Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

October 28, 2004

Kofi Corruption

Filed under: International — Bunker @ 6:58 am

It is unpleasant to think about, but the world is a very corrupt place. In international politics and diplomacy, corruption is the primary currency. In the last six months, this has been highlighted like never before. It has always been there, it has simply become far more visible. A lot of the credit goes to the explosion of information accessibility through the blogosphere and other internet connections.

Just to mention the most visible of recent examples of this corruption we have the Oil-for-Food scandal, French oil contracts in Sudan, and the UN complicity, along with Russia’s, in the 380 tons (or was it 3 tons) of explosives which may be missing from Iraq.

These are examples which have managed to bubble to the surface. They are examples of the rule rather than exeption. Saddam Hussein spent a great deal of his country’s capital buying off various politicians and diplomats. In the larger world outside the US, the political class view such activity as standard business practice. Which is one reason they view Bush with suspicion and disdain. He isn’t playing the game according to their well-established rules–rules that would simply enrich him and others in his Administration if he would just play nice.

Our State Department understands the rules. They prefer to play the game. A healthy retirement income awaits any diplomat who steers the US government in the right direction. Even someone of strong ethics like Colin Powell has difficulty in herding those cats. They know that the Administration will change every eight years at most, and they can simply return to International Rules.

The focus today remains on Saddam, but there are plenty of others out there concerned that they might be next. Baksheesh has already been rendered. Continued payment requires that the UN, and others who know how the game is played, put hurdles in the way of any US action. There are plenty of “leaders” around the world who know their power lies not in a mandate of their citizens, but in the good graces of Kofi Annan.

Any time someone mentions diplomacy, you must consider this.

Robert Mugabe and Kim Jung Il do.


  1. You’ve just given the reason Colin Powell will probably not be back in the State Dept. for a 2nd term. He probably has to shower twice a day to keep from feeling scummy in the same building with them!

    Comment by DagneyT — October 28, 2004 @ 7:37 am

  2. I’m surprised not to have heard from you on my last post about the UN.

    Comment by Bogey — October 28, 2004 @ 12:25 pm

  3. I agree. Couldn’t say much more than that!

    Comment by Bunker — October 28, 2004 @ 1:42 pm

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