So Now They Notice the IMF?

Who says Americans are ignorant in regard to international finance? Why within just the last few days many Americans have been introduced to the financial entity known as the IMF. The short attention span take home point for viewers is that it’s apparently an international consortium of creepy French rapists. Well, maybe Americans don’t know exactly what the IMF is, or grasp it’s largely malignant role in the world, especially for poor nations, but it smells like a story! And it’s looking like a mainstream media darling. I’m afraid we’re all going to get very tired of seeing Dominique Strauss-Kahn do the perp walk. It certainly won’t stop the networks from showing it over and over, though. Sadly it’s pretty cheap to put on the air, and not nearly as difficult as an in-depth news piece regarding actual IMF policy.

I really didn’t know what to think about the man’s guilt or innocence. It’s a difficult and nuanced question, but happily, in the most American manner, an answer was forthcoming in the form of a celebrity analyst. Well, celebrity might be too generous in this case, but I suppose in the very broadest sense, Ben Stein is a celebrity. He hosted America’s Most Smartest Model, and he represented, a not free credit reporting company. Once upon a time he even wrote speeches for a guy named Nixon. And he’s a lawyer, too! I think in matters of rape and creepy foreigner culpability, you couldn’t put together a more imposing curriculum vitae.

Here it comes… so you’ll know what to think: Ben Stein puts forth that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is likely being treated unfairly. He rolls out an iron-clad defense of the man, including among other things, that it’s unlikely Strauss-Kahn could indulge in rape, as he’s short, fat, old, and has a girly, hyphenated last name.

Stein also poses the poignant question: “Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes?” Exactly, Ben. It’s not their nature to fuck anyone over individually; it’s always a collective thing. Excellent point, you should keep Ben Stein’s money for yourself! He also goes on to question the veracity coming from a maid since hoo-boy he’s had a few of them swipe his copy of American Standard while in Flagstaff. Those toxic minxes.

Ben Stein’s concerns aside, I have to admit that when I finally heard that the accuser was an immigrant from Africa, I thought that the symbolism might actually be enough to cause death for anyone with a sense of the ironic. Sadly that includes me. I recovered enough from that to consider that the IMF has been a notorious predator in 3rd world nations. Always eyeing resources and encouraging detrimental loans, only to land the austerity fairy on the poor of the nation to pay for it all. This is the world of the IMF. The maid probably fled a damn country that is experiencing a shake down from the IMF.

I honestly have no idea if this man is guilty. Of rape that is. Guilty of being a really big ass internationally sanctioned, predatory usurer, well sure. But the rape? That’s for judges, juries, and Ben Stein to grapple with.

Evidently the guy was considered to be a shoo-in against Sarkozy in the next French election. He had aspirations of pursuing that position, and some think this Socialist might have wanted to change course on some issues of note. Everyone always thinks that though, and their guy never really does change anything. Even so, Sarkozy has proven himself to be a worthy sycophant to the Empire so there is that unusual side issue worth remembering in all of this. I don’t know for certain if it is pertinent; obviously being a political contender does not confer trustworthy or even noncriminal behavior. There are also rumors that he was beginning to show indications of a dismissal of the neo-liberal policies that mark the destructive power of the IMF. But he also has a hell of a lot of baggage in the form of past allegations of freakery and worse. I don’t know how one could sort all of that out without some more information, but it is fascinating background static in this sensational case.

It’s most distressing when an individual shows a possible glimmer of light-something along the lines of an Elliot Spitzer, only to be made irrelevant through personal foibles. Rape is not the same as hiring a prostitute, obviously, but even that was enough to make it lights out for Elliot. He won’t be causing Wall Street any troubles now. I’m enough of a cynic that I figure any individuals who rise to these heights in a sociopathic society probably always have a fatal flaw. Almost like that is simply a given. Perhaps handlers and enablers make problems go away for them until the individual has a short in their chip or something- when they show a possibility of doing some actual good.

Once again, I really don’t know if this man is guilty of the charge at hand. But I do know that our very sophomoric news media is most certainly guilty of once again playing up the salacious. The fact that they are presenting the arrest of this man as being of absolute and utter interest is laughable since they certainly didn’t deem the IMF to be an organization worthy of reporting on prior. The media has served to dumb down the discourse yet again. The fact that the IMF is recommending austerity in the United States in much the same manner that has shredded third world countries living standards is not known by most Americans. But they know that the IMF might be an international consortium of creepy French rapists. And isn’t that what truly matters?

Kathleen Wallace Peine welcomes reader response. She can be reached at: Read other articles by Kathleen.