Sam Patten:" As the summit on the frigid, wind-swept steppe came to a close last Thursday, one was reminded of a remark by the late Russian statesman Viktor Chernomyrdin: "We wanted something better, but got the same as we always do." Given how far Kazakhstan has come economically in the last two decades, it is reasonable to ask if President Nursultan Nazarbayev, now known by law as the "Leader of the Kazakh Nation," isn't capable of meaningful political reform.
"This was," a coalition of non-governmental organizations from OSCE member states concluded, "a summit without results." Given the extraordinary effort and substantial resources the Kazakhs committed to hosting this summit, one can't help wondering at the point of the exercise. Was it truly to re-affirm the noble, albeit dusty, principles around which the OSCE was formed? Or rather was it to provide a stage for Nazarbayev to flaunt himself as a 21st Century statesman?" Read more...Sam Patten: Is the Father of the Nation Big Enough to Expand ...www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-patten/is-the-father-of-the-nati_b_793836.html