Chicago, DC, Baku: Putrid PR Polygon -
BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Maybe Chicago just wants to revive its gangster era infamy. Maybe that’s why it has given Washington, DC Barack Obama, as a means of spreading the debased brand of politics practiced there. I’m not just referring to this president’s five-times-over record of deceit on Armenian Genocide recognition. It’s not even about the praise lavished on Turkey, his visits there, and its use as a path for the U.S. to covertly invade Syria.
We’re talking about Azerbaijan, where all pretense to democracy, decency, and good government is a sham. Yet, just over a month ago, May 28-29, a “US–Azerbaijan Convention —Vision for Future” was held in Baku. It was attended by “317 delegates from 42 states, including 11 sitting members of Congress and 75 state representatives, not to mention the former governors of New Mexico and Oklahoma as well as three ex-Obama White House insiders: political strategist David Plouffe, former press secretary Robert Gibbs and ex-deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.” (“Azerbaijan Rolls Out Red Carpet For Visiting U.S. Lawmakers” by Larry Luxner in “The Washington Diplomat”— which claims to have been the only American media outlet represented at this confab). You can add to this a former Senator, Richard Lugar of Indiana (pretty close to Chicago) who has a notable foreign policy background and legacy. And, just so Republicans don’t feel slighted by mentioning only one from their ranks who was there, it’s worth noting that Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the needless Iraq War also attended. Finally, in case you’re on the Democratic side of things political and are thinking “Hillary would’ve been better”, one of her husband’s minions, Bill Richardson (the NM governor mentioned above), also graced Baku with his presence.
Even “The Washington Post” slammed the former Obama operatives named above over the “speaking fees” they received for mouthing platitudes from a stage in the oil-lucre built Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center. They weren’t alone, of course, countless state and federal legislators evidently spouted absurd comments lauding Azerbaijan’s “democracy” and “progress” and… No one seemed to have wondered what poverty and squalor lay behind the walls enclosing the highways they zipped around on. Nor were they aware of the havoc wrought on people’s lives whose homes have (sometimes more than once) been razed to construct the opulent architecture adorning Baku.
This is all part of Azerbaijan’s charm offensive. They’re even touting the “history” and “might” of Azerbaijan’s army on the occasion of its “founding” on June 26, 1918 (the intervening Soviet era is conveniently subsumed to Azerbaijan’s ego. Of course the oil-money-bought lobbyists are also busy pursuing passage of Khojaly resolutions in U.S. state legislatures in places where they don’t know an Azeri from an a_ _ hole, or Gharapagh from a garage. Watch for this in your state and fight it if you can. You’ll drive the murderous creeps in Baku batty! What’s more worrisome is that Azerbaijan is playing the Islam card, in places such as Indonesia (which with a population approaching 250 million, is nothing to sneeze at) in pushing the Khojaly propaganda.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that the Gulenjees had their fingers in this pie, too. The “Rumi Council” invited the group which included the author of the article I reference above (which is the source of much of the information I have used). The “Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians” was one of the organizers of the conference in May. Both Rumi and Turquoise seem to be linked to the Gulen movement. So much more the argument made by some that pan-Turkism is dead! How else are we to explain the Gulenjees (a Turkey-based movement) working to whitewash Azerbaijan?
So, once again, I urge you to make your displeasure known to the Obama administration, and both parties. This will be particularly effective if you are active in either one of the parties. More importantly, we have to get the word out about our issues before the first Turko-Azeri lobbyist even gets close to any elected official