By January 28, the Turkish authorities had formally charged 13 of those detained with forming an armed terrorist group in order to provoke members of the public into armed revolt against the government. Those arrested include retired Gendarmerie General Veli Kucuk, ultranationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who is famous for taking intellectuals to court under the notorious Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, January 8) and Sami Hostan, who is frequently alleged by the Turkish media to be a leading member of the Turkish underworld (Radikal, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak, Milliyet, January 28). The Turkish media have claimed that the latest arrests follow intelligence reports that the gang was planning to carry out a series of high level assassinations, including killing Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, Islamist journalist Fehmi Koru and Kurdish politicians Leyla Zana and Ahmet Turk (Yeni Safak, CNNTurk, January 25).
The Turkish deep state, with free Gladio references.
I must say that the party of the family seems to have a wildly inconsistent attitude to the business of child rearing. Put them on the payroll? Beat the crap out of them? I say neither.
But it’s good of the Tories to get voters disillusioned with them before they gain power. Maybe it’s their commitment to small government. It’ll be smaller without them joining in governing.
Now that both major parties have been caught out, this should be good news for the Lib Dems, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s more likely that expectations will be lowered to the point that if someone isn’t doing something he or she shouldn’t, then that politician is so naïve as to be automatically disqualified from office. After all, the evolving consensus over Ken Livingstone after all the attacks on him seems to be: vote Ken: he’s dodgy but he gets things done. In the current state of things this passes for a centrist position, not to mention sturdy common sense.
Nearly 400 Iraqis employed by British Forces in southern Iraq have had their applications to live in Britain rejected after they took up the Government’s offer of residency, the Ministry of Defence told The Times yesterday.
The 383 interpreters and other locally employed Iraqis who have been turned down represent more than half of the applicants. Of the 725 in total, only 342 had passed a screening process carried out in Iraq.
By contrast, Denmark announced yesterday that it had granted asylum to nearly 370 Iraqi civilians who had worked for its military in Iraq. None of the asylum claims filed by former Iraqi employees had been rejected, the Danish immigration service said.
The Iraqis employed by Danish troops left Iraq in July on military flights that were kept secret until after their arrival, for fear that extremists might try to attack the aircraft. The Iraqis hoping to settle in Britain have been told to make their own way to a third country before being processed as refugees.
Reproduced without comment. I just don’t have anything left to say.
The Telegraph covers China Telecom head Wang Jianzhou speaking at Davos:
"I hope the falling valuations of companies will allow us to do more deals," said Mr Wang, who was among a clutch of Chinese executives attending last week's World Economic Forum in Davos. "We are very much focused on the emerging markets."
While the Telegraph article cited above talks of 'emerging' markets, the Chinese report on Netease calls them xinxing shichang or 'newly prosperous' markets. The character xing … means to prosper, to thrive, to become popular or fashionable. The character xing is also part of words that mean a variety of good things such 'excited', 'start construction', 'brisk business', and — get this — 'happy'.
Contrast that with 'emerging' markets:
Monsters 'emerge' from swamps. Psycho killers and rapists 'emerge' from the darkness. 'Emerging' markets sound risky. 'Newly prosperous' markets sound like you can make a boatload of money if only you get there fast enough.
And if your idea of a "newly prosperous market" is, say, the Sudan, I guess there's a more pressing need for euphemism. I’m not sure “emerging” carries quite that amount of negative freight, but there’s certainly less ambiguity about “newly prosperous” markets. The Chinese version also seems to carry a sense of joint enterprise, almost reminiscent of co-prosperity sphere.
It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler's curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonising digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the Führer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room.
Strangely, Hitler was unfazed by the fact that this high-fiber diet was having the opposite effect on his digestion than what he had intended.: His private physician, Dr. Theo Morell, recorded in his diary that after Hitler downed a typical vegetable platter, "constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered before."
via. Positively Wagnerian, in fact. People go on about how so many people failed to see through Stalin, but I tell you what: no-one called Uncle Joe a colossal chuff monster, even behind his back. Liquidation of the kulaks, the Yezhovschina, the battle of Kursk – it all proceeded with nary a squeak from the bowels.
But then perhaps there is a more serious implication here. Hitler was widely acknowledged to cut a ridiculous figure even at the time, unless you were in his power, and that in turn is perhaps partly why the threat he represented was underestimated. Stalin was always plausible: statesmanlike in fact, when you put the lifts in his shoes and airbrushed the acne scars. And so he was taken seriously in the wrong way. His bowels were part of his front.
The likely course is a multigenerational pattern of instability along the border. More important, there will be a substantial transfer of wealth from the United States to Mexico in return for an intrinsically low-cost consumable product — drugs. This will be one of the sources of capital that will build the Mexican economy, which today is 14th largest in the world. The accumulation of drug money is and will continue finding its way into the Mexican economy, creating a pool of investment capital. The children and grandchildren of the Zetas will be running banks, running for president, building art museums and telling amusing anecdotes about how grandpa made his money running blow into Nuevo Laredo.
Shortly after Suharto came to power in Indonesia he passed a law forcing Chinese Indonesians to adopt pribumi or pseudo-Islamic names. At the same time, Indonesians of Chinese descent were registered as “Cine”, roughly the equivalent of “chink”, on their identity cards.
It was one of a series of anti-Chinese laws passed in a spirit of destructive ambiguity. In post-colonial Indonesia, a racial division of labour emerged which saw political and military power concentrated in the hands of ethnic Indonesians, while the Chinese built on existing trading networks to become economically dominant. “They” were everywhere, controlling the economy. And now “they” were hiding amongst us under assumed names. Yet it was easy to find out who “they” really were, as if everyone didn’t know already.
Suharto was then able to offer “them” patronage, surrounding himself with a coterie of Indonesian-Chinese business magnates. Yet he didn’t just rely on the Chinese to deliver economic growth (about 80% of the Indonesian economy was Chinese controlled). Outbursts of discontent with the regime could be easily channelled into anti-Chinese pogroms (warning: really gruesome). These in turn made the Chinese more dependent than ever on Suharto’s patronage. And since the Chinese depended on Suharto, so did the progress of the Indonesian economy as a whole.
I haven’t seen anything in Suharto’s obituaries that mentions the fact that he brought the medieval European “court Jew” system to 20th century Southeast Asia. Most concentrated on the supposed opposition between political repression and economic development, and on whether one was worth the other. Yet the point of Suharto’s system, at least in part, was to make racist violence or the threat of it a motor of economic growth.
UPDATE 30/1: I muffed this post a bit. I wanted to make the point that Suharto's treatment of the Chinese was disgraceful and that this treatment was systematic and structured within an architecture developmental politics that went way beyond the exploitation of the Chinese as a caomprador class by the Dutch in Indonesia and by other colonial powers in southeast Asia, but without getting competitive about it (hey, look over here, this massacre is the one that counts). But I don't think I made myself altogether clear. Never mind: let it stand.