Saturday, December 23, 2006

With Russia Versus U.S. a predicted Turkmenistan Crisis will be another reality of...

Yesterday some of us had a lively discussion in regards to Turkmenistan's recent loss of leadership with no plan for a turnover of leadership. Some thought I was concerned for nothing! However, in light of recent news stressing otherwise I welcome them back for further discussion and wonder what they think now!
The death of Turkmenistan's autocratic president Niyazov set in motion a series of power struggles as exiled opposition leaders Friday clamored to return and world powers competed for influence over the Central Asian country and its vast energy resources
Couple that with the fact that Turkmenistan borders Iran, was once annexed by Russia who now wants it back in the fold and is on the Caspian Sea, we have an increasingly volatile situation.
Would be successors as predicted are now maneuvering behind the scenes that they say could but I say will lead to a contest between Russia and the West over the former Soviet republic's enormous natural gas and petroleum reserves, with the Kremlin seeking to influence who would become president.
Putin said in a condolence message that "strengthening their partnership is in the true interests of the peoples of Russia and Turkmenistan And President Bush said the U.S. hopes "to expand our relations with Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan's former Central Bank chief living in exile in Sweden, told The Associated Press that he and two other opposition leaders planned to return home to compete in the presidential election.
Another expatriate a former Foreign Minister told Russia's news agency that he planned to return from Norway. "We must hurry to Turkmenistan because time is on the side of the Niyazovite group," he said.
With these competing interests we hear from an analyst with the Moscow-based Institute for Strategic Research that despite that, The Turkmen people won't face any democratic choice in the elections," he said. "A single candidate with no alternatives will be put forward for whom everybody will have to vote. That is not a good omen in light of the fact that Russia wants to influence the elections in their favor and the EU and U.S. wants to see a Democracy.
Keeping in mind that Turkmenistan's natural gas deposits are second only to Russia's among the former Soviet states. All Turkmen gas now flows through Russian pipelines, and critics accuse the Kremlin of using its control of energy supplies to exert political pressure on its neighbors.
You know they are not going to give control of this to the west or to not influence an agreement made this year by Niyazov to build a gas pipeline to China, with its growing energy needs.
For years, the U.S. has also sought transit routes for Central Asia's oil and gas that would bypass Russia. Washington has lobbied for a pipeline from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea to the west, skirting Russia's southern border.

An important power struggle is now underway with once again the Muslims of which Turkmenistan is 89%, are caught in the middle. You can bet that with Turkmenistan being on the Iranian border they too have the incentive to turn the outcome in their favor.
In light of the fact that another carrier Group is heading to the middle east, more troops heading to Iraq, and Bush now wants a larger military, you have to be very concerned with the chief idiot at the helm. What is he going to do next?
Many of us have said for years now that Bush will find a reason to attack Iran before his term is up and Russia, China, and the 135 non aligned Nations would join in on the side of Iran you have to wonder how all of this is going to turn out?

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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