Playing Hard Ball With Soft Power
FBI Versus FIFA

Johnstone, Diana
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/10/playing-hard-ball-with-soft-power/

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  10/06/2015
Year Published:  2015  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX17551

The United States claims the right to impose its laws on other countries and on organizations and individuals in those countries. It claims the sole right to decide what is right and wrong, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. The U.S. mostly ignores the rampant corruption in and around its own government and corporate sector, while going after rivals and enemies in other countries.

Abstract: 
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Excerpt:

The United States has encouraged a certain “globalization”, meaning privatization and deregulation, giving financial institutions and major corporations endless opportunities to exploit and cheat countries in the global South, as well as their own citizens. The whole system is a breeding ground for bribes and corruption. It favors a vast and deadly arms trade, with its “percentages”. The drug trade flourishes, along with all sorts of illicit trafficking.

There is strong evidence that it took bribes to get the World Cup to South Africa. That’s corruption. But is it or is it not corruption when Coca Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s threaten not to sponsor FIFA if things don’t go their way? That is done openly, but isn’t it a form of corruption?

And speaking of corruption, is bribery only bribery when it is secret? What about the American electoral system, which has a much greater effect on the world than football games? What about an electoral system in which billionaires can openly “fix the game” thanks to perfectly legal campaign contributions?

What about the haste with which Congress changed its position last May 14 and hastily adopted the Trans-Pacific Partnership “fast track” legislation – without debate or amendments – as soon as Congress members had been generously sprayed with dollars from Goldman Sachs, UPS, Citigroup, FedEx, Coca Cola, Boeing, Pfizer, Northrop Grumman, Morgan Stanley, Walmart, Disney, Monsanto, etc., etc., etc. This vote will affect the lives of millions of Americans, their jobs, their quality of life. It is infinitely more important than where soccer games are played.

And what is the FBI doing about it?

The United States decides what is or is not corruption. It decides what are or are not human rights. Extraordinarily long prisons sentences are not violations of human rights because they are practiced in the United States, as an example. Big corporations buying “the people’s representatives” is not corruption: it’s called freedom.

The United States seeks to impose moral rules on the immoral practices it fosters. While waging wars all over the planet, Washington seeks to impose “humanitarian” rules on war by having its weak opponents branded as war criminals and hauled before international courts and tribunals (from which the United States itself is exempt).

By the same token, United States insists on imposing a system of global “free enterprise” that inevitably breeds all kinds of unmanageable corruption, but then tries to make it look good by cracking down selectively on corruption.

This American mixture of righteous crusade and self-interest risks giving virtue a bad name.

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