Harry Says Chapter 20: The Problem with Turkestan

In this Testament I will speak only the truth.  Do not dismiss this memoir as merely febrile and deluded.  It must serve as a warning.

The situation with Turkestan was this.  The ruling families of the West, with their power base largely in oil interests and strategic minerals, wished to control the area of the world known as Eurasia.  It has always been one of the centres of world power.  One reason this area was so vital was that it was now necessary to build an oil pipeline from Russia to Western Europe.  And it was this project that had brought Turkestan to the attention of the international community.  Turkestan, a small state bordering on Ukraine, had been created when the old Soviet Union had disintegrated.  The population was an ethnic mix and largely Muslim.  The country was ruled by the New Democracy party (which wasn’t either particularly new or democratic) and a mish mash of elite interests.  The country was not particularly wealthy or well-governed but muddled along.  The ruling party, which had nationalist leanings, was opposed to the proposed pipeline, with the result that Turkestan now came under scrutiny.  And it emerged that Turkestan, far from being a harmless country on the fringe of Eurasia was in fact a serious menace to the freedoms and economy of the West.  Turkestan’s human rights record was deeply flawed and the lack of western democratic institutions was also a cause for concern.  Turkestan was also a source for some of the heroin that found its way into Europe.

However, the West was prepared to work with Turkestan to resolve these issues, and in this The Master took, if not exactly the lead, then one of the leading roles.  From the outset The Master was the soul of reasonableness and conciliation. Military intervention was initially a remote possibility, but it was emphasised that no possibility could be ruled out. The Turkestan leadership in response to western pressure became more hard line. At this point I sensed that military intervention would be inevitable.  Then finally, I heard the Foreign Secretary pronounce at a press conference the words that were an infallible indicator that an attack was imminent: “We have no quarrel with the Turkestan people.”

I now saw my opportunity and decided to take the lead, and to argue for a vigorous interventionist policy.  Military intervention in Turkestan became my cause.  It featured in my every speech and my every media interview.  I thus became identified with the interventionist cause even while the official party line was conciliatory. I hoped to be ahead of the game.

Then something awful happened. The President died suddenly and his son took over leadership of the party.  The son had been educated at The Sorbonne and took a more sophisticated view of things than his father.  And the son was a founder of the Turkestan Pipeline Company.  As a gesture of goodwill towards the West he launched a vigorous War on Drugs, buying the necessary munitions and helicopters from western companies and taking out huge loans from Eurobank to do so.  The War on Drugs consisted of operations against the hill tribes who profited from poppy production.  It was obvious that things were heading towards a diplomatic rapprochement, which was bad for some people and good for others.  I wasn’t in the latter category. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s