Roger L. Simon

Mirror Mirror on the Wall....

…Who is the scummiest of the UNSCUM nations profiteering off the UN Oil-for-Food program? France? Russia? China? According to the United Nations Secretary General, none are scummy, because “These are very serious and important governments,” Mr. Annan told Britain’s ITV News Sunday. “You are not dealing with banana republics.”

Well, I’m relieved. But guess who isn’t? Yes, you’re right – it’s that nasty Claudia Rosett again, poking her nose where it shouldn’t go.

But in the modern world, the notion that Russia and China in no way qualify as banana republics might be news to the state-muffled media of both countries. It might also surprise readers of the Berlin-based Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 133 countries by levels of corruption, from best to worst. On that list, China ranks about halfway down, worse than Colombia or Peru and tied for 66th place with Panama, Sri Lanka and Syria. Russia does worse yet, ranked between Romania and Algeria, and tied for 86th place with Mozambique.

France does much better. Though it ranks as more corrupt than the U.S., Israel or Japan, it ties with Spain for a still respectable 23rd place. That makes France one of the most corrupt countries not in the entire world, but merely in Western Europe.

Oh, well, what’s a little corruption among friends? It’s the way the world goes round, no? So what if they were playing footsie with a man who liked to leave children in unmarked graves. At least he left them with their toys! That shouldn’t stop us from electing a man who thinks our big mistake was not “consulting with our allies.” Mon Dieu, il parle francais! [They could elect you.-ed. At least you admit your French is mediocre.]