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Tag: Wikileaks

Wikileaks Shares U.S. Cable from Ecuador

This should raise some eyebrows. Back in 2006 when the Neoliberal polices (Chicago School Economics) seemed to be taking the world by storm before the pretty theories collapsed like a shack in a hurricane, the U.S. Embassy was not seeing those policies in a positive light. In fact, the embassy says the policies are counterproductive and the nation of Ecuador is moving in the opposite direction.

I find it astonishing how little coverage of the Wikileaks publication of these diplomatic cables there is in the United States. These are front page headlines in nations all over the world often having dramatic political implications like the anti-corruption movement (Anna Hazare) in India. How controlled is American media? What aren’t we seeing in this nation?

James Pilant

Neoliberal policies “which have fed the
growing political disaffection of Bolivia‘s majority poor, have helped fuel the
country’s rolling ‘social revolution.'”

This was how a May 6, 2006, US embassy cable from La Paz recently released by
WikiLeaks viewed the powerful wave of struggle that led to the election of
Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005.

This secret assessment came despite Washington publicly trumpeting neoliberal
policies as the way to solve the problems of Latin America’s poor.

In 1985, under the advise of US economist Jeffrey Sachs, the Victor Paz
Estenssoro government opened up Bolivia’s economy to foreign transnationals.

A number of state-owned companies were privatised, including the crucial
mining sector. Restrictions on foreign capital were removed and labour security
undermined.

The US embassy admitted in its cable: “Notwithstanding the promises of
politicians … poverty was largely impervious to the liberal reforms of the
late 80s and 90s.”

It noted the percentage of Bolivians living below the poverty line remained
“virtually unchanged (over 60%) … and even increased during the economic crisis
of 1999-2003”.

At the same time, neoliberal reforms “clearly failed to meet public
expectations for increased incomes and jobs”.

“In fact, reforms had a palpably negative effect on jobs in the short term,
immediately causing a 17 percent drop in public sector employment and triggering
the dismissal of thousands of public sector miners when resource draining
state-owned mining enterprises were shut down.”

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Lovesick Indian man beheads woman at her school (via CBS News) James Pilant–I AM UNHAPPY WITH THIS!

This is disgusting. India is in the middle of an anti-corruption campaign that may well change the course of world history and the American press is dealing with the news of the strange. India has 1.4 billion people in it and CBS news publishes a story that has the distinct implication of a nation of bizarre beliefs and primitive conduct.

Compare the conduct of the millions of reformers who are saying, “Corruption is damaging our society, we have had enough.” And compare it to American passivity in response the disastrous 2008 financial crisis where not a single person has been brought to trial.

One key difference between a “primitive” society and a modern one might well be stated as a concern and committment to justice. Under that measurement, who is primitive and who is modern between the United States and India?

A press, a media, with a concern for human understanding and civility would not print this scandalous garbage and, perhaps, discuss the wikileaks revelations concerning the nuclear treaty between the United States and India, discuss anything that smacks of intelligence and human reason.

A little respect might be a policy that the press should consider.

James Pilant

There will be no link to this CBS News post on my web site. I want no one to read it anywhere on this planet.

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I did not nominate Bhushans: Anna Hazare

This is the next round. It’s going to be exciting. My general impression is that to discredit someone with a strong reputation you attack his colleagues. And those colleagues in this kind of struggle are likely to be politicians. Unfortunately, if you have been in politics any length of time, you have usually left some questionable decisions not wholly dealt with. What’s more, India seems to have some very creative ways for a politician to make money. In the United States, corruption is more institutionalized, so to see who owns a politician we just go online and look at the campaign contributions or we look to see what Political Action Committees their wives or relatives use to suck up money from the gullible.

My admiration for the Indian press is growing rapidly. I found the reporting informative and challenging. I got the impression that being a press favorite was not as common there as it is here.

The struggle goes on, from my distant perch in the center of the North American continent, I watch.

James Pilant

The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal (via The Council on Foreign Relations)

 This article explains and summarizes the nuclear treaty between the two countries.

This treaty is the flashpoint for the controversy and public outcry over corruption in the Indian government. More than two years after the agreement was ratified by both nations, diplomatic cables from the American State Department detailed vote buying in the Indian legislature to get the treaty passed. Wikileaks published the cables and their impact in India has been major. It has been so important that it has pushed much of the coverage of the nuclear meltdown in Japan off the front pages.

Please read the summary.

James Pilant

The U.S. Congress on October 1, 2008, gave final approval to an agreement facilitating nuclear cooperation between the United States and India. The deal is seen as a watershed in U.S.-India relations and introduces a new aspect to international nonproliferation efforts. First introduced in the joint statement released by President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 18, 2005, the deal lifts a three-decade U.S. moratorium on nuclear trade with India. It provides U.S. assistance to India’s civilian nuclear energy program, and expands U.S.-India cooperation in energy and satellite technology. But critics in the United States say the deal fundamentally reverses half a century of U.S. nonproliferation efforts, undermines attempts to prevent states like Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, and potentially contributes to a nuclear arms race in Asia. “It’s an unprecedented deal for India,” says Charles D. Ferguson, science and technology fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “If you look at the three countries outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)-Israel, India, and Pakistan-this stands to be a unique deal.”

Why Hazare's movement might fail? (via Slate)

Corruption in India is fairly endemic. It is present in everything from traffic tickets to giant government contracts. Hazare is struggling with a mountain of inertia, a community acceptance of corruption and an appreciation of its benefits. He is trying to work with and develop a contrarian philosophy. I suspect this may be based on the Indian development of greater economic and political power in international relations.

The Indians are a proud people to put it very mildly. But a reasonable person can easily conclude that corruption on the current scale will make it very difficult for India to become as signiificant as its large population and geography would make it. Corruption on the current scale threatens national growth and impairs the nation’s standing in the world just as investment banking speculation and greed endanger growth in the United States.

I have a lot to learn about this situation but I’m going to try.

Indians may speak English but the implications and history behind the words are different than in American English. This is not to imply superiority to ether form of the language merely to acknowledge the need for caution.

James Pilant

Before I start, I want to be clear that I want this movement to be a success…. Corruption in India is an integral part of everybodys everyday life. We are on one of the sides, either at the receiving end or the giving. Corruption does not begin in the office, it begins on the streets. It does not care for age, status, class, or position, just the effect varies. The traffic police always gives us two options; First, that is legal, time consumin … Read More

via Slate

Day 4 Anna Hazare will end fast – What next on Middle Class Mobilization (via Offstumped – Social Media Commentary on India)

Anna Hazare

Who is Anna Hazare and what is his importance to the United States?

About 2 years ago, the United States cut a deal with the Indian government to share nuclear technology. The legislature ratified the treaty. It was a very controversial deal. The Indian government had been a rogue power in regard to nuclear energy having used what was supposed to be peaceful nuclear technology to build a series of atom bombs.

The deal allowed India to access fuel and nuclear technology from the rest of the world making India the only nuclear power a non-signatory to the non-proliferation treaty.

Wikileaks revealed that the American State Department had directly observed enormous sums of cash to be used to bribe enough of the representatives to get the deal through.

Anger in India over this corruption is intense.

Hazare has been fasting to force the government to put in place anti-corruption legislation.

The struggles continues but Hazare appears to have won this round.

James Pilant

4 days on fast Anna Hazare after initially refusing to relent announced that he would end his fast on saturday at 10am. This follows the Manmohan Singh lead UPA Government coming around to his demand of a joint committee of Government and Non-Governmental activists and a co-chair to go with in drafting the next version of the Lokpal Bill. Much has already been said on the perils of an Ombudsman independent of the Constitutional separation of powe … Read More

via Offstumped – Social Media Commentary on India

#CSR the biggest and most dynamic corporate function of 21st Century (via Jayaribcm's Blog)

Jayaribcm’s Blog discusses the problems with corruption in India. In this post he discusses the corruption of elections. As I have said before, corruption is not an Indian problem, it a worldwide phenomenon from which the United States is in no way immune. While they fight the fight there, we need to fight our struggle here.

However, there is a particularly disturbing element to the story of election fixing. American officials with the State Department were aware of the purchase of votes in a controversial piece of legislation on a nuclear deal with the United States back in 2008.

Since the United States did not share the information of the bribery and the U.S. benefited from it, there is bound to be suspicion of involvement in the bribery or that there may have been other wrong doing possibly involving the United States.

James Pilant

This is a significant article about election fixing as it is done in India. In the United States we fix elections by removing the poor and minorities from the election rolls on the grounds of non-existent election fraud. It’s the same game and just as evil.

Please take some time and read the whole thing.

From Jayaribcm's Blog

Around the same time when the children were meditating upon for a better world, the villagers were bombarded with blaring music and speech announcing why only one candidate would be the most suitable person for the ensuing election on April 13, 2011 for the Tamil Nadu Legislature. Meagre sum the villagers manage to get, surely is not sufficient for them to survive and when they are offered some few currencies in exchange of their vote they hesitate but agree. The gullible villagers are bribed and then are administered oath on milk, their livelihood they promise upon not to vote to any other candidate, lest… The present government run by DMK is notorious to have brought this system of bribing, in the last bye-election at a place called Thirumangalam near Madurai successfully that they were emboldened to apply the same logic to all other places of Tamil Nadu. The money they could spend is indeed enormous for they spearheaded the movement of corruption leading to one of their party members, a senior cabinet member of the Government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh now imprisoned at Tihar jail, is directly involved in the biggest graft in the world known as 2G scam. This time the Chief Election Commissioner of India Querishi had put a break to the distribution of money to the voters in a state-wide tough measures that had taken the ruling party by surprise & shock that the leader of the ruling party Karunanidhi was forced to say that it was a mini-emergency in Tamil Nadu declared by the Election Commissioner. The voters however keep their fingers crossed, for there’s an inherent fear about the Electronic Voting Machine [EVM], during its stay under lock & key before the results are announced on 13th May 2011, is most likely to be tampered with a remote control device favoring the ruling alliance of DMK & Congress.

Bank Of America Next WikiLeaks Target – Bank Digging For Dirt

The headline to my quoted article says that the bank is digging for dirt on itself. This is just PR. They know exactly what they don’t want people to know. Bank of America wants to give the impression that it’s such a hugh and confusing organization that nobody really had a handle on everything going on. Nonsense.

Frankly, I’m excited. This bank has been a key player in the mortgage foreclosure crisis and has just settled some buyback lawsuits. Let’s see exactly what they thought of the quality of their ownership chain. Let’s see what their internal memos said about the speed of the foreclosures, their refusals to renegotiate mortgages and their thoughts on the President’s plan to help homeowners.

I promise you a careful look at these documents as soon as I can get to them.

From The Lookout from Yahoo News

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange recently confirmed that Bank of America will be his next target — so it’s not surprising that the nation’s largest bank is now in damage-control mode. Still, the megabank’s methods are a bit unorthodox. Instead of trying to frantically pin culpability elsewhere in the great chain of financial dealing, BofA executives are actually digging for dirt on the bank’s own operations, the New York Times reports. That way, the reasoning goes, the bank’s messaging team will be better positioned to spin any damaging revelations that surface from WikiLeaks.

Do people believe this stuff? Doesn’t this sound more like the plot for an episode of a television comedy?

James Pilant

Wikileaks And Ethics

The ongoing Wikileaks controversy has a large number of ethical elements. The best commentator on this is Chris MacDonald. I subscribe to his site and I’ve watched as he hit one ethical aspect after another. I firmly believe that the Wikileaks controversy will be an ethics textbook staple for the next twenty years and that MacDonald will probably write the quoted article.

Here’s his lineup –

December 9th, 2010 Wikileaks, Credit Card Companies and Complicity

December 11, 2010 Should Companies Judge the Ethics of Those with whom They Do Business?

December 13, 2010 Wikileaks & Mastercard: Should Companies Do Government’s Bidding?

December 20, 2010 Wikileaks and NGO Legitimacy

If you are are a teacher, these articles provided excellent teaching opportunities. If you are one of my readers, this is a business ethical analysis of complicated set of moral problems.

Whoever you are, I recommend the articles.

James Pilant

Update – Professor MacDonald has added another post on this subject. This one is called Corporate Citizenship, Apple and Wikileaks. This one was posted on his web site on December 22, 2010.

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