Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Man Needs a Maid

From Diana Johnstone's article on l'affaire Strauss-Kahn at Counterpunch:
In his comments, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan was the first public person in France to express concern for the victim. “If the facts are proven, it is very grave, all the more in that nobody speaks of the victim. If it had happened in France, I am not sure that the police would have dared to arrest DSK.” Dupont-Aignan deplored the fact that France “will go on having that image of a culture of impunity for important personalities. … The United States”, he concluded, “has a lot of faults but in such sex cases they have much less of the culture of impunity which prevails in our country.”
Of course, much of the media in France and elsewhere is expressing concern for the victim, only they think the victim is Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Par example, the BBC has a post up comparing Strauss-Kahn to Roman Polanski (who, you'll recall, drugged, raped and sodomized a thirteen-year-old girl).
"In the US they don't play around with sex cases, it's very aggressive," the [unnamed French government] source is quoted as saying. "It's as though Dominique Strauss-Kahn were a war criminal, they won't let him go."
Admittedly I haven't been exhaustive, but I haven't seen anyone denying that Strauss-Kahn bolted his $3000-a-night hotel room, leaving his personal belongings behind, and had already boarded his flight out of the country when he was arrested. There are other possible explanations for this behavior, I suppose, but the best one I can think of is that he was trying to escape punishment for what he'd done. France doesn't have an extradition agreement with the US, so he'd have been home free if the plane had taken off. That's a very good reason why he should be denied bail. (I see that he's getting another bail hearing on Thursday morning.) I don't consider him a war criminal, let alone assume his guilt, but under the circumstances I don't see why he shouldn't stand trial.

You don't have to go to France to find sympathizers, though. Take Mike Whitney, also at Counterpunch:
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is effectively finished as a political force, even if he doesn’t draw a guilty verdict in New York, where a 32-year-old maid says she was attacked and forced to perform oral sex on him.
He’s finished as IMF chief and his candidacy against Sarkozy also looks to be in ruins.
The IMF chief certainly has enemies in high places who will be cheering his predicament. He had recently broke-free from the "party line" and was changing the direction of the IMF.
Well, too bad he screwed up, then; if convicted, he'll be able to reflect on how his sense of entitlement where women are concerned not only ruined his career, but interfered with his plans to reform the IMF. (As if.)

Ben Stein, bless his pointed little head and forked tongue, also considers Strauss-Kahn the real victim in this scandal.
People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind.
Thanks to James Urbaniak (via), we know that the answer to Stein's first two questions is "Yes." Not that that proves Strauss-Kahn guilty; it only proves that Stein is a lazy, ignorant fool.

In a piece that Salon titled "A bad week for the male of our species", Gene Lyons showed his inability to distinguish between rape and "philandering." Men are just "randy roosters," and it's a shame (I think that's what he thinks -- he do ramble here) that "Voyeurism is a sadistic activity: mean, relentless and stupid. Millions will demand to know things about the Daniels marriage [and the private lives of every other candidate] they scarcely know about their own." Lyons, like so many other journalists, confuses his profession's obsessive voyeurism with the will of The People.