Gary Shteyngart’s ‘Absurdistan”, which is run by an elite kleptocracy and a group of companies, including Halliburton, bears an uncanny resemblance to Azerbaijan, even if it transpires in the book that the oil wealth of the fictive country on the Caspian sea is just as fictive as the country itself. Still, fictive or not there is no denying that Mr Nanabragov and the Sevo mafia in Svani City, could be a mirror image of Azberbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and the Azerbaijan mafia in Baku. Something that might be substantiated by a diplomatic cable dispatched by the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, which, appears to compare Mr Aliyev to two other fictional characters, namely, the impulsive Sonny Corleone and his brother, the coldly calculating Michael, from “The Godfather” movie trilogy.
Therefore, when we read of Baku denying that it has given Israel access to four airbases from which it can attack Iran, we should, at least, be sceptical and all the more so since an American official has apparently stated that Israel has bought an airfield on Iran’s northern border ……. Oh, and the name of the airfield, according to the same official, is “Azerbaijan”. Think there is a title somewhere in this for a book of my own and I am open to advice; Zionistan meets Absurdistan in Azerbaijan, any suggestions?