For his part Mr Karzai is thinking of moving on from the villa because his children have gone abroad to study and he is highly critical of his former partners failure to avoid the pitfalls of the boom. The property here in Dubai was another big mistake. Sher Khan did it single-handedly. The thing is, hes not sophisticated enough for todays global economy, he said.
There could be worse to come, he added, pointing to the still unvalued cost of the investment in Pamir Airlines and other ventures. These two were running the bank, he said. They made risky investments, lending over the limit... it was hopeless.
I was more shocked at the article to the side which had the incredible news that the Pope is in fact a catholic...
Karzai and his minions are (allegedly) stunningly corrupt. My take is that they are feathering their nest eggs, so that when we leave and the whole country collapses, they can go and live a life of luxury in the UAE, and not get the Mussolini treatment.
Karzai and his minions are (allegedly) stunningly corrupt. My take is that they are feathering their nest eggs, so that when we leave and the whole country collapses, they can go and live a life of luxury in the UAE, and not get the Mussolini treatment.[/QUOTE]
Bang on! The writing is on the Wall, just like those South Vietnamese tinpot leaders.
Part 2: Debilitating Corruption in the New Iraq
Over the past few years, Iraq has risen to become the second-most corrupt country in the world, surpassed only by Somalia on the index of the international non-governmental corruption watchdog Transparency International. Former Minister of Trade Abd al-Falah Sudani, along with his brothers, embezzled so much money from the food rationing program -- known as the Public Distribution System -- that he decided it would be best to flee to Dubai. His plane was already in the air when it was ordered to return to Baghdad, where he was arrested at the airport.
"We have 10 hours of electricity a day, 15 hours of freedom of speech and 24 hours of corruption," as the Kurds say in northern Iraq, where two clans have been pulling the strings for decades. One of these groups is led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
The parliament in Baghdad is actually one of the bodies responsible for investigating such abuses. "Our monthly salary is the equivalent of 6,700 ($10,000)," says Maysoon al-Damluji, a parliamentarian. "In addition, we are each entitled to 30 security personnel with a minimum salary of 300 per month." She doesn't want to malign her colleagues, she adds, but it is highly common for relatives and friends to be placed on the politician's payroll, regardless of whether or not they know anything about security.
'Our Government Is Like a Big Mafia'
By contrast, genuine bodyguards are required to protect the members of the parliamentary anti-corruption and the budget committee, which include men like Sheikh Sabah al-Saadi and women like Shada al-Moussawi. "You don't make any friends when you demonstrate to the national security adviser that he is legally entitled to a staff of 60, but in reality has 273 people on his payroll," says Moussawi. When her committee decided to summon a minister, she received threatening phone calls: "It was an interesting time for me in parliament. I certainly won't run for another term."
Al-Saadi also recounts how he was often threatened with "physical liquidation." "Our government is like a big Mafia," he says. "We uncovered networks that extend through virtually all ministries." His own Shiite party, Fadila (Virtue), is not involved, he claims, because it has no ministers in the cabinet.
Iraqi justice was swift and merciless, after a confession the courts acquitted the Abd al-Falah Sudani. He and al Maliki are very good friends, the PM looks after his friends and is known for such interventions. Last I heard the former trade minister was off to the preferred destination of the worlds comfortably retired kleptocrats, London.
He is of course not a lonely bad apple. It's been estimated about 10% of Iraq's GDP is trousered this way. In 09 Iraq's GDP was $112 billion, Afghanistan's just $14 billion, do the math, the oil revenues aren't even flowing properly yet. What ever happens to the country in a decade or two sticky fingered Iraqi MPs will probably be as thicker on the ground in Mayfair than the thieving Russian oligarchs that infest the place at the moment.