(UPDATE note below original post follows ‘minutes ago’ victim report details, as heard via BBC world news internet radio.)
Original Post: Last week I was going to post on the linked article, written by Joseph E. Stiglitz, posted by Stiglitz on 5/7/11. My start on that writing, an opinion piece by Stiglitz, remains incomplete. In his article, he reviews IMF’s “change of heart” under current leadership.
Given today’s news, I’ve gone back to confirm – yep – the IMF leader featured and quoted in the Stiglitz’s ‘IMF change of heart’ article is none other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Today’s 5/16/11 news, a mere 9 days after Stiglitz’s article, lets us know that Strauss-Kahn is effectively now out of the IMF picture.
The IMF change of heart, discussed by Stiglitz, is away from extreme and harsh punitive action that hits ‘ordinary people’ in the pocketbook, and toward recognition that it’s ‘ordinary folks on the ground’ who fuel a nation’s successful economy, with policy changes to match.
Stiglitz describes where the IMF has been – before ‘now’, before it’s possible “change of heart”:
“Slightly more than 13 years earlier, at the IMF’s Hong Kong meeting in 1997, the fund had attempted to amend its charter in order to gain more leeway to push countries towards capital-market liberalisation.”
Stiglitz quotes Strauss-Kahn, whose words, in present time, suggest and promote an IMF shift away from ‘pushing countries to capital-market liberalisation’ and toward economic well-being of ordinary folk:
“Ultimately, employment and equity are building blocks of economic stability and prosperity, of political stability and peace. This goes to the heart of the IMF’s mandate. It must be placed at the heart of the policy agenda.”
Source: The IMF’s change of heart – Opinion – Al Jazeera English. (Stiglitz’s article. He reviews economic conditions, and summarizes what can be accomplished; readers are encouraged to read the full article).
And Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Where is he today?
Is he following Julian Assange?
One or both these men may be guilty of crimes they’ve been accused of.
But it’s weird, isn’t it. Both have been ‘removed from effective positions of power’ for similar causes. It’s a ‘perfect’ accusation. No one is going to argue to dismiss or ignore abusive sexual behaviors.
If the accusations turn out to be valid, are we to assume their mis-behaviors are uncommon? Or – is it valid to wonder if closet doors are kept closed on a possibly all-too-common type of mis-behavior. Closed, that is, until it’s convenient to fling open the doors, grab serious sexual mis-behavior events from the closet stash, and tangle the alleged perpetrators in legal complications for months if not years.
It’s tempting to re-read John Perkin’s Confessions of An Economic Hit-Man, or his Secret History of the American Empire (complete 371 pg PDF download of “Secret History…” available here).
And in the case of Strauss-Kahn, it may be informative to watch upcoming demands and arrangements made by the IMF in exchange for rescuing countries in deep economic distress, (distress largely created by powerful financial institutions).
(See also my category drop-down list: “global economics” for posts that explore evidence(?) of ‘patterns’ in global policies that enhance wealth/power accumulation with total disregard for living conditions and opportunities of ‘ordinary people’. In particular, see John Pilger’s 2001 in-depth report on Indonesia – “New Rulers of the World”, here.)
(See also my follow-up post, of 5/19.2011, which finds value in unfolding events about and surrounding Strauss-Kahn’s arrest: Strauss-Kahn, IFM, Justice – Lessons for Humanity. )
My Best! –MaggieAnn
(NOTES: I do not in any way mean to trivialize any of the full range of possible ways women are made ‘objects’ and as such – pestered, harassed or abused. In fact, much of today I’ve been very much ‘on side’ with “If Strauss-Kahn has done this, he needs to face justice”; (I’d much prefer Circle Justice, or its newer counterparts – Restorative or Transformative Justice to a potential 30 years, which would do no one any good!) But as day has gone by I’ve heard European remarks on American ‘harsh procedures’ (several different countries), and have heard French describe puzzlement that S-K would have behaved this way. Then I remembered the Al Jazeera article on IMF ‘change of heart’ – and the curious similarity to Assange’s situation. -MA
UPDATE : BBC World News via internet radio gives following information (paraphrased – my words!): Victim is immigrant, I believe they said she is a single mother. She showed up at the suite to clean it but found herself having to fight off aggressive sexual advances. She made her report because of the attack, with no idea of her attacker’s significance. My thoughts: Victim’s story as I heard it sounds entirely plausible in terms of all-too-common potential experiences of women. If the victim’s story holds, then this is likely not a ‘set-up‘ to shut down S-K. HOWEVER – a shift from possible manipulation of S-K’s circumstances, to an entirely appropriate support of victim, does NOT “fix” loss of S-K’s voice at the IMF, unless other IMF leaders are ‘on board’ with his statement as explored by Stiglitz and will push for the same insightful changes. Nor does it rule-out ‘devious’ and manipulative’ power-plays as a possibility by some vested interests to reduce or destroy valid and important humanitarian perspectives. The need to change from financial ‘status-quo’ beliefs and patterns, by intelligent recognition of systemic problems in entrenched and institutionalized systems, remains. Revelations given us by John Perkins and John Pilger – available through links in post above – are as valid this minute as they were yesterday, and as they were when they were first published. Related thought: Specific to this ‘case’, a process of healing justice – rather than “pay-back vindictive justice” – would also be entirely appropriate from a “21st Century humanitarian world” perspective.)-MA