cultist movement is getting out of hand and its tentacles are reaching way deep in the social and political fabrics of Turkey.

 

Food baskets for year 2050; (Nov. 14, 2009)

I decided to combine and edit 4 posts into a comprehensive essay that might forecast the world’s agricultural state in the year 2050, as it will be inhabited by 10 billion people. The posts are: The long-term “Revenge of Geography”; “Food BANG, not the Big One”; “The world’s food basket: Africa is heaven for agro-business investments”; and “Africa is targeted to be exclusively the world’s food basket”

We are barely feeding the current world population and millions are dying of famine related malnutrition.

In 1960, many developed nations had surpluses of food stuff; this is no longer the case.  Funny Mark Twain said “Buy lands; we are no more manufacturing those kinds of things“.

The UN branch for Food and Agriculture Organization predicted that agricultural products will witness increases in prices over 50% by the year 2017 and predicted that famine will be the lot of 70 impoverished States harming 1.2 billion human.

Global problems for water shortages

We are witnessing the era of “Anthropocene” which means man is doing more damages to the environment than nature can stabilize; the main reality to account for is acute shortages in sources of water. “It is man who has the power to create; it is nature that commands to a large extent” said Harold Mackinder in 1904.

The main problems cannot be summarized in population explosion.  Modern problems are exacerbating the conditions.

First, just in China and India the number of middle class “well off people” are 4 times the combined numbers in the USA, Europe, and Japan. These newly created classes in the last two decades demand equal standards of living that the developed nations have been enjoying for a century. Consequently, water has to be diverted from agriculture to urban centers that are fast increasing in numbers and in size.  Huge investments are being spent to building dams, diverting rivers, and constructing thousands of miles of water canals.

Second, most rivers are heavily polluted from mass industrializations, a process that has been going on for many decades. Fertile lands are deteriorating as they are irrigated with toxic and highly saline water.

Third, climatic changes are affecting rain delivery in sufficient amount. Deserts are expanding and sub-terrene water sources are dwindling in numbers and quantities.

Fourth, the USA and Europe are planting agro-energy products that are transformed into non-fossils sources for energy. The EU is shooting for a 10% sufficiency by the year 2010 from these agro sources.  Thus, vast fields of wheat and corn are being converted to agro products rich in sugar contents. This policy might resolve EU internal problems in the short run in several ways: first, instead of subsidizing agriculture for competitive exportation the EU could invest in land development in the large States of Poland and Ukraine; this alternative might enhance the internal food trade with adequate return for the poorer EU member Sates; second, the constant stream of law suits against infringements on Global Free Trade will be reduced; and third, experiments on alternative energy substitutes will be encouraged.

Fifth, the USA and the EU are leasing fertile lands overseas not to produce edible condiments for the famished population but products for their energy substitutes.

Political end games

The main power in the coming decades will reside in the States who control the sources of the major rivers.  China has conquered Tibet because three main rivers take their sources from the Himalaya mountain chains; mainly the Mekong (that flow into the South East), the Indus (that flow in Pakistan), and the Brahmapoutre that flow in India and join the Ganges River.

Thus, if China decided to use water as weapon it can disturb all the States from Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam. China has already built 86,000 dams along the Blue and Yellow Rivers that take sources on the western plateaus. And China has not consulted with the South East countries and has already built four mega dams on the Mekong, including two huge lakes that will take about 10 years to fill in order to generate hydraulic power.

Turkey controls two huge rivers: the Euphrates and the Tiger that flow in Syria and Iraq.  Turkey has been building dams on these rivers without consulting with the southern neighboring States.  Ethiopia is in control of the Nile if it wishes to.  The US has been building dams along rivers that flow into Mexico.

China, Turkey, Russia, USA, and Brazil control sources of major rivers.

Latin America has enough water, except Argentina. The main struggle in the medium-term is who will control the Nile, the Niger, and the Congo Rivers in Africa.

There are 4 basic alternatives for securing water that can be used concomitantly.

First, desalination of Oceans and the towing of icebergs will do for a while but cannot resolve a long-term problem in water shortages.

Second, genetically modified seeds that can withstand many kinds of “natural enemies” may diminish the need for pesticides and herbicides and increase production.

Third, leasing or acquiring vast “fertile” lands by foreign agro-businesses in the under-developed States that have shortages in trained manpower for land development, or lacking the technological investment capabilities, or suffering from outdated modern institutions.

Four, enacting policies for large displacement of people from mega-polis to near water sources; that alternative will save on huge investment of supplying water to big urban cities and in order to recover sub-terrain naps and natural ecosystems.  This essay will focus on the second and third alternatives.

Genetically modified seeds

Antitrust laws are so far not being applied to the six industries for organically modified seeds that share scientific discoveries and have sole monopoly of 90% of organic seeds.  Monsanto, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Syngena, Bayer, and DuPont have deposited more than 500 patents on genes “adapting to climatic changes”: they are figuring out how to profit from degradation of the environment.

In 2008, Monsanto has increased by 35% the prices on organically modified seeds that it has exclusive rights to produce and distribute.  Monsanto and Dow Agrosciences are associated to produce in genetically modified wheat seeds that can withstand 8 kinds of “natural enemies” of mainly herbicides and insecticides in year 2010.  Thus, 87% of modified seeds used around the world bear the label Monsanto.

The multinational oil companies of BP, Shell, Chevron, and Cargill are linking up with companies of nano-sciences of agro-technologies to transform biological matters such as (agricultural harvest, forests, algae…) into industrial sugar. Sugar is then converting into chemical products and nano-products with high added values. Chemistry linked to oil products could now be adapted to vegetable carbon.

Entire countries such as Madagascar and Angola are now being leased to cultivate modified breeds of harvests.

The scientific counselor to Barak Obama, John Holdren, is encouraging the application of geo-engineering to fighting atmospheric changes.  Among such engineering techniques is sprinkling the atmosphere with nano-particles of sulfates to veil the sunrays.  Monster farms of phytoplankton are created to absorb or capture CO2.

The UN views these geo-engineering projects as purely speculative in nature with unknown risks for collateral damages. A joint Indo-German oceanographic Institute discarded the decision of the Conference of the UN and carried on its project: it “fertilized” a large zone in the Antarctic Ocean by dumping tons of iron sulfates; the microscopic unicellular algae were meant to grow in abundance and capture CO2.

The zooplankton ate the algae and the experiment was not conclusive; this temporary failure is encouraging other multinationals such as Climos Inc. or (Planktos Science) to resume these kinds of projects under the name of “eco-restoration” for substantial financial returns.

Leasing or acquiring vast “fertile” lands by foreign agro-businesses

If you have lands with no water, if you have water and no fertile land, if you have accumulated enough in your Sovereign Fund then the way to go is to invest in foreign fertile lands for agricultural “self-sufficiency”, which means import food at much lower prices.

Japan, South Korea, China, India, and Saudi Arabia are leading these kinds of joint ventures. Many under-developed States with vast “fertile” lands are leased or acquired by foreign agro-businesses.  So far, 30 millions hectares (the size of 30 Lebanon or the size of the Philippines) are already in use for mass agricultural production. China, rich in water and fertile lands, is leading this policy of “getting out of the borders” since 2004.

Africa is the prime target continent because it has 4 large and long rivers such as the Nile, the Congo, and the Niger Rivers and the lands are barely worked.  The Sudan, Mozambique, and the Democratic Congo are prime targets in the medium-term.

Vast fertile lands are left unproductive for lack of investment and manpower.

Theoretically, we should have win-win situations, but the facts are that the contracts of the multinational agro-businesses are not transparent; there are no clauses on specificities that might benefit the population either in technology or land development.

Most of the contracts are barely three pages long and contain no precisions on investors’ obligations toward investing in infrastructures, durable management of the natural resources, or the training of the local peasants for developing small parcels of land and applying the technology.  The President of Earth Policy Institute, Lester Brown, “Essentially, the technologies used by these agro-investments are meant for massive commercial production and not adaptable to the concerned small local farmers.  There is basically no transfer of technology or training. Thus, what the foreign investors are acquiring in lands is not going to feed the local population as we might hope.

Let us consider the case of the oil rich Arab Gulf States: rice is their main staple and it has to be imported in totality.

These States imported a third from India and then India had to curtail its exportation of rice due to climatic problems in order to feed its citizens.  These States imported 10% from Thailand (the first exporter of rice in the world) but then Thailand doubled the price of its rice to $1,000 the ton.  How the Arab Gulf States were to counter this difficulty?  Their Sovereign Funds could be invested in rice fields in Thailand and that what they started to do. You could have a win-win situation: there are vast lands in Thailand that are not cultivated; increasing rice production should not hurt Thailand since rice prices are increasing and Thailand needs to secure oil provision.

Instead of purchasing 10% of its need in rice from Thailand, then the Arab Gulf States might increase it to 40%.

One happier story: Thailand needs to establish a rice warehouse in the Arab Gulf to distribute rice at affordable prices.  Things should look pretty promising.  Joint-ventures in agro-businesses where Sovereign Funds invest the money and the Thai peasants got to work in jobs they are proficient in should not raise so much fuss: should it? The problem is that internal politics in Thailand want a scapegoat: Arabs buying lands in Thailand; or rice production is a strictly national occupation and should be 100% reserved for citizens (as if the Arab is going to relocate to plant rice in Thailand!); or Thailand is not Africa and we are a developed nation.

Another case is Madagascar, a vast Island in East Africa.  The standard of living has fallen below the one in 1960.  Why Independence pride has to be highly correlated with miseries in the former colonial States?  Major deforestation is the norm in Madagascar: people need to cook their meals! The South Korean Daewoo wanted to lease 1.3 million hectares for 99 years. What it is with this taboo of 99 years lease of lands? Does every investor has in the back of his head to let his grand child witness his greatness and pray for his great spirit?

The deal fell apart after the President of Madagascar, Marc Ravalomanana, fell out of power. Apparently, not much transparency and communication were accompanied to that deal. In the meanwhile cattle thieves “dahalo” are on rampage. Even the tiny Maurice Island acquired lands (10,000 ha) in Mozambique for the island food sufficiency.

Ramakrishna Karuturi (the king of rose production, grown on 4 millions hectares) is leasing the hectare for two dollars a year in Ethiopia! Now, there can be no doubt that the Ethiopian government had received a fat bribe for such a lousy deal.

The Congo with Capital Brazzaville is half the size of France with barely 4 million citizens concentrated in the capital and the other city Pointe-Noire on the coast. This African States was a French colony and is rich in minerals and uranium.  It cultivates potatoes.  South Afrikaners who lost 30% of their agricultural lands for redistribution programs to the black citizens want to acquire or lease lands in this Congo; the Agri SA (South Africa) has 1,700 agro-businesses interested in producing soja, sugar cane, and corn.

Ten million hectares were literally offered to the Afrikaners (a land stretching 500 by 200 km, twice the size of Switzerland) and its location is not yet decided upon; maybe entire virgin forests might be burned for agriculture. The Agri SA is promising to build agro villages with ready made houses contracted to Israeli firms.  What if the deal demanded that thousands of Congolese be trained to develop and grow lands after two years of working in the Afrikaners’ lands?  This deal is a striking political and ecological scandal because the terms of the deal are fishy and not communicated to the citizens.

Kazakhstan is practically a continent in size and barely 1% of the land is privately owned.  This rich and newly independent State imports 40% of milk, 30% of meat, and 45% of fruits and vegetables. The population is mostly rural. The States lease lands for 49 years.

The State of Kazakhstan has set aside 35,000 square-kilometers to lease to foreign investors but only China is interested. The main States vying for foreign fertile lands are:

South Korea has acquired a total of 3 millions hectares (three times the superficies of the State of Lebanon); it is growing fields in Russia (500,000 ha), Sudan (700,000 ha), Madagascar (1.3 million ha), Mongolia (300,000 ha), Philippines (100,000 ha), and Indonesia (25, 000 ha).  The Korean agency for international cooperation (State owned) is creating private and public enterprises to invest into agro-businesses by loans or direct governmental investments. Leases of fertile lands are for 60 years and an extension of another 40 years. In return, Korea will extend technologies and development planning.  It appears that South Korea is projecting unification with North Korea and the flooding of North Korean refugees soon. South Korea is interested in the “krai of Primorie” in Russia with 2.5 millions of arable land.

China has invested for a total of 2 millions hectares.  It has 1.25 millions in South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos), in Mozambique (800,000 ha), in Australia (45,000), and in Cuba (5,000 ha). China acquired (80,000 ha) in Russia for just $22 millions.

Japan has acquired a total of one million hectares in Philippines (600,000 ha), USA (225,000 ha), and Brazil (100,000 ha).

India has acquired a total of 1.7 millions hectares in Argentina (600,000 ha), Ethiopia (370,000 ha), Malaysia (300,000 ha), Madagascar (250,000 ha), Indonesia (70,000 ha), and in Laos (50,000 ha).  The Indian government has extended loans to 80 agro-businesses to purchase 350,000 ha in Africa.

Saudi Arabia has invested in Indonesia (one million ha), Senegal (500,000 ha), and in Mali (200,000 ha).  The Arab Emirates has invested in Pakistan (325,000 ha), and in Sudan (400,000 ha). Egypt has invested in Uganda (850,000 ha).  Libya has invested in Ukraine (250,000 ha), and Liberia (5,000 ha).  Qatar invested in the Philippines (100,000 ha).

Global Resolutions

Africa is the remaining poorest continent with vast fertile lands and plenty of manpower to exploit for agro-business enterprises. Africa is targeted to be exclusively the world’s food basket in this century. The UN, the EU, economic superpower States, and private institutions and organizations need to step in to plan, organize, administer, inspect, and enforce appropriate deals for the best management and control of food and water resources.

Since the citizens of independent States that have experienced colonialism are weary of camouflaged colonialism in other forms then their governments are circumventing land laws by enacting laws of mixed private enterprises with lease or acquisition contracts that are not transparent to the public. The UN has to step in and write standard contracts leases that preserve peoples rights to training, sustainable resources, technology know-how, human dignity, right to work, right to share in the management and decisions at community levels, and that these contracts supersede what any other two parties agree on that lack the standard rights and responsibilities.

It is unconscionable that “privatization version” to colonizing Africa infiltrate from the windows. The fact is State funds are loaning money to their own agro-businesses to invading African fertile lands. This neo-colonial pact among State and agro-businesses has to be made clear and restrictions be implemented by world communities.  Territories are changing hands and are no longer under the control of the people and peasants.

The UN has to set up a special fund to purchasing organically modified seeds that have proven not to constitute health hazard; it has to limit the exclusive life duration for exploitation by multinationals that are escaping antitrust laws.

The UN is burdened by countless military conflicts that are interrelated with people seeking better life conditions for survival. An independent branch in the UN needs to be established that would link the causative factors that are generating constant conflicts among neighboring States.  Fair share for water resources is a right that supercede which country control the sources of the rivers.

We hope that the world community will pressure these investors to grow food slowly: resuming the old practices of mass production techniques will ruin the remaining land with fertilizers and pesticides.

Nomads or the transmitters of civilizations; (September 5, 2009)

There are several types of nomadic tribes that can be differentiated along their line of business or trade and the climate environment of hot or cold.

There are tribes specialized in raising camels, lamas, or horses; tribes initiating caravans, transferring to other routes; tribes transporting goods within a territory; tribes relaying (subcontractors) caravans to other territories, and family/clan caravans transporting goods from point of dispatch to final destinations.

You have nomadic tribes hired to safeguard borders in rough areas; tribes specialized in securing safe passages to caravans in the resting stations and supplying water and urgent wants; tribes specialized in gathering intelligence in strategic regions and constitute the primary sources of impending troubles among Kingdoms; and tribes hired to guide troops.

Leaders of caravans are voracious intelligence gatherers: they need to know, even before undertaking their long journey with their expensive cargo: They want to know what are the political status and social unrest in every territory they have to cross.  Leaders of caravans are the best field managers and administrators and generally end up field commanders in periods of wars.  Caravan leaders learn to be great negotiators, flexible with all kinds of culture, customs, and idiosyncrasies; they acquire this “six sense” for comprehending people’s characters and behaviors for the best return on their business.

Family/clan caravan leaders are the best transmitters of civilizations with the most potential to survive downturns in commerce and among belligerent environments.  During wars, family/clan caravan leaders transport what kingdoms want and need and they supply demands.  They disseminate dialects, opinions, new techniques, and fashion.  Nomad women have first selection in matter of fashion; if you don’t believe my proposition then run it on your wife.

Mercenary nomadic tribes, hired during war periods, turn out to be the worst enemy for urban centers during and after wars finishes. The looting and razzias excursions have exacerbated the bad connotations of nomadic life style.  In general, nomadic tribes prefer weak central governments in neighboring kingdom to gain privileges and wider latitude for freedom of actions.  That is why the concept of distrusting nomads’ pledges might be truer to the nature of their existence for survival.

The tribes in Yemen and the southern Arabic Peninsula were the first to domesticate camels; first for the milk and then for caravan route, and then for war excursions.  They initiated or dispatched caravans of incense (exploited from their special trees), myrrh, and precious stones that they received from India.  The tribes in the towns of Mecca and Yathreb (Medina) were subcontractors or relayed caravans arriving from Yemen; the Nabatean tribes of Petra controlled the trade along the “King Road” from Damascus to Aqaba on the Red Sea.  The tribes in northern Arabic Peninsula and northern Syria were borders’ guards, resting stations suppliers, and intelligence gatherers among the various powerful kingdoms.

The Prophet Muhammad ran caravans from Mecca to Damascus and Basra in southern Iraq.  The powerful tribes of Mecca generated the most valuable military commanders and governors of districts during the first expansion of the Arabic Empire and ended up heading dynasties.

When speaking of nomads, people might think of the nomadic tribes in the Arabic Peninsula or the Sahara, mainly the hot climate desert nomads.  My contention is that the most potent transmitters of civilizations of China, India, and Persia are the nomadic tribes of the cold climate of Central Asia stretching from Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and the Caucasus regions.  It is these cold climate desert tribes that formed the backbones of all mercenary armies of ancient and the Middle Age Empires and who transmitted the slow process of civilization assimilation and dissemination as they were disbanded once wars ended among Empires.

It is these cold climate tribes that constituted the modern lucrative caravans along the “Silk Road” and mountain chains passages. The leaders of the cold weather caravans ended up the most valuable commanders and governors of provinces during and after the Arabic Abbasid Empires, in Persia, and in the Ottoman Empire.

Academic researchers demand to rely on the written documents to ponder upon, instead of reflecting when documents are not available. Nomadic tribes disseminated civilizations verbally, by communication, by story telling, around camp fires, by negotiating, by gathering intelligence and information. They also transmitted civilizations by transporting books, manuscripts, letters, and all kinds of written materials. It is unfortunate that this line of research is not taking off.

The Urumqi debacle: China old and new challenges; (August 3, 2009)

 

            In the most western frontiers of China you got the province of Xingjian bordering Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Tibet.  The Capital of this province is Urumqi where the Han Chinese ethnic group has become slightly majority while the rural province is of ethnic Ouigour Moslems in majority (45.5%).  This supposedly autonomous province since 1864 is as large as Spain, France, Germany, and Italy combined with just 21 millions of over eight kinds of minorities.

 

            The Ouigour written language is fast disappearing because learning Mandarin as first language for civilian administrative and employment reasons has been supplanted in schools in the major cities.  The Xingjian province has been experiencing fast development compared to its neighboring provinces because of its rich mineral and power resources and mainly because it is the Carrefour of States constituting over two billion people transacting through it.  Consequently, the poorer ethnic Han flocked to Xingjian in the last two decades along with the more educated and speaking the official Mandarin language.  The Hans have thus snatched the most key positions in companies dealing with the central authority.  There is a quota system for minorities in the administrations but the Hans captured the key and main power positions.

            The ancient “Silk Road” crosses Xingjian from Turfan, Urumqi, Korla, Aksu to Kashgar (Kashi), at the end of the second largest desert in the world Taklamakan.  During the Chinese counter-revolution in the sixties almost all the mosques were destroyed.  In the last decade Xingjian is enjoying over 4,000 mosques.  In Urumqi the Han eats pork and rice; the Ouigour does not eat pork or rice.  The Han prefers to learn English as a second language and is not interested in the Ouigour language.

            The central authority in Peking would love to tame the Ouigour as it successfully did with the 10 millions Moslem Huis.  This is not going to be an easy program: the Ouigour are bordering Moslem Republics that freshly separated from Russia.  They speak the same language and share the same customs and traditions as the Moslems in Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Tajikistan.  Worst, the Ouigour want to emulate those bordering States in independence.  Actually, Xingjian enjoyed a short lived independence in 1933 to 1934 under the name of Western Turkistan. The Soviet Union extended its territory in this province from 1944 to 1949 before withdrawing. The Ouigour in Xingjian have the feeling that they are descendents of powerful Nations that were rivals to China.

            The Hans receive much higher wages than the Ouigour; the higher the concentration of Hans in districts the higher the internal GDP that can span from 15,000 yuans to 2,500 in Hotan (at the southern border of the big desert). The group of Shanghai was created in 1996 comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, and Tajikistan. The main purpose of this group is targeting security along the borders: no extremist, separatist, or terrorist elements are to transfer and cross the borders.  The captured elements are returned to their homeland to be imprisoned and executed.  The Shanghai group is mainly interested in the transaction of mineral, gas, and oil resources and expanding their market.

            What is particular to Xingjian are the “bingtuan” military brigades that were created in 1954 of the demilitarized civil war soldiers.  These brigades were to safeguard the long frontiers and to clear wild lands for agriculture. All the brigades have been demobilized except the one in Xingjian.  The bingtuan brigade is part of the Chinese military and more powerful than the governor or state administration; it is a state within a state. The bingtuan (CPCX) has  about 2 millions members, raises taxes in the districts that it directs, owns 1,500 industrial groups, controls two third of the cultivated lands in Xingjian, produces one forth of the industrial products, and export two third of all the productions.

 

            In July 5, 2009 the Ouigour in Urumqi took to the streets; the next day the Hans counter-attacked. By July 8, China declared that 200 died and over 1,700 were injured in the mayhems.  China statistics are biased; the same for almost all governments and multinationals.  The Ouigour created an international organization located in Munich; its present leader is the lady leader Rebiya Kadeer living in Washington, DC.  China is on the offensive and putting diplomatic pressures on any government permitting Kadeer to speak to the international community.

            As long as the group of Shanghai is intent on closing the borders to the dissidents then China is free to use force without impunity. China has prosperous and active commerce and trade with mostly all States and is about to finish installing the longest pipeline to Russia.

 

            Apparatchik of Big States are vying to unseat traditional colonial powers in production, standard of living, industrialization, and modernity; people weary of the man-made anti-environmental future; people unprepared and unfamiliar with newer fast pace challenges.

 

            Tiny and gigantic States are same different: the challenges are innumerable and the resolutions unsatisfactory band-aid remedies.  There are no “final solutions” for the febrile human kind with dizzying capacity for hallucinations. Any trend must be globally tried and emulated; otherwise, globalization has no meaning.

“Are there moderate Moslems?”

Octobre 26, 2007

It coincided that I was reading chapters of two books concomitantly “Quand l’Amerique refait le Monde” by Ghassan Salameh and “L’apocalypse” by Oriana Falaci   when I realized that the topic of current Islamic fundamentalism is wrecking havoc on the disposition of many western people who tended to be liberal in many issues but could no longer reconcile a liberal attitude toward Islam; mainly the reality of the virulent Islamic behaviors toward strict adoption of the Koranic laws that regulate the daily life for the Moslems and trying to circumvent the civil laws in Europe.

Ghassan Salameh has investigated the genesis of the new trend in the US ruling government toward Islam after the September 11 attack and which was based on the studies of a few “prestigious” American academics on Islam.  Salame stated that the neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration have adopted Bernard Lewis as their guru in matters related to Islam and the anti-Moslem movements.  Professor Lewis was fascinated and excited in the 1950s with everything Islamic and then turned sour, negative and dissatisfied with the Islamic World; he repeatedly claimed in his studies that the Moslems have a rage and a strong tendency to hate the Western Nations as a product of their sense of inferiority complex toward the West and propagated the concept of an invasion to saw the grains of democracy in the Near East.

After the September 11 attack on the Twin Tower, the neo-conservatives like Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffneys directed the debate toward the confirmation of pre-emptive offensive against the infantile specie of the political regimes in the Moslem World; the notion of an ineluctable conflict of Islam with the USA.  Pipes went as far as eliminating any cause for using cultural instruments in the arsenal of the war.

It is obvious that Oriana Falaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Moslems, unless they are Moslems by birth but are no longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations.  Actually, the late Oriana Falaci was a staunch liberal but could not swallow the latest slaughtering of foreign prisoners by extremist Moslems and how Moslem immigrants are flaunting the civil laws in Europe.

Falaci insists that the word “terrorism” is not good enough; the mass media should remain consistent and say “Islamic terrorism”; a term that would satisfy the terrorist Zionists immensely.  Falacy relied on St. John’s apocalyptic vision where a Monster with seven heads and ten corns would emerge from the sea and then the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders. Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Moslems and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I was surprised by the coincidence to read that Oriana Falaci also adopted the views of Bernard Lewis on Islam and considered him as the ultimate authority for truth on Islamic matters. Apparently, the then 80-years old Lewis and growing more senile by the by, gave an interview to a German daily where he lambasted the West for not believing that radical Islam is the main enemy, instead of the new fascists; Lewis is hammering the notion that all of Europe is going to be Islamist by the year 2100.

Thus, there is a disposition to fit theories that antagonize the Moslem World by accepting as evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Moslems. The vehement attitude of Falaci toward Islam stems from two premises; first, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Moslems, and second, the practices of Moslems’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in.

The first premise may be true if we rely solely on the media accounts that, almost exclusively and consistently, show that the current terrorist attacks in the Western World, such as USA, Spain, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Holland where “terrorism had struck”, were done by Moslems.  She focused on the terrible acts of slaughtering hostages by Moslem radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.

Falaci forgot to mention that terrorism has also been striking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Philippine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon, to name but a few of the destabilized states, where terrorism was carried by Hindu, Christians, and various Moslem sects against each other castes.

The hidden facts that terrorism is done by the western extremists are not widely publicized and mostly toned down and not taken up relentlessly by the media; for example, the Oklahoma City bombing was first attributed to Moslem extremists and then the US had to admit that it was a purely US extremist act; not to mention the dozen of mass killings in the US schools and universities.  Moreover, most of the western terrorist acts are ordered by the states or committed by organizations supported by the states and consequently not divulged and buried as national security secrets.

Falaci should have recalled the many terrorist acts that ravaged Italy and Germany in the 60s and 70s and committed by the extremist left movements and done by non-Moslems; she also decided to forget the recent decade long terrorism and genocides that plagued former Yugoslavia and which was started by Christians among themselves in self cleansing mechanisms and then cleansing themselves with the blood of the Moslems in Kosovo and Serbia.

Falaci should have taken up also these terrorist occurrences of destabilizing many third world countries, and going on even today, by the US and Israel; she has indeed experienced these Western terrorist acts during her long career as a journalist, but she decided to focus her venom on Islam, thus satisfying the present Western propaganda strategy of misinformation and distortion.

As for the second premise, Falaci poured her venom on those Moslems who claim to be moderate simply because they didn’t join a radical group or didn’t commit a terrorist act but practice awful behaviors.  For example, how can a Moslem claim to be moderate if he prevents his wives or daughters to be integrated in their new societies, ordering them to swim in their “dishdasha” even if this practice is tantamount to drowning, having three wives and treating them as slaves, beating his wives because it is permitted by “Al Shari3a”, killing his daughters because they refused to marry the men that he selected for them, lambasting school directors because they allowed their sons and daughters to be offered sweets containing hints of alcohol, and so on.  Falaci claims that nine out of ten of the Islamic divine inspired laws are opposite to the Italian civil laws, and consequently, there is no possibility of coming to acceptable terms with Moslem believers.

If we recapitulate the history of the world we can demonstrate that almost every religion encouraged terrorist acts throughout history when the goal was to establish a theocratic state, governed by the clerics, or to maintain the power of the religious hierarchy caste over the citizens and the other minority castes.  European history is packed with genocidal periods where the majority of a Christian sect tried to exterminate other secondary Christian sects in France, Spain, Byzantium, Russia, and Germany, to name a few.

The one main factor that permitted the western Christian societies to edge toward rational civil laws and weakens the Christian Orders was that the New Testament dealt only with spiritual doctrines: Christ died before his religion was firmly established and didn’t have to enact laws organizing society when the Roman civil laws were the law of the land.

The major problem with the Moslem religion and its inability to establish rational civil laws for the land is that the Prophet Mohammad vanquished his arch enemy the Koreish tribes in Mecca while still alive and had to re-organize the tribal society with laws emanating from the unique God.

For maybe esthetic reasons, the Sourats of the Koran were organized according to length and not chronologically as logic would dictate; otherwise, the Moslems would have realized that the sourats in the first 13 years of Islam were purely spiritual and not deviating far from Jesus’ teaching.  Actually, whatever variations there are in the two spiritual religions, Islam and Christianity, are identical to the views of the different schisms in Christianity in the early centuries and which provoked mass extermination of the smaller Christian sects by the dominant Christian sects. For example, the status of the Virgin Mary, the duality of Jesus, the Holy Ghost and a multitude of other differences that Byzantium was famous with splitting hair were points of contention among the Christian sects and still are.

If the Koran was divided into two volumes, the spiritual volume related to the first 13 years of its formation and the second volume related to the earthly laws governing the City-State of Medina and then society in the Arab peninsula among the tribes, then communication among the two cultures would have been possible and the Moslems would not have reverted to rigid dogma forced upon them by ten centuries of domination of Central Asian tribes (Mongol Empires) and culminating by their close associated tribe the Ottomans.

As is common among all religions, the religious orders emphasize the earthly concepts that can be impressed upon the believers by attaching heavy burdens on their daily life for total subjugation.  Ironically, Christianity created daily burdens of religious obligations that were not included in the Bible, just to impose its hegemony over the soul of its believers; moreover, Jesus strongly denounced the Jewish Order for the daily heavy burdens they encumbered the Jews with and lambasted the order as a hypocritical order.  Nevertheless, Christianity, whether Roman or Lutheran or Protestant, feverishly created religious obligations that were not in the New Testament but dug up from the Jewish religious books or from the proclamations of the saints and religious leaders to subjugate their members into a tight closed caste.

In general, Christianity is an open religion and the Western Nations in their zest to proselytize their respective dominant religion endeavored to invade the “barbarous” people for the proclaimed purpose of indoctrinating these people into the Christian values; most of these people were subjugated into changing religions nominally but kept their “pagan” traditions.

However, the Christian Maronite sect in Lebanon has reverted to a closed religion and adopted the caste system since the independence of Lebanon in 1943.  The Maronite sect has agreed on a tacit pact with the non-Christian castes not to allow non-Christian members from the other castes in Lebanon to be baptized Maronites; I can testify that even Lebanese living overseas were not permitted to change religion: the Maronite Order made it clear that the process of changing religion is not feasible.  This Maronite Christian sect has sold out its soul to preserve its supremacy as a caste in Lebanon local politics and ended up losing its supremacy in 1989 at the Taef Conference in Saudi Arabia.

Consequently, the divergence between the western societies and the Moslem societies are the result of types of revealed Books; the main Christian Book that basically does not contain earthly laws but were created later by the dominant Christian orders, and the Moslem Book that does specifically include earthly laws for governing societies.

The western societies have succeeded in establishing rational, though debatable, civil laws created by men (women had not yet fully participated in most of these laws); and they don’t have to bend their laws to accommodate Moslem immigrants who are stuck with divine laws to run their daily lives.  This is not to say that the Western World has to adopt pre-emptive strategies of conquering Moslem and Arab countries on the flimsy crusading abstract notion of spreading democracy and the international civil laws when the geo-political reality is clear and is meant to control energy resources and stopping the expansion of China in world politics.

As for the Moslem World, if the purpose of all these upheavals is catching up with the technology of the western societies then the burden resides mainly on accepting the premise that the spiritual doctrines should be separated from the rational civil laws.  Otherwise, if the Moslem World wants to survive under its own set of divine obligations and be ruled my mullah, and sheikhs, and muftis then let it proclaim it openly and unite under this purpose and let the world live as separate entities; societies that instituted civil laws and those insisting on inspired divine laws.

In either case, there is no basic need for forced hegemony of one civilization over another if the human mind cannot device a method for human communication and entente: forced hegemony has never worked or lasted in history and all the evidences are leading to the fact that the current western forced hegemony is failing, unless partitioning the Arab World into cantons is viewed as a definite success of the new pre-emptive strategy; which has nothing to do with cultural differences.

Islam is carrying an insurmountable burden of awkward traditions, not just because of the five centuries of Ottoman domination, but eleven centuries of Moslem Sunni Central Asian tribes that dominated most of the Moslem World, from Mongolia, to Kazakhstan, Kerghizia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, India, and Turkey.  These hordes have established empires and the local vassals adopted the rigid dogmas and tribal customs of their caste systems.

Any recent reforms undertaken in the Middle East were thwarted by the Western powers to divide these nations and establish theocratic States and dictators most amenable to their creators.  Our inability to change and communicate even internally among ourselves is related fundamentally to our autonomous caste structure.

Falaci was sensing right but she was fighting cancer; anyway, rational behavior is not the rule in this somber period within the Bush Administration, even if many of its leaders seem physically fit, aside of Dick Cheney.

Note:  The proposition that the Sourates of the first thirteen years were spiritual in nature was investigated by Antoun Saadeh in the 1940s and published in a book “Al Islam fi ressalataih al Massihiyat wa al Mouhamadiah” translated liberally as “Islam (Message of Peace) by its two messengers Christ and Mohammad”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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