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Democracy: For Sale by Owner
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 08:33

by Stephen P. Pizzo

If you've ever been in sales you've heard it a million times at sales meetings: "Money talks, bullshit walks."

Okay, so that's the sales world. No surprises there.

But these days you are more likely to hear that old saw in political meetings and the halls of government. We all know what the "money" part refers to -- money. But, in the political context these days the "bullshit" part refers to public policy. It's for sale, and you're either a buyer or you're wasting their time.

Increasingly, if you want to talk with a candidate or elected official about some public policy issue, you better not show up with only issues in your bag. Because if you fail to also pack a goodly gob of loud-talking money as well, you and your public policy "bullshit" are going to be told to take a walk.

Money has always been "the mother's milk of politics," but since the Supreme Court ruling last year that made legal hummungeoius contributions from anonymous sources, money has become the high test rocket fuel of politics. At the ballot box we individuals get only one vote. But now corporate sources and the super-rich, using dollar bills as ballots, get millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of votes -- each.

Which is why we're now totally, and possibly irreversibly screwed.

Oh, and look here; we are exporting America's new form of cash-n-carry democracy to those countries we are sending your soldiers to die to make "free and democratic." (See article that follows)

I wonder if we can develop guns for our soldiers that fire silver dollars instead of bullets? Oh hell, sign me disgusted.

Why Karzai readily admits receiving bags of Iranian cash

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he accepts bags of cash from Iran. What do the Iranians want in return?

That bald acknowledgment brings out into the open two uncomfortable facts confronting the US plan to build a modern democracy in Afghanistan. Just as in Iraq, Iran is successfully buying influence with Afghan leaders. And Mr. Karzai – like many members of Afghanistan's political class – sees bags of cash as a perfectly legitimate tool of statecraft.

Iran’s efforts may extend beyond Karzai’s palace. Members of Parliament say other politicians are taking Iranian money. And recent media reports claim that the Iranians are paying the Taliban to kill US soldiers.

What does Iran want for its bags of cash? First and foremost, Iran wants pressure put on international forces to leave its doorstep.

“The Iranians are happy with the Karzai regime being established in Afghanistan – in this way, the US and Iran are aligned. But when it comes to international forces in Afghanistan, the Iranians are quite unhappy about this,” says Waliullah Rahmani, head of the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies.

The US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan put American forces on the ground on either side of Iran. In Afghanistan, US forces at Shindand Airbase are less than 75 miles from the Iranian border.

Read more here.



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