Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bribery Pirates -- Frontline April 7, 2009 -- "Black Money" international bribery: As usual PBS and Frontline presented an interesting broadcast. The program on international bribery made me reflect. If only I did not have to worry about money. I, disabled and suffering in this economic recession/depression, watch, as the economic conditions worsen and my own body from polio will no longer do at 60 what it did years ago no matter how hard I try.

I ask myself the very moral question that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia and others talked about in this Frontline episode in relation to his being paid huge sums of money under the radar screen from the British aircraft company BAE in exchange, of course, for huge contracts in Saudi Arabia. Is bribery for enormous sums of money really that bad? After all as he stated so many do it, it's simply human nature and man is a fallen angel. Wouldn't it be so wonderful never to have to worry about money again? Life is so short, why not live it in style as one lives only once? Why not as, in the final analysis, we can only account for ourselves and no one really cares about me except for me.

There are laws against international bribery for a myriad of reasons. Arms sales between countries surreptitiously are dangerous by their very nature as today's friend is tomorrow's enemy sitting with your country's killing machines in its lap easily turned on you when the time is appropriate. The Iraq war was testament to that fact. What if our friend Prince Bandar and his father are either removed from power or what if both turn on the west as China and other nations become titanically powerful economic forces? Then what happens to the arms, the planes and the equipment the west sold to him? It is, though, not only EVEN about simply that, although that is surely important. It is about personal morality.

Even with my difficult position in life, even with my handicap, even with my fervent desire to not have to worry again, if I were in a position and someone came to me with an offer there is NO way on planet earth I would succumb. You may say that is easy for me to say now because no one ever has but truly I could NEVER be corrupted not by international finance, not by Wall Street, not by being a Congressperson (if I were one), not by anything or anyone. Why? Because it's wrong, it's unethical, it's not fair, it is illegal and it is downright dangerous. I would NEVER do one thing to compromise my integrity -- ever. No amount of money could make me do anything at any time to potentially hurt another human being, this planet or most especially my country. That is how much I value all of those things. I value those things more than my own difficult plight.

Some would pocket billions of dollars SIMPLY because, as Frontline indicated, they COULD, I would NOT pocket billions or millions (assuming I had the chance) simply because I COULD NOT. It's that simple.