March 02, 2005
Across the pond
North Sea Diaries, a really invaluable blog, offers two examples of what I believe is called Europe's soft power (and soft it is), along with the hard case of the limits of international law -- I don't know the answer either, but I strongly recommend exposure and as much ridicule directed at President Niyazov of Turkmenistan as possible -- preferably coming from the capitals of Europe and North America.
By the way, J. Cassian, nee Cinderella Bloggerfeller, once ran a blog devoted to Niyazov -- The Blogmenbashi.
Posted by Ideofact at March 2, 2005 11:03 PM
I stopped running that because in some ways Niyazov is funny, in other ways it's a tragedy what he's doing to Turkmenistan. He's a buffoon but, fortunately, he has yet to turn into an Idi Amin-style genocidal buffoon.
The most interesting speculation about Niyazov is whether he will declare himself to be a new prophet and found the religion of Turkmenbashism. I imagine he's weighing up the chances of assassination should he do so. I can't think that much else is holding him back.
I can understand why you gave it up -- in a Marx Brothers or better yet a Bing Crosby-Bob Hope movie he'd be hilarious comic relief, but when you think that real people will, for example, die from easily cured maladies because this lunatic shut down all the hospitals -- well, suddenly that joke isn't funny anymore.