Thursday, August 06, 2009

Bad kids of bad leaders

A partly depressing conversation tonight with a friend visiting DC from his temporary residence in Tajikistan. The depressing part came when he started describing Tajikistan. It's a state in which corruption has been naturalized and ultimately transcended into a post-corruption state. The post-corruption state (to coin a term, as far as I know) is a state in which it is completely natural for people in the streets to be killed by members of the government family speeding their Porsche Cayennes through red lights, with no recourse for the next of kin. A state in which tens of thousands of people starving to death last year can't keep the president from building a new marble palace. A state in which the president's daughter felt free to seize a successful supermarket chain from an enterprising businessman by having him thrown in jail for paying a bribe of about 4 dollars, a bribe which is otherwise a normal fact of life in the country ruled by her family.

But foreign aid keeps flowing into the country, which doesn't seem to be lacking in international relationships. It also has a rather rosy Wikipedia page.

Foreign Policy runs a couple of brief lists of the "World's Worst" sons and daughters. Nepotism will get you far.

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