Wednesday, 3 January 2007

the economy = the 2nd biggest glass house of all

The Australian Wheat Board paid $290 million to Saddam Hussein in bribes [during the so-called Oil for Food program].

The debate in the press and on the airwaves was all around "who knew, what, and when?" The debate was all about "did the AWB pay tax on that money?" The debate was all about asking "how are we gonna start trading with Iraq again?"

Interestingly, the debate has never been "why the fuck were we selling wheat to the Iraq in the first place". It seems a little odd that while, on the one hand, it's fine to bomb the shit out of Iraq, on the other hand it's also fine to do business with them - in ways that fill their coffers as well as their stomachs.

Paying $290 million in bribes to Saddam Hussein - at a time when Australia was 'at war' with Saddam Hussein - I mean, isn't that treason? Apparently not, and the AWB has in fact been rewarded for its practises. Just late last year the Australian Tax Office made a ruling that the bribe was tax deductible. Hah!

If you or I applied these sort of principles and practises to our own lives and business dealings, we'd be had up for a raft of moral and legal misdemeanors. It's as if 'the economy' operates in a sort of weird world of its own, where nothing else matters except the deal.

Feb 2003. One of the rare occasions when Sydneysiders had a voice

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