Those ratings that castigate Afghanistan and some other poor countries as hopelessly “corrupt” always imply that the United States is not corrupt. This year’s report from Transparency International puts the US on a par with Austria, which is ridiculous. All kinds of people from politicians to businessmen would go to jail in Austria today if they engaged in practices that are quite common in the US.
You lost me at “Russian Federation,” where I stopped reading. The US govt. has overturned more democratic elections around the world than any nation in history. There is not an iota of evidence Russia has anything to do with the corruption of our “sacred” elections, which resulted in two recent presidential elections being stolen (in 2000 and 2004), which, curiously, our CIA- and NSA-loving “liberal” media icons had no concern whatsoever about. But even if Russia had done what is alleged, it would have every right to, given what the US has done around the world for many decades, including to Russia.
While I agree with much of what Juan Cole says in this essay he does not mention Bill and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama even once. It’s clearly intended to feed the anger of the Democratic Party base which damages the credibility of its message. For instance the Clintons became incredibly wealthy during and after their “years of service.” Her secret Wall Street speeches in which she took in hundreds of thousands of dollars are just one example. Obama, a more intelligent political operative, simply waited for his term to expire before receiving his payout from those interests he nurtured as president. None of this is technically illegal under current laws but it certainly smacks of corruption. The rot is there for those who care to look. It’s a bi-partisan phenomenon.
Several of Cole’s observations take jabs at some pretty large elephants in the room. I, for one, am glad to see him mention the wars.
. . . such as the M.I.C.'s war-criminal stooges Cheney, Prince, Yoo et al and the Wall Street dealers & banksters responsible for Bush’s recession — none of whom were even investigated during O’Bummer’s reign, much less prosecuted or imprisoned for their transgressions.
While corruption in other nations creates negative impacts within the respective nation’s border and possibly neighboring nations, US corruption has negatively impacted every nation on earth.
In addition to influencing foreign elections as Memory_Hole points out, the US has oveerthrown democratically elected leaders, starting with Eisenhower authorizing the Iran coup 65 years ago this month.
After Wall Street crashed the global economy (as in every nation on earth global) in 2008 the DC politicians put US taxpayers on the hook for $20 plus trillion in bankster bailout schemes, thereby doubling Wall Street’s wealth and control to assure that the next crash will result in deeper negative impacts worldwide and bigger taxpayer funded bailouts.
By the time Trump showed up in DC the US was already a mature kleptocracy just waiting for the mass extortion that Trump and the GOP orchestrated during the past year.
Total BS! I am not a Trump acolyte, because I supported Bernie in the last election, but I have not seen any proof that the Russians elected Trump. As much as I detest Trump, HRC ran a horrible campaign.
Ask your self, Mr. Cole if you really believe the Russian’s meddling was the reason for Trump’s election as POTUS.
Russia’s 13 trolls had no impact on the election. U.S. oligarchs installed Trump without their help.It is false CIA war propaganda which blames Russian interference.
To “stop reading” Prof Cole at the mere mention of “Russia Federation” is asinine and short-sighted - you missed his entire varied points!
“The permitting of massive black money in our elections was taken advantage of by the Russian Federation, which, having hopelessly corrupted its own presidential elections, managed to further corrupt the American ones, as well.”
Cole’s wide experience and principled record of truthful, wise commentary are well worth the read anytime! Beside the more-fool-you ridiculous stop-reading blather, your response is off the point of Cole’s essay and intent.
Amen on the “Russians did it” hysteria. Cole also lost me on that one.
Mueller has made a point of NOT making any judgement in his investigation as to the effects of the Russians on the election, but, of course, the Dem establishment can’t resist, never mind the very un-deomcratic way they nominated Hillary.
Both our primary and election systems are seriously flawed and elections do not matter as much as we are led to believe in the media. The Democratic primary in '16 saw Clinton given every advantage when the DNC and Wasserman Schultz had limited televised debates at times few would watch, rigged the primary schedule, and eliminated potential voters such as occurred in NYC . Obama and the establishment propping up Tom Perez as leader of the party simply ensures that primary and caucus corruption will continue.
In general elections the USA is the only industrial nation to rely on voting machines rather than paper ballots. The machines are owned and managed by large corporations, which guarantees corruption. Neither political party calls for use of paper ballots, although Bernie Sanders has done so. If both political parties truly wanted honest elections, they would call for elimination of voting machines, a national holiday for voting and/or extended periods for voting. The USA is not a democracy as we are told, rather a kleptocracy in which we are led to believe we actually have choices.
Let’s all look at it this way; two top campaign aides to Trump, Manafort and Gates have “how” many corruption charges against them?
And, this is only “two” of them.
Mr. Mueller must be given a multi year contract to clean up this corrupt administration, and, when he’s done with the Republicans, move on to the Democrats, Schumer, Pelosi, and on and on.
I got the 11th sign:
In the US local authorities refuse to hand over illegal immigrants to the federal immigration authorities in order to secure the minority votes and businesses to have a steady stream of cheap labor.
BTW, Mr. Cole needs to get out a little more if he thinks the US is the most corrupt nation in the world.
We need a large team of Special Prosecutors assigned to clean up corruption.
Of course we need a lot more than that, as well…
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
― Frédéric Bastiat
Thanks for the article; it can’t be pointed out enough that this country is monumentally corrupt. The fact that bags of money don’t change hands in alleys is hardly a reason to brag when a jr. nobody in a swing state (the existence of which is a result of a corruption that results in one person’s vote being worth 3-21 times more than another’s depending on the context) can take pro-corporate positions on enough industries’ issues to get the money to get elected so he (most of the time, he) can retire from what’s pompously and absurdly called ‘public service’ to a 6-figure job in one of the industries he “regulated”–aka served as a mole for. It’s bribery as sure as the bags are, and on a massive scale, just with a down payment and a delay of some years before the final payment.
I agree with your comments, but I do think Cole’s article is well worth reading.
But mainly I just wanted to say that that is one gorgeous kitty.
Since 1945, by deed and by example,” the great Australian author, commentator and filmmaker John Pilger wrote nearly nine years ago: “The U.S. has overthrown 50 governments, including democracies, crushed some 30 liberation movements and supported tyrannies from Egypt to Guatemala (see Killing Hopw: u.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War ll, by William Blum)
If we “consider only Latin America since the 1950s,” writes the sociologist Howard Waitzkin:
[T]he United States has used direct military invasion or has supported military coups to overthrow elected governments in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Haiti, Grenada, and Panama. In addition, the United States has intervened with military action to suppress revolutionary movements in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia. More recently … the United States has spent tax dollars to finance and help organize opposition groups and media in Honduras, Paraguay, and Brazil, leading to congressional impeachments of democratically elected presidents. Hillary Clinton presided over these efforts as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, which pursued the same pattern of destabilization in Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia.
10 good points Juan, can’t argue with any of them though the word “corruption” has been (reasonably) expanded a bit beyond common usage. I suggest a challenge to develop another top 10 list, 10 areas of concern (maybe academia, unions, state governments, insurance industry, non-profits, medical industry, law industry, religion industry, entertainment industry, tech) and call out what you think is most problematic about them with regard to corruption
I will say most governments are dirty. It is the one’s that share in the spoils like Denmark, Norway and Sweden that have it right. I understand in Russia you can do pretty much what you like as ling as you don’t hurt another Russian, do that on the outside. Here in Amurika it doesn’t matter who you hurt and that you don’t share. That is what makes this place a shithole country. A while back there was a time the crooks shared and everyone had a good time, back when I was but a wee-lad. I got this dream though, that the Nordic Model will be used here, someday, someday, some…
I guess when Muller gets done you will find out. Me, I’m already convinced that where there is smoke, there is fire.