Author Topic: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about  (Read 608 times)

Cain

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The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« on: January 08, 2012, 07:14:56 pm »
Mark Ames is one of the few journalists who can read Russian, which is why he managed to get this when almost no-one else did

http://exiledonline.com/the-massacre-everyone-ignored-70-striking-oil-workers-killed-in-kazakhstan-by-us-supported-dictator/

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With violence and government crackdowns making headlines from so many familiar parts of the world, there’s hardly been a peep in the media about the biggest and ugliest massacre of all: Last Friday in Kazakhstan, riot police slaughtered up 70 striking oil workers, wounding somewhere between 500 and 800, and arresting scores. Almost as soon as the massacre went down in the western regional city of Zhanaozen, the Kazakh authorities cut off access to twitter and cell phone coverage–effectively cutting the region off from the rest of the world, relegating the massacre into the small news wire print.

But not before someone was able to get a video out to YouTube last Friday, showing the moment when the striking oil workers rushed the barricades. They’ve had to have put up with inhuman, medieval abuse for months now, culminating with the murders a few months back of a striking oil worker and the 18-year-old-daughter of another union organizer, as well as the jailing of a labor lawyer working with the striking oil workers.

Keep in mind, the oil company whose workers are striking for better pay and union recognition, KazMunaiGaz, is “owned” by the billionaire son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s Western-backed president-for-life. Among Kazakhstan’s leading American partners are Chevron, whose website boasts, “Chevron is Kazakhstan’s largest private oil producer”–adding this bit of unintentional black humor:

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    “In Kazakhstan, as in any country where Chevron does business, we are a strong supporter of programs that help the community.”

Indeed.

There was also this amusing follow-up:

http://exiledonline.com/failing-up-with-joshua-foust-meet-the-evil-genius-massacre-denier-who-shills-for-war-profiteers/

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Last week, some troll named Joshua Foust attacked my article about the massacre in Kazakhstan on December 16. I really had no idea who Foust was until I started getting emails from readers telling me “some guy with a goatee is having a meltdown on Twitter.” What upset Foust so much about my article was that I dared to report a death toll number, “up to 70,” that differed from the official figure of 15 that the regime in Kazakhstan wanted the outside world to believe. Why did Foust take on the role of massacre-denier for Kazakhstan’s notoriously brutal, corrupt regime?

Foust, it turns out, has spent much of the past decade getting paid by defense contractors to front for them as one of their paid PR monkeys. One example: Last year, Foust published a hit piece in the Columbia Journalism Review attacking an award-winning Washington Post investigative series about the vast hidden defense contractor industry, without disclosing the fact that Foust was an employee of Northrop Grumman–one of the largest defense contractors in America.

Foust’s job is the opposite of journalism—he gets paid by war-profiteers to lie to the public, to cover for them while they soak the public for government contracts. That’s what Joshua Foust does for a living; and besides carrying the water for defense contractors as a “strategic communications” flak, Foust has spent the past few years talking up Kazakhstan’s despot-for-life, Nursultan Nazarbayev—and talking down the appalling human rights records both in Kazakhstan and in Uzbekistan.

Of all the brutal despots in that region, none has stolen Foust’s heart like Kazakhstan’s dictator-for-life, Nursultan Nazarbayev, or “Nazzy” as Foust affectionately calls the man responsible for murdering scores of striking oil workers. “Nazzy” has poured huge sums of his ill-begotten wealth back into Washington DC and London to pay off politicians, academics, think-tanks, and media hacks to lie about what a wonderful reformer he is and what a great place Kazakhstan is turning out to be—they also get paid to attack and undermine human rights advocates who report unpleasant truths about what goes on there, something Foust does all the time for his favorite despot, although we’ll probably never know if he gets money for that too. (One hilarious example: A PR firm founded by Haley Barbour proposed waging an “online social media campaign” attacking Sting after he canceled a concert in Kazakhstan over labor rights abuses; not surprisingly, Joshua Foust attacked Sting’s boycott and belittled the striking oil workers’ struggle as “more than a bit silly”–just a couple of months before they were massacred.)

So this same Joshua Foust attacked my article last week on the grounds that the death toll I reported, “up to 70″ killed, was “completely invented”. Here’s an example:
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    “Mark Ames relies on a completely invented body count to polemicize the #zhanaozen riots. Classy!”

Yes, that really happened: a PR flak for war-profiteers really did shake with righteous indignation to protect a Kazakh despot’s lowball massacre death toll number from a journalist who dared to contradict it. (You’d have to spend some time in DC to understand how that makes any fucking sense.) Foust then went on his blog and attacked my article with more of the same nonsense.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Prince Glittersnatch III

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 07:46:35 pm »
So what Im getting from this is, its not a human rights violation when its done by a western backed power or an oil company.

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 07:58:36 pm »
So what Im getting from this is, its not a human rights violation when its done by a western backed power or an oil company.

Sounds about right. Fucking hell.
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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 08:07:08 pm »
The point of contention was that the "official" numbers don't match?

Kazakhstan's government is known for it's brutal honesty and complete transparency, right? So, their numbers would have to be accurate.

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 08:41:39 pm »
Oh for fuck's sake.


I hope this Foust here slips into Chapel Perilous and gets eaten by a grue.
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Cain

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 09:03:32 pm »
So what Im getting from this is, its not a human rights violation when its done by a western backed power or an oil company.

It's cute how you say that like you didn't already know it was the case.

The rest of Ames' reply to Foust is a must-read: it's a near Platonic example of how Ames does a justified hit piece on someone.  Including information about Foust's college GPA (lower than a 1.0 grade average at one point) and quotes from his first blog, back when he couldn't keep the Neocon crazy from spilling out.  And, at the bottom, he translates the article he based the 70+ casualty figures on.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

The Right Reverend Nigel

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 09:31:31 pm »
AAAAAAAAAGH

Also this shit happens in Africa ALL THE TIME and nobody cares.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

Cain

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 10:07:21 pm »
The film Blood Diamond had the perfect phrase to sum that up:  T.I.A. This is Africa.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Juana Go?

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 10:51:29 pm »
I need to see that movie still.


And jesus christ - 500-800 wounded? D:
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 02:25:40 am »
AAAAAAAAAGH

Also this shit happens in Africa ALL THE TIME and nobody cares.

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 03:34:25 pm »
The rest of Ames' reply to Foust is a must-read: it's a near Platonic example of how Ames does a justified hit piece on someone. 


first, the massacre is chilling, thanks for sharing that. I feel weird focusing on the Foust hit-piece when something so much more important is going on, but

that was hilarious.

Ames really went crazy datamining the dude, didn't he? Really incisive piece. Sick burn after sick burn. Loving it. (It makes me wonder what will be datamined from the PD forums one day, no?)




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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 03:15:33 am »
I didn't realise that Kazakhstan was that fucked. I always heard that it wasn't as bad as some of its neighbours. (Yeah, oops).

Quote from:  link=topic=31311.msg1134681#msg1134681 date=1326058291
AAAAAAAAAGH

Also this shit happens in Africa ALL THE TIME and nobody cares.

Check this -> The Vice Guide to Liberia

It's some Canadian guy wandering around Liberia, mostly hanging out with a reformed child eating warlord called "Butt Naked" because that's how he fought. It's all kinds of messed up.

Cain

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Re: The Zhanaozen Massacre no-one is talking about
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 02:57:19 pm »
Zhanaozen is being renamed "Beket-ata", presumably as part of an attempt to erase the massacre from the history books.

Depressingly, I expect it will work better than Blackwater's constant renaming attempts.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before