The World Is Not Enough  

Posted by Big Gav

Apparently secret agent Rumsfeld has been negotiating to set up a base just across from the Iranian border in Azerbaijan. No doubt all those oil wells and the local dictator made him feel right at home.

Hardly any country on the planet sits in a more crucial spot than the harsh dictatorship of Azerbaijan, so that's probably why Don Rumsfeld sneaked off to its rowdy capital, Baku, earlier this week.

Do you hear the neocons beating the oil drums of war?

Rumsfeld's visit this week to Iraq generated some smoke, especially his laughable warnings to the Iraqis about "government corruption". But then, like the mysterious Mr. Arkadin, Rumsfeld left Iraq, flew to Baku for meetings, spent the night, and then sneaked out the next day—with no announcements from the Pentagon and (as a result) no notice from the U.S. press.

Plenty of Azeris, chafing under the Aliyev family's harsh rule and fearing war or other trouble from the oil-hungry U.S., freaked out, and there were stories in the Turkish and Russian press. But leave it to the excellent news service EurasiaNet to capture the not-meant-to-be-captured moment. In a story posted April 13, political analyst Alman Talyshli wrote from Baku:
"Rumsfeld is interested in oil!" read a headline in the April 12 edition of the popular daily Echo. The April 12 visit of the Pentagon chief to Azerbaijan was a natural target for local media hungry for sensational news. But not only the press is looking for answers.

Rumsfeld's visit took place under extreme secrecy, with limited public information, leaving many local analysts and pundits to speculate about the reasons for the U.S. secretary of defense's trip, the third such visit in the past 15 months.

Former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter has warned that the U.S. has been making plans to attack Iran — one of Azerbaijan's neighbors — this summer. That's not as farfetched as you may think. Seymour Hersh has said basically the same thing. In "The Coming Wars," a mid-January piece in The New Yorker that zeroed in on Rumsfeld's various plottings.

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