It seems that the impossible has happened, and the Father of All Turkmen, Saparmurat Niyazov, the leader of a great nation, the most brilliant statesman, scientist, and philosopher the world has ever known, has decided to leave his people behind. As a part of his grand and brilliant vision for the country, no plan of succession was left behind, which leaves the people bereft of leadership. There is only one solution. Bring him back!
In the meantime, the great powers are busy mobilizing their agents behind the scenes to get the most favorable outcomes for them. For Russia’s leaders that means reincorporation into the Russian “sphere of influence” (i.e., the old Russian Empire), for America’s leaders that means countering Russia’s efforts, and for the handful of insightful Europeans it means hoping that they might still get access to alternative sources of natural gas that don’t involve having to go through Gazprom (and it’s recently purchased former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder). Few of the outsiders will have any interest at all in how Turkmen will live, whether they will enjoy independence (well, some outsiders are against it, of course), constitutional government, the rule of law, individual liberty, and prosperity.