N & P: Jan. 31 edition

Monday, January 31, 2011

It was a quiet weekend at the Borderlands Lodge East, spent mostly acquiring new stuff for the apartment but also some new clothes. Time is tight in the imperial metropole, so dig into your N & P while it's still warm.

Attention would-be profilers: The Telegraph is reporting that the man suspected of carrying out last week's bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport is an ethnic Russian convert to Islam.

The evidence suggests they were right - but a photograph of the man suspected of masterminding the deadliest attack on an airport anywhere in the world has nonetheless shocked the nation.
Staring out from the front pages of their newspapers this weekend is not the usual dark-skinned, heavily-bearded Islamist terrorist they have come to expect and fear but an ethnic Russian who looks like millions of Russians' brothers, sons or husbands.
This news should give pause to those who think the answer to improving security is to stop pestering WASP-types and focus all energies on (in the words of Juan Williams) people wearing "Islamic garb."

Meanwhile, RIA reports that police defuse two powerful bombs in Dagestan.


Russell Zanca, a professor at NE Illinois University, has a piece in Foreign Policy which asks "Mubarek is toast, so why not some of the Eurasian tyrants?"
Given the outbreak of Middle East unrest, the Obama administration has warned the region's autocrats against continuing to ignore the popular aspirations of their constituents. Yet while it's been easy to draw a straight line from Tunisia to Egypt, Yemen and perhaps even Algeria, one wonders why the dictators of Eurasian countries such as Belarus, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan fear no such public protests. Almost the same men have led these republics for 20 years, have  brutalized their citizenry, rigged elections, imprisoned and drugged opponents, and left much of their populations in poverty while a slender elite lives lavishly. Yet there is no evidence that any stands a shred of a chance of being thrown out of power by his people. 
Turkey & SE Europe
Mr. "no problems" Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu runs into some problems in Bosnia .

Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Serb member of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, refused to meet Ahmet Davutoglu after the Turkish minister's staff demanded that Bosnian Serb flag should be removed from the meeting venue. 
The Turkish side, however, had a different version of events:
A Turkish diplomat who attended Davutoğlu’s meetings in Sarajevo said the flag “crisis” was a consequence of Bosnian Serb negligence. Banja Luka, where Davutoğlu met with Dodik, was Bosnia and Herzegovina territory, the Turkish diplomat said, adding that they felt the need to act when they realized the meeting hall was only flying the Bosnian Serb flag.
“We said this was not appropriate given the territorial integrity of Bosnia and asked for both Turkish and Bosnian flags to also be flown. We told Foreign Minister Davutoğlu about the situation and he told his colleague that he understood them and that nobody disputed the autonomy of the Republika Srpska. Davutoğlu said, however, he came there as foreign minister of Turkey and foreign minister of Council of Europe, adding that a single flag was not possible. And then his colleague agreed and brought the two other flags. The press conference was held only after this,” the diplomat said.

Here's an interesting piece on allegation that the US-installed government in Kosovo: Dirty Work in the Balkans: NATO's KLA Frankenstein.

The U.S. and German-installed leadership of Kosovo finds itself under siege after the Council of Europe voted Tuesday to endorse a report charging senior members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) of controlling a brisk trade in human organs, sex slaves and narcotics.
Coming on the heels of a retrial later this year of KLA commander and former Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, an enormous can of worms is about to burst open.
 We'll see what happens with this...

Here's a review of a new book on Turkey, Chris Morris' The New Turkey: Quiet Revolution on the Edge of Europe. From the review:

Chris Morris, BBC correspondent, took me to a long “journey” with his short, but fair and comprehensive book, The New Turkey: The Quiet Revolution on the Edge of Europe. Throughout his acknowledgeable study, the author sets out a broad image of the entire country. It is noteworthy to look at his experience in Turkey [in order to understand his sources of information]. He worked as a BBC’s Turkey correspondent from 1997 to 2001, first in Ankara and then in the new BBC’s bureau of Istanbul. “The stories he covered included the two massive earthquakes which hit north-western Turkey in 1999, and the arrest and trial of the Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. As a BBC Europe correspondent Chris covers European politics and diplomacy, including EU enlargement and the debate about the proposed European constitution.” (BBC News).
____Not the answer? Word on the street is Allen Iverson might not be returning to Turkey at all this season.

And that, my friends, was your N & P!

No comments:

Post a Comment