White House Now Plans To Lose Borat-Kazakhstan War
As the Bush Administration's bold remaking of the Middle East and Central Asia goes from strength to strength, it was destined that the White House would have to get involved in the battle between the fictional character Borat and his native land, Kazakhstan.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has reportedly never thrown a Jew down a well, will actually discuss the Borat Problem with Bush at the White House and Castle Bushenstein in Maine later this month. But will a horse-drawn Lada make it all the way to America? The answers, after the jump.
Nazarbayev and his strong-man government are furious over Borat's comic portrayal of the ex-Soviet "stan." Yet in terms of decaying industrial cities, a dictator-like president, an abysmal "human rights" record and widespread poverty, Kazakhstan retains plenty of rural USSR charm.
Still, they complain about Borat's folk tales of torturing gypsies, murdering Jews and keeping wives in cages.
The White House cares because there are some 3 billion tons of known fossil fuel reserves on the Kazakh side of the Caspian, where Halliburton has massive operations.
And there's a big U.S. military base in Kazakhstan, which Nazarbayev had threatened to close until Rumsfeld showed up with $150 million in unmarked bills. (UPDATE: Rummy paid off Kyrgyzstan ... we totally mixed up our 'stans. Washington bought the right to use air bases in Kazakhstan, and "requested $5 million in military aid in the fiscal-year 2003 budget to refurbish an air base in order to establish 'a U.S.-interoperable base along the oil-rich Caspian.'" Sorry, 'stans!)
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