Politics = Corruption
by William Skink
I’m going to start this post with the simple premise that politics = corruption. And because politics touches everything from birth to death to the air we breathe, so does corruption.
There are of course gradations of corruption throughout the various political systems that govern the people on this planet, but one surefire way of gauging the level of corruption is determining how much money is involved. If it’s a lot of money, then there’s sure to be a lot of corruption.
Defenders of corrupt politicians, like Hillary Clinton, will want to see the nitty-gritty quid pro quo before acknowledging this obvious axiom about politics. The most recent analysis, I think, speaks for itself:
Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.
The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period.
I don’t know why I’m still amazed at the capacity of partisans to rationalize away these icky implications, but they do, over and over and over again.
Yesterday I was involved in a Twitter spat with Jay Stevens, one of the founders of this humble blog. He was incredulous that Putin would defend FIFA corruption. But Putin, IMHO, isn’t defending FIFA corruption, he’s just playing geopolitics, same as the US. Anyone who thinks Russia is more corrupt than the US when it comes to getting the World Cup (or the Olympics) to gravy train corporate loot into their respective spheres is delusional.
So what’s the deal with America’s sudden interest in FIFA corruption?
At Moon of Alabama, b opens his post with this:
Today the U.S. ordered Swiss police to raid, incarcerate and extradite to the U.S. six FIFA officials for alleged corruption. The raid, with obviously pre-alarmed New York Times reporters on the scene, comes shortly before a FIFA vote to expel Israel from the association.
This Friday the world football association FIFA is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, for its 65th regular World Congress. One of the votes on the agenda (pdf) is about the “Suspension or expulsion of a member”. There is also an “Update on Israel-Palestine”.
When dealing with equally corrupt nation-states, especially cold war adversaries, there’s always something else going on than what the surface story describes. I wish more people in this particular nation-state were more discerning.
But we’re not, so any Putin-demonizing angle that can be conjured up will be enthusiastically consumed.
Politics = corruption. Proceed from that premise, and you may start understanding the movements behind the posturing.