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Hullabaloo


Sunday, August 24, 2014

 
Rabid poodle

by digby

People like to condemn Bill Clinton for schmoozing Big Money Boyz to fund the Global Initiative, but at least he isn't doing this:
Tony Blair gave Kazakhstan’s autocratic president advice on how to manage his image after the slaughter of unarmed civilians protesting against his regime...

Mr Blair, who is paid millions of pounds a year to give advice to Mr Nazarbayev, goes on to suggest key passages to insert into a speech the president was giving at the University of Cambridge, to defend the action.

Mr Blair is paid through his private consultancy, Tony Blair Associates (TBA), which he set up after leaving Downing Street in 2007. TBA is understood to deploy a number of consultants in key ministries in Kazakhstan.
Here's the letter:
“Dear Mr President, here is a suggestion for a paragraph to include in the Cambridge speech. I think it best to meet head on the Zhanaozen issue. The fact is you have made changes following it; but in any event these events, tragic though they were, should not obscure the enormous progress that Kazakhstan has made. Dealing with it [the massacre] in the way I suggest, is the best way for the western media. It will also serve as a quote that can be used in the future setting out the basic case for Kazakhstan.”

In his own handwriting, Mr Blair added at the bottom of the letter: “With very best wishes. I look forward to seeing you in London! Yours ever Tony Blair."
You have to give him credit, though. He knows how to spin:
Mr Blair advised his client to insert into his speech one paragraph beginning: “I love my country. I have worked hard to help it overcome the bitter legacy of its recent history. I have been at the helm as it has dramatically made these strides in living standards, wealth and prosperity for the people... I rejoice in the essential religious tolerance of the nation that allows people of different faiths to practise those faiths freely.”
ICYWW, he "won" election with 95% of the vote. Except for the killing and repression they apparently love him ...
In its latest analysis of the country’s record, Human Rights Watch (HRW) concluded that: “Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record continued to deteriorate in 2013, with authorities cracking down on free speech and dissent through misuse of overly broad laws.”
But hey, that's no reason not to make a coupla bucks, amirite? And doing it by using boilerplate "freedom 'n tolerance" is really pretty brilliant.

(Oh, did I forget to mention that Kazakhstan is swimming in oil?)

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