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Feature Story November 13, 2003
Georgia in the Crunch
By Mark Ames Browse author Email
Page 2 of 5
So what the hell was Jim Baker doing in Georgia playing the role of some Jimmy Carter bleeding heart? After all, Bush didn't send him to Azerbaijan, which became the former Soviet Union's first official dynasty after its pro-U.S. leader handed power to his son in a rigged election. Nor have we raised much of a fuss about free and fair elections to our other new friends in the region. Fuss? Tchya, right. Uzbek strongman Karimov must have received about 100,000 dollars in aid for every American soldier he allowed to be based in his police state (assuming we have about 5,000 soldiers there). Or you could say that we gave about $1,000,000 in aid to Karimov for every political opponent he's got rotting in jail, boiled skin melted onto busted bones. And Kyrgyzstan -- which just started getting its big Santa packages from Uncle Sam after it gave us an air base - has actually slid backwards into deeper authoritarianism ever since Bush started stuffing its leaders' pockets.

So why was Baker playing the knit-capped human rights hippie in Georgia? The obvious answer is that he wasn't. When James Baker wades into an oil-soaked, unstable region full of corrupt despots, points at one and tells him he has to play fair this time, it means only one thing: "You're out, we're backing new people, and we expect you to go peacefully or else."

Baker is more than just the man responsible for engineering the closest thing America has ever had to a coup d'etat. He's also Mr. Oil. Specifically, Caspian Sea oil. His law firm, Baker Botts, boasts on its web page, "Baker Botts has been and continues to be the leading international law firm involved in the reemergence of the oil, gas and related hydrocarbon transportation industries in the Caspian region and has one of the most active practices of any U.S. law firm with respect to other types of investment in the region." The Caspian Sea oil is set to be pumped out of Azerbaijan and transported via Georgia to the Turkish Mediterranean sea port of Ceyhan. Former President Clinton had labeled the oil route a "vital national interest" while Vice President Dick Cheney named the oil region a vital strategic interest for the first half of the 21st Century. The U.S. oil firms with Caspian Sea interests seamlessly tied their interests to America's via their lawyer, James Baker. Among notables with interests in the Caspian Sea oil are Brent Scowcroft, Bush Sr.'s National Security Advisor; John Sununu, Bush Sr.'s Chief of Staff; and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's National Security Advisor. Then there is Frontera Oil, a company set up five years ago specifically to exploit Georgian oil. Its board includes former Clinton CIA chief John Deutch and former Texas senator Lloyd Bensten. Frontera's chairman is former Clinton deputy energy secretary Bill White, who was in charge of formulating Clinton's Caspian Sea policy.

As you will see, it's the oil transnationals who decided on regime change in Georgia, using a sudden interest in Jeffersonian democracy as the pretext, while indulging the the anti-democratic but stable Aliyev dynasty in nextdoor Azerbaijan.

By the way, if you think that Baker is just a dedicated patriot doing his job for God and country, remember this: Baker Botts is also the lead counsel for Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi defense minister, defending him in a lawsuit filed by the families of the victims of 9/11 -- that's right, Baker is defending Saudi terror-financiers against American terror victims. Which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, considering that Baker is also the senior counsel to the notorious Carlyle Group of investors. On September 11th, 2001, Baker was reportedly with members of the bin Laden family - his business partners - in the Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C.

So let me repeat it again: James Baker getting sent to Georgia by President Bush in order to demand that Shevardnadze hold free and fair elections is tantamount to a push for a coup.

Which brings us to Richard Miles, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia. Miles, who served in the Marines and studied Russian at the U.S. Army Institute in Germany (read: U.S. intelligence), is a career diplomat specializing in military-strategic issues and Eastern Europe. Not surprising then that he played a key role in at least one U.S.-backed democratic coup and military takeover just a few years ago.

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