Sunday, April 22, 2007

Where things are rotten

Our current epoch's triumvirate of "Western oriented" warring nations, the US, the UK and Israel, share more than just an unhealthy blood lust and desire for continued conflict. The administrations of these countries, while endlessly spouting on about how they, through the vehicle of war, only wish to bring goodness to the world, also share a remarkable record of internal corruption that appears entirely orthogonal to the corruption redolent in the war-making process.

Firstly we have the Bush administration and various congressional lackeys, which have been embroiled in corruption and criminal scandals for quite sometime now. Despite the obvious politicization of the Justice Department the US Attorney purge in now revealing, so many congressional Republicans, enabling lobbyists, and administration officials have been investigated, indicted and convicted, it is difficult to keep track of them all. Tom DeLay, TRMPAC, Bob Ney, Randy Cunningham, Bill Frist, David Safavian, Jack Abramoff, Curt Weldon, Conrad Burns, John Doolittle, Kyle Foggo, Brent Wilkes, Mitchell Wade, Rick Renzi, Alberto Gonzales, ... well, you get the idea. Furthermore and directly on the heels of the attorney purge and the scuffle at the World Bank over Wolfowitz's covert cronyism, comes the latest imbroglio wherein Christopher J. Doherty and various other officials at the Department of Education are being investigated for making at least $1 million off the Reading First program of the No Child Left Behind Act by directing tax payer funds to ... themselves. All of this is quite apart from the innumerable investigations the Bush administration has weathered over various programs in pursuit of the War on Terror™, like illegal wiretapping, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, torture, indefinite detention, etc. Things are decidedly rotten therein.

Then we have the Blair government, with Tony Blair and his Labour Party's cash for honours scandal. While relatively benign in comparison to the vast palette of grubby GOP efforts in tax payer money funneling and one party rule in the US, the scandal produced an unprecedented questioning of the British Prime Minister by police. Again, this sleazy little operation appears to be quite separate from the investigations of "sexed up" dossiers and phony intelligence used in the run-up to the war.

Finally, there is Prime Minister Olmert's government in Israel. In an ode to Republican operations, Olmert himself is under investigation for a shady land deal, accepting bribes and steering business to his lobbyist lawyer. Just a few months ago, his former justice minister, Haim Ramon, was convicted of "indecent behaviour," after forcing his unwanted attentions on a female soldier. Israel's attorney general intends to indict Israeli President Moshe Katsav for rape, sexual assault and fraud. And now, Olmert's finance minister, Avraham Hirchson, has agreed to step down during an investigation of embezzlement allegations while, at the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman was questioned by police about illegal primary funding and a related Cyprus bank account. This after Lieberman has already been questioned about ties to the Russian mafia. The parallels with the Bush and Blair governments continue as an investigation into Olmert's Lebanon war is expected to produce a damning report on the Prime Minister's conduct of that insidious debacle.

Quite a buffet of payola, racketeering, venality, and malfeasance has been laid out by these vanguards of "freedom and democracy," who never seem to miss an opportunity to remind us about the importance of the "rule of law." Then again, when one is capable of justifying illegal wars with lies, proclivities toward personal criminality seem only natural and entirely expected.


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