The United States is now officially more corrupt than the Old World.
Former French president Jacques Chirac has been found guilty of corruption when he was mayor of Paris in the early 1990s (he allegedly paid his own party workers for jobs that did not exist). He was given a two-year suspended sentence.
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of that crew launched a war of aggression in contravention of the UN Charter and of the Nuremberg Principles. But they’ve never been so much as the object of a congressional hearing on their invasion and ruination of a country that had not attacked the United States and posed no imminent threat to international order. Ironically, one of their charges against the Baath Regime was that it had launched wars of aggression in 1980 and 1990!
As I have argued before, Bush/Cheney epitomized this sentiment:
To initiate a war of aggression . . . is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Ironically, Chirac was the princpled one here. He opposed the Iraq War and castigated Bush for speaking of a ‘war on terror.’ He quite reasonably said that terrorism (with which the French had a great deal of experience) is a police matter. Bush militarized our heritage of democracy rooted in 1776, whereas Chirac declined to do that to his heritage, of 1789.
The French don’t put their former presidents on a pedestal, beyond the reach of accountability, the way cult-of-personality prone Americans do.