Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

On Bribes


Are we bribing people to join us? Depends on your definition of a bribe. We're offering money with strings (as well as masses of money without strings). We do it all the time, with various strings. We offer money to countries on the condition that they implement certain democratic reforms. We offer money to countries on the condition that they improve human rights. We offer money to countries on the condition that they will support us in implementing certain democratic reforms or improving human rights elsewhere. You get the picture.

Accepting that all of the above are bribes, it's sad, but that's the way the world seems to work. Even my Sanskrit class, in the midst of ridiculing Bush and bemoaning the future, acknowledged that the reason we were "unable to buy those African countries" was because France bought them for more. Everyone does it, right or wrong, so, either everyone's wrong, or it's ok for everyone. It's not coherent to criticize Bush for bribing countries to join him while saying it's fine for Chirac to bribe countries to join him.

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