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From the End of History to the End of Truth

teleSUR | March 11, 2108

Making nonsense of Fukuyama’s premature triumphalist screed, it is commonplace now to note that the United States corporate elites and their European and Pacific country counterparts are increasingly losing power and influence around the world. Equally common is the observation that these Western elites and the politicians who front for them have acted over the last twenty years to reassert their control in their respective areas of neocolonial influence. The European Union powers have done so in Eastern Europe and Africa, most obviously but not only, in Ukraine, Libya, Ivory Coast, Mali and the Central African Republic. Likewise, the United States has acted to reassert its influence in Latin America and the Caribbean, effectively declaring war on Venezuela, maintaining its economic and psychological warfare against Cuba and intervening elsewhere with varying degrees of openness.

Before they died, among the main Western media bogeymen were Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Muammar al Gaddhafi. Now Vladimir Putin and Bashar al Assad have been joined by Xi Jinping and Nicolas Maduro. Along with these and other world leaders, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has also constantly been the object of endlessly repetitive Western media hate campaigns. This longstanding, plain-as-day media strategy, regularly and blatantly prepares mass opinion to facilitate Western government aggression against the latest target government. No one following these processes with any attention will have failed to notice the leading role played by non governmental organizations in the Western elites’ offensive against resistance to them by political leaders and movements around the world.

In almost every case of recent Western provoked interventions, from Venezuela in 2002, through Haiti in 2004, Bolivia in 2008, Honduras in 2009, Ecuador in 2010, Ivory Coast, Libya and Syria in 2011, Ukraine in 2014, Western media have used deliberately misleading and downright deceitful reports from Western NGOs to support their own false misreporting of events. In Nicaragua’s case, the usual untrustworthy NGO suspects like Amnesty International, Transparency International and Global Witness constantly publish misleading reports and statements attacking or undermining President Daniel Ortega and his government. In general, their reporting is grossly biased and disproportionate given the regional context of incomparably horrific events and deplorable conditions elsewhere in Latin America, but, as often as not, it is also downright untrue.

In a recent example, Global Witness stated that Nicaragua’s proposed interoceanic canal “wasn’t preceded by any environmental impact reports, nor any consultation with local people”. Both those assertions are completely untrue. But this Big Lie repetition is the modus operandi of the Western elites who fund outfits like Global Witness, Amnesty International, and other influential NGOs like International Crisis Group and Transparency Intenational. For example, Amnesty International claims “We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion”. But it bears constant repetition that many of Amnesty International’s board and most of its senior staff responsible for the organization’s reports are deeply ideologically committed with links to corporate dominated NGO’s like PurposeOpen Society InstituteHuman Rights Watch, and many others.

Also worth repeating is that Global Witness in 2016 received millions of dollars from the George Soros Open Society Foundation, Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network, the Ford Foundation and NATO governments. The boards and advisory boards of these NGOs are all made up overwhelmingly of people from the Western elite neocolonial non governmental sector. Many have a strong corporate business background as well. All move easily from one highly paid Western NGO job to the next, serving NATO country foreign policy goals. Cory Morningstar has exposed the pro-NATO global political agenda of organizations like US based Avaaz and Purpose, noting “the key purpose of the non-profit industrial complex is and has always been to protect this very system it purports to oppose”.

Back in 2017 it was already a truism to note that Western NGOS “operate as the soft, extramural arm of NATO country governments’ foreign policy psychological warfare offensives, targeting liberal and progressive audiences to ensure their acquiescence in overseas aggression and intimidation against governments and movements targeted by NATO. To that end, they deceitfully exploit liberal and progressive susceptibilities in relation to environmental, humanitarian and human rights issues.” What is now becoming even more clear in the current context is that these Western NGOs and their media accomplices are confident enough to publish downright lies because reporting the facts no longer matters. Western public discourse has become so debased, incoherent and fragmentary that the truth is almost completely irrelevant. All that matters is the power to impose a version of events no matter how false and untruthful it may be.

This sinister media reality is intimately related to the politicization of legal and administrative processes in the national life of countries across Latin America. The spurious legal processes against Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva in Brazil, against Milagro Sala and Cristina Fernandez in Argentina, against Jorge Glas and, no doubt very soon, Rafael Correa in Ecuador are all based on the same faithless virtual association and complete disregard for factual evidence as Western media and NGO propaganda reports attacking Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua. It is imperative to overcome the ridiculous liberal presupposition that the region’s elites, with the advantage of designing and controlling their countries’ legal systems and communications media for over 200 years, are somehow going to respect high falutin’ avowals about “separation of powers”.

Note: this article borrows from previous articles here and here.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Problem with Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index

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By Joseph Thomas – New Eastern Outlook – 13.02.2017

Transparency International puts out what it calls the “Corruption Perceptions Index.” It is an annual index it claims “has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.”

These carefully selected words, taken at face value appear benign, even progressive. But upon digging deeper into this organisation’s background it becomes clear that these “perceptions” are politically motivated, and the “international policy agenda” clearly favours a very specific region of the globe, particularly that region occupied by Washington, London and Brussels.

Transparency International claims upon its “Who We Are” page of its website that (our emphasis):

From villages in rural India to the corridors of power in Brussels, Transparency International gives voice to the victims and witnesses of corruption. We work together with governments, businesses and citizens to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals. As a global movement with one vision, we want a world free of corruption. Through chapters in more than 100 countries and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.

Before moving onto the organisation’s funding and financials, one would assume that above and beyond any other organisation in the world, Transparency International would carefully and diligently avoid any perceptions of conflicts of interest on its own part. Yet, not surprisingly, that isn’t the case.

An Anti-Corruption Org Swimming in Conflicts of Interest

Upon their page, “Who Supports Us,” Transparency International admits that it receives funding from government agencies including:

  • The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID);
  • Federal Foreign Office, Germany and;
  • The US State Department.

Transparency International not only receives funding from the very governments it is tasked to investigate, hold accountable and “index” annually, constituting a major conflict of interest, it also receives money from the following:

  • The National Endowment for Democracy;
  • Open Society Institute Foundation and;
  • Shell Oil.
Other troubling sponsors dot Transparency International’s funding disclosure, but the inclusion of immense corporate interests like energy giant Shell, is particularly troubling.
So is the inclusion of the National Endowment for Democracy whose board of directors is chaired by representatives from other large corporations and financial institutions as well as partisan political figures involved heavily in not only influencing politics in their own respective nations, but who use the National Endowment for Democracy itself as a means to influence other nations.While these interests are transparently self-serving, the use of the National Endowment for Democracy allows them to predicate their involvement in the political affairs and elections of foreign nations upon “democracy promotion.” This seems to be the very essence of corruption, “abuse of power” and “secret deals,” yet they are funding Transparency International’s very existence.

Open Society in turn, is the sociopolitical fund employed by convicted financial criminal George Soros. The New York Times in its article, “French court upholds Soros conviction,” reported that:

The conviction of George Soros, the billionaire investor and former fund manager, on insider trading charges was upheld on Thursday by a French appeals court, which rejected his argument that his investment in a French bank in 1988 was not based on confidential information.

Soros, 74, now retired from money management but active as a philanthropist and author, was ordered to pay a fine of €2.2 million, or $2.9 million, representing the money made by funds he managed from an investment in Société Générale. He said the purchase had been part of a strategy to invest in a group of companies that had been privatized by the French government.

Were it not for the very serious impact Transparency International’s false perception globally as a reputable corruption watchdog has on nations targeted by its CPI reports, it would be almost comical that this so-called anti-corruption organisation is funded by not only the very governments it is supposed to be objectively detached from, but also funded by convicted criminals like Soros and organisations like the National Endowment for Democracy well known for their use of “democracy promotion” as cover in pursuit of their own self-serving interests.

Thus it is clear,  that even at face value, Transparency International likewise serves as just such cover, but instead of hiding behind “democracy promotion” to advance what is a very specific, political agenda, it is hiding behind “fighting corruption.”

And even if impropriety wasn’t so blatant, Transparency International’s lack of better judgement regarding its funding and conflicts of interest discredit it as a legitimate corruption watchdog.

For nations around the world pressured by Transparency International and its CPI reports, dismissing them with this evidence in hand, as well as devising domestic (and credible) anti-corruption watchdogs as alternatives would be particularly useful.

Special interests using Transparency International to target and undermine nations and governments they seek to influence or coerce is not limited only to this organisation, but is a pattern repeated over and over again, from the National Endowment for Democracy’s Freedom House “Freedom in the World” index, to reports published by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, US-European special interests have honed this craft of using just causes as cover for corruption and coercion into a fine art.

February 13, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Go figure: Soros-funded watchdog says populist politicians ‘undermine fight against corruption’

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George Soros Image © Maurizio Gambarini / http://www.globallookpress.com
By Robert Bridge | RT | January 30, 2017

With the EU elite threatened by a populist insurgency aiming to end free and easy immigration programs and promote nationalism over globalism, an influential think tank says populism will only – wait for it – fuel the fires of corruption.

Transparency International, a Berlin-based anti-graft group, warned in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index about the purported perils of populism, a political animal that on occasion rolls through nations like a force of nature to contend with the excesses of an out-of-touch, elitist minority.

“Populism is the wrong medicine,” stated TI chair Jose Ugaz, without offering any alternative prescriptions. “In countries with populist or autocratic leaders, we often see democracies in decline and a disturbing pattern of attempts to crack down on civil society, limit press freedom, and weaken the independence of the judiciary.”

“Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems,” Ugaz continued.

With regards to corruption, the watchdog attempts mind-reading by asserting that populist politicians “have no intention of tackling the problem [of corruption] seriously.”

The report takes to task some firebrand politicians, including Donald Trump (USA), Marine Le Pen (France), Jaroslw Kaczynski (Poland) and Victor Orban (Hungary), among others, who are currently topping the popularity charts among their constituents by declaring open season on the moribund establishment.

Transparency International sounded the alarm over these political “con artists” who are “reactive, nativist and often right-wing…” while alleging that these disruptive newcomers “have been able to exploit the disenchantment of people with ‘the corrupt system’ and present themselves as the only ‘way out’ of the vicious cycle described… ”

While deliberating upon the potential risks associated with the new agitators on the block, the report conspicuously failed to mention the reasons why so many voters today are disaffected with the same old run-of-the-mill politicians, who are guilty, it must be said, of far worse crimes than mere corruption.

In all too many cases we are talking about complicity in actual atrocities, from bloody regime change in places like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, with efforts underway in Syria, to the wholesale destruction of Western civilization due to the unchecked immigration of war refugees without the consent of the governed. If NATO member states are feeling pangs of guilt over their direct complicity in the serial murders of nation states, forcing the refugees of these war zones onto the territory of their people is undoubtedly not the answer.

In light of these unsavory actions on the part of many NATO countries, concerns over high level corruption may seem a bit exaggerated and misplaced. At the risk of sounding cynical, separating corruption from the world of politics is tantamount to separating the chicken from the egg, and, as the popular riddle reminds us, very difficult to say what came first.

And speaking of corruption. The scale of corruption in the Clinton camp, revealed by WikiLeaks in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, is simply astounding and should be enough to preclude any lectures on good behavior by the folks at Transparency International.

For starters, it was revealed in November that the Clinton Foundation received a $1 million ‘gift’ from Qatar without telling the State Department, thereby breaking an agreement requiring it to reveal all foreign donations. The check was reportedly a gift to former President Bill Clinton in 2011 for his 65h birthday. A meeting was to take place between him and Qatari officials at some point, according to an email published last month, but it is not clear if this ever happened.

At the same time, it was also established that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were not only donating heavily to the Clinton Foundation but were also arming and funding the militants of Islamic State. Now if that isn’t the worst case of political corruption then I don’t know what is.

It is, therefore, no coincidence that populist politicians, simply responding to the market demand for fresh leadership, appeared around the world at just about the same time. The fact that France has its own version of Donald Trump in the form of Marine Le Pen would only come as a surprise to those people who don’t follow world events, or who are not told the truth about them.

Now that so many Western politicians and their affiliated parties are facing the threat of eviction this year (The most influential EU member states are witnessing a fierce struggle in the ranks amid the spectacular rise of anti-establishment, far-right politicians, like Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in Holland and Frauke Petry in Germany), it is somewhat ironic that Transparency International would release a report warning voters that they are about to be hoodwinked by rabble-rousing, right-wing demagogues.

But there is a simpler explanation for the one-sided nature of this report, and it is due to a massive conflict of interest on the part of its sponsors.

Take it away, George

If you were doing consumer research on a particular product, would you trust the manufacturer of that product to carry out the research, or would you prefer some independent body to handle the job? I think most people would agree that the most reliable, trustworthy method would be to commission some third party with no connections to the company to provide its consensus. That would dramatically reduce the chances of inaccurate results due to something called ‘self-interest.’

And therein lies the glaring problem not only with this report but with Transparency International as a watchdog group.

A brief perusal of its supporter list should remove any doubt as to why Transparency International is extremely wary about populist politicians rocking the European boat of power.

Aside from receiving from a number of foreign governments (Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Ireland, Estonia and Finland, to name a few), TI is sponsored by the some of the most dubious names in democracy today, brought to you by none other than investor and philanthropist George Soros himself.

The Open Society Institute (OSI) and Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) ranks just behind the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a soft power non-profit sponsored by the US government, on the list of TI’s supporters.

Clearly, this is the last organization one should trust for providing an objective look at the rise of new political parties across the world. Indeed, George Soros himself has been largely responsible for the massive influx of refugees to the European Union, going so far as to offer cash incentives to refugees who wish to make the long, dangerous journey from the Middle East to the European continent.

Never mind that none of these displaced peoples, who have every right to our sympathy, will live in the same neighborhood as Mr. Soros, who can well afford all the personal protection that is certainly desirable when embracing such reckless policies. But for the average European citizen, who must accommodate these millions of new people who do not share the same religious, social and cultural predilections, nor in many cases the same high level of education, this social experiment carried out on the whim of a billionaire is the epitome of reckless behavior.

In fact, it should come as no surprise that the TI report singled out Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban. Just this month, Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, said it would use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments.”

But all that pales in comparison to an award that Transparency International bestowed upon none other than former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 for “her emphasis on the importance of increasing transparency and countering corruption as part of US foreign policy, with the award addressed solely to those contributions.” Needless to say, that award drew a lot of raised eyebrows around the world.

There is a breathtaking degree of conflict of interest in this TI report, which, like so many closed halls of power in the EU today, is just begging for the transparent light of day.


Robert Bridge, an American writer and journalist based in Moscow, Russia, is the author of the book on corporate power, “Midnight in the American Empire”, released in 2013.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , , , | Leave a comment

The West’s Weaponisation of Corruption Indexes

By Joseph Thomas – New Eastern Outlook – 08.10.2016

For the Southeast Asian state of Thailand, overcoming corruption could be one of several essential steps required to fully tap the human and natural resources this already influential ASEAN state has benefited from for centuries. However, to tackle corruption, the nation must first define what it is, and what it hopes to achieve by confronting and overcoming it.

Currently, the focus unfortunately appears to be on addressing Thailand’s score upon the so-called Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) put out by alleged nongovernmental organisation (NGO), Transparency International.

Despite describing itself as an NGO, Transparency International’s funding is dominated by the governments of the United States and the European Union.

More specifically, as listed on Transparency International’s own website, its funding comes specifically from the US State Department, the European Commission, the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and controversial Open Society, chaired by convicted financial criminal George Soros.

Such funding presents an alarming conflict of interest, considering that these are the same interests who, in Thailand and across the rest of ASEAN, have worked actively to overthrow governments and undermine local institutions, seeking to overwrite them with organisations and institutions promoted by and serving foreign interests via NED and Open Society specifically.

Transparency International Leverages CPI as a Geopolitical Weapon 

Thus, Thailand’s score on the CPI is more a result of politically-motivated interference in Thailand’s internal affairs than it is an honest appraisal of the nation’s corruption. Thailand’s low score and pressure placed upon it by the West to improve this score results not from genuine concern regarding corruption, but instead from the fact that the current government successfully ousted a regime sponsored by and working for Western special interests.

Attempting to “improve” Thailand’s score on a politically-motivated and thus illegitimate index is, to say the least, an exercise in futility.

Despite this glaring reality, there are some in the government who believe improving the nation’s standings on this index should still be a priority. They do so not because a better score will actually address corruption in Thailand in any meaningful manner, thus giving Thais greater confidence and trust in government institutions, but to instead impress foreign investors who a nation like Thailand should not be depending on to begin with.

It is an approach doomed to fail because it is an approach that fundamentally misdiagnoses the problem and thus prescribes the wrong solution.

Alternative Paths

In reality, corruption in Thailand cannot be defined or addressed by Transparency International’s politically-motivated, thus meaningless metrics. Instead, corruption in Thailand, if understood as unprofessionalism and impropriety among government institutions, hindering both the efficient administration of the nation as well as the government’s interaction with the people and local businesses, must be confronted by local interests for local interests.

The Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand (ACT) (website in Thai only), comprised of business leaders, local media and activists, seeks to confront corruption in Thailand not to improve the nation’s standings on a meaningless foreign-devised scale, but to improve the efficiency of government institutions to better facilitate their administration of the country, to make doing business easier and fairer as well as to improve faith and confidence across Thai society in the government institutions they depend on for the smooth functioning of society.

As ACT incrementally achieves these goals, it helps improve and strengthen Thailand, even if such efforts are not reflected on meaningless indexes like the CPI.

Their activities include exposing corruption using their ties to the media, holding events to raise public awareness regarding both their rights and how they are being violated by corruption and by working with the government to pass legislation to rein in corruption on various levels of society.

In the end, ACT is attempting to solve corruption for Thailand, with their “index score” determined by the improved efficiency of government institutions and the public’s trust in them.

ACT has so far proven itself impartial, calling out the previous government of Yingluck Shinawatra for its blatant and systemic corruption, as well as condemning impropriety and nepotism amid the current government. Unlike Transparency International and its CPI which only seeks to leverage “corruption perceptions” as a political weapon, ACT is fighting corruption for the sake of fighting corruption, because its membership is comprised of those directly affected by it, regardless of who heads the national government.

The current government should work (and is working) closely with groups like ACT to expose and rein in corruption toward very specific goals such as improving the efficiency of government institutions in the administration of their responsibilities and improving public trust in these institutions. Rather than citing the meaningless CPI devised by the politically-motivated Transparency International, Thailand should develop its own metrics for measuring both the level of corruption and gauge success in confronting it.
Thailand, and other developing nations, must also devise a means of communicating their progress in confronting corruption to the world in order to sidestep the “weaponisation” of indexes like Transparency International’s CPI.

By confronting corruption, nations strengthen themselves not only within by improving the efficiency with which resources are utilised toward the progress of their respective nations, they also strengthen themselves against foreign interests that would seek to exploit “corruption perceptions” and use it to seek leverage over them. In this sense, fighting corruption is not only good for business, it is essential for national security.

October 9, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia to launch own corruption index, to replace ‘biased’ Transparency International

RT | April 20, 2015

A Russian government institute has developed a complex program for evaluating the level of corruption, which its authors say is superior to the widely advertised, but very subjective Transparency International index.

The new method will be presented by the Institute of Law and Comparative Jurisprudence at the Eurasian Anti-Corruption Forum this week, the Izvestia daily reported on Monday. It is called the International Corruption Monitoring Program, or MONKOR.

The new index is based on criminal statistics, economic data, opinion polls and analysis of national legislation, one of its authors, Artyom Tsyrin, told reporters. This makes it different from the famous Corruption Perception Index, which is prepared annually by the international NGO Transparency International, he added.

“The Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International only evaluates psychological attitude of responders in polls. As a result, they are making conclusions on desirable institutional changes in the country purely on the basis of sociological studies. We try to find a correlation between actions and effects. It is important to move away from a subjective approach and towards objective research.

Our institute offers a universal tool allowing any willing nation to conduct an evaluation of its anti-corruption efforts and figure out whether the national anti-corruption policy is effective. MONKOR can compare the results in various countries that use its methods,” Tsyrin said.

Despite the fact that MONKOR’s author sees it as an alternative to Transparency International’s index, the latter is used in the Russian method as part of its fundamental data, along with the Word Bank’s country policy and institutional assessment (CPIA) for Corruption. Experts at the International anti-corruption academy and the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) group also participated in the research.

In Russia, the index uses data provided by the Supreme Court, the Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office. It will also include “corruption market” data provided by the Ministry of Economic Development.

The new index is being tested in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, and talks are being held with Belarus, Kazakhstan and some other nations, Tsyrin told reporters.

Russia’s position in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index has been gradually falling since the mid-1990s. In 2014, the country was placed 136th of 174, a list also including Iran, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan and Cameroon. The authors of the research emphasized that Russia’s anti-corruption effort was, in their view “chaotic and irresolute.”

Top Russian officials have repeatedly criticized the TI’s approach as biased and politicized. The head of the Presidential Administration, Sergey Ivanov, said that he was “extremely skeptical” about the 2014 index, adding “ratings can be drawn by anyone.” At the same time, Ivanov noted the authorities were closely following serious sociological agencies, including foreign and international organizations.

One such agency is Ernst&Young, which lowered corruption risks in Russia in 2014 and put it below average world levels.

April 20, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Worldwide corruption on the rise as public trust plummets – report

RT | July 10, 2013

A report by Transparency International has revealed the extent of worldwide corruption over the last two years, with Israel and Greece showing the highest levels among developed countries. Politicians are considered the most corrupt among all sectors.

The Global Corruption Barometer 2013, conducted by the Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog, is a sampling of over 114,000 opinions of people from 107 countries. The survey asked participants about corruption and the institutions engaged in it.

The report shows that corruption numbers have increased over the last two years, along with the number of people exhibiting distrust toward their governments and law enforcement agencies.

Before the 2008 financial meltdown, 32 per cent of people believed their governments to be effective at tackling corruption. That figure has now fallen to just 23 per cent. Transparency International said in a press release that the report “shows a crisis of trust in politics and real concern about the capacity of those institutions responsible for bringing criminals to justice.”

The survey asked participants to rank the corruption levels of various institutions from 1 to 5, with 1 being “not corrupt at all” and 5 being “extremely corrupt.”

Political parties were perceived to be the most corrupt institutions worldwide, scoring 3.8 out of 5. Police forces came in second place with a score of 3.7. Public officials, civil servants, and the parliament and judiciary came in third place, scoring 3.6.

The media came in ninth place, although it was voted to be the most corrupt sector in Britain. The UK media has lost the respect of many residents in recent years – around 69 per cent of survey participants now believe the media is corrupt, compared to just 39 per cent in 2010.

“This very sharp jump is in large part due to the series of scandals around phone hacking, the Leveson Inquiry, and the concentration of media ownership,” said Robert Barrington, head of the British wing of Transparency International.

Business and private sectors, along with the healthcare sector, came in at eighth on the corruption scale, with the education system not far behind. The military and NGOs took the 10th and 11th places.

Although religion came in last place on the corruption scale, it still ranked among the most corrupt in certain countries, including Israel, Japan, Sudan and South Sudan.

Of all OECD members surveyed, the corruption levels of Greece and Israel came in first and second place respectively, with their political and cultural institutions ranking at the top of the corruption meter.

Over 80 per cent of Israelis believe that one must have contacts very high up in the public sector in order to get anything done. Transparency International says it sees “deep-rooted failures of governance” in Israel. A similar figure was seen in Lebanon, Russia, and Ukraine.

Arab countries have seen a rise in corruption since their 2011 uprisings, although public anger against corrupt officials was what sparked the Arab Spring in the first place. The expectation of having cleaner, more transparent regimes did not match the countries’ political and business realities.

Of the four countries that experienced regime change in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen feel that corruption has only increased since 2011. While 64 per cent of Egyptians think corruption is on the rise, a staggering 80 per cent of Tunisians believe that to be the case within their country. Eighty-four per cent of Lebanese citizens believe corruption to be on the rise in within their nation, while only around half of Libyans believe that corruption is worsening.

Egypt leads the pack in anti-police sentiments, largely because police violence has injured so many people over the past year. The 80 per cent disapproval rating dropped to only 45 per cent when Egyptians were asked about the military, which just several days ago ousted former Islamist-backed president Mohamed Morsi.

To glean more analysis on the increasing slide into corruption and public distrust of political institutions, RT talked to Finn Heinrich, who is director of research at Transparency International in Berlin. He sees the world as split into two major trends. The first is petty corruption and bribery in the southern hemisphere – mostly Africa, where citizens feel there is no other way to take care of one’s day-to-day needs. The second is corruption on a more official level, which is witnessed in the northern and western parts of the world – mainly in business and politics governed by financial greed.

As a way out of the situation, Heinrich believes “you really need to be in it in a long-term. You can’t expect quick gains from the fight against corruption. So, I think what we see in many of those countries are the upheavals which you find in many countries, including many post-communist countries, after revolution where old systems are no longer intact and new systems are yet to be built. So, corruption is on the rise. We hope that the new leaders, compared to their predecessors, are really taking the challenge of setting up systems of transparency and accountability much more serious.”

Heinrich thinks that only an integral and comprehensive effort can last, and that effort must include both the government and its citizens.

Transparency International is the world’s foremost organization on fighting corruption. It has 90 chapters worldwide, which aim to raise awareness and establish methods of tackling corruption and measuring its harmful effects.

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Corruption | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment