The American C: to Help Ukraine — like a drink to an alcoholic?

The American C: Помогать Украине — все равно что наливать виски алкоголику?

To rely on the assistance of foreign States in the fight against corruption is to expect that whiskey can help cure alcoholism. After closed hearings in the House of representatives within the procedure of impeachment was presented testimony on the role of the President of trump in the suspension of military assistance to Ukraine, the majority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (Chuck Schumer) said: “the Numbers don’t lie. Now it was even more obvious that the President trump is not the corruption fighter, what he himself calls”.

Most of the leading media, as a rule, are based on the premise that America plays a crucial role in combating corruption in Ukraine. However, they ignore the mass of evidence for toxic effects of foreign aid, as well as the peculiarities of post-Soviet Ukraine’s history.

In 2002 in the journal American Economic Review published the results of a study according to which “the increase in [foreign] aid is directly linked to rising levels of corruption” and “corruption is clearly associated with the assistance received from the United States.”

In that year, President George W. Bush initiated a new program to provide assistance to other States under the name “challenge of the Millennium” (the Millennium Challenge Account, MCA). Bush then said: “I think it makes no sense to provide assistance and money to corrupt countries.” However, the Bush administration has continued to give billions of dollars to many of the most corrupt regimes in the world. By 2004, the state Department codified what, in fact, been rolled back to the previous state: “the MCA is based on the incentives in addition to other U.S. assistance programs”. The Bush team found there to provide assistance under the program of MCA some of the most corrupt governments in the world, including Georgia.

In 2010, President Barack Obama said at the UN that America “is headed by the global attempts to eradicate corruption”. Obama’s aides “said that in the past it often seemed that the US was just trying to plug problems with money,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. However, the farce with the reform surfaced in the following year, when the Obama administration began to strongly resist the attempts of Congress to roll extremely wasteful aid programme. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton warned that restrictions on the provision of assistance to those countries that failed the integrity check, “potential to affect a staggering number of recipients that really need help.”

The Obama administration has continued to pour tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayers in such bottomless pits as Afghanistan, which, in 2016, acknowledged Afghan President Ashraf Gani (Ashraf Ghani), was one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And assistance received by the government of Afghanistan only aggravated the situation with corruption. As said John Sopko (John Sopko), the valiant inspector General of the United States on the reconstruction of Afghanistan, “we need to understand how policy and practices United States unwittingly contributed and encouraged corruption. We must recognize the danger of interaction with persons and networks have a bad reputation, the danger of ignoring the violations of the consent with the low scores and the implementation of unsustainable projects”.

Last week at a closed meeting in the framework of the impeachment process, members of the U.S. house of representatives heard testimony from the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine William Taylor (William B. Taylor), who stated that he “had the authority to participate in most of the US efforts to assist Ukraine in its struggle against the invasion of Russia and the fight against corruption”. The Washington Post praised Taylor for being “a big part of 1990-ies he explained Ukrainian politicians that nothing is more important to their prosperity in the long term than eradication of corruption and strengthening the rule of law, at the time he was in charge of the US assistance programme for the countries of the former Soviet Union.”

Organization Transparency International, which annually publishes a ranking of countries by corruption perceptions Index indicates that the level of corruption in Ukraine has increased dramatically in the late 1990-ies and is still obscenely high (though over the last few years there have been some changes for the better). Taylor was Ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, when the level of corruption dramatically increased, despite hundreds of millions of dollars of us aid. The level of corruption Ukraine now occupies the 120th place, behind Egypt and Pakistan, who also received generous assistance from the United States. In the fight against corruption Taylor plays the same role of what plays the owner of the “Washington Redskins” in the NFL.

To pay the politicians of foreign countries to push them to the honest management, is like giving away free condoms to promote abstinence. Instead of promoting good governance, foreign aid, likely to give rise to kleptocracy, or government of thieves. As noted by the authors of the Brookings institution, “in the history of American aid there are lots of examples of how corrupt foreign officials use foreign aid to line their own pockets, to strengthen his army and implement costly prestige projects”. American politicians and bureaucrats tend to keep programs for aid to other countries, regardless of how foreign modes spend the money, and how they use them to oppress their own citizens.

If US aid was really effective, the Ukraine has long become the Paradise of legality. Perhaps the new President of the country Vladimir Zelensky sincere in their attempts to root out corruption. However, in relation to him and his country just insulting to pretend that Ukraine is not able to police itself without the help of Donald trump. The best way to eradicate corruption in a foreign country — to put an end to foreign aid.

James Bovard (James Bovard)

Source: The American Conservative

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