Thatcher, Strauss-Kahn’s luxurious lives

This video from England is called Inside Luxury Travel – The Ritz Hotel London.

From weekly Socialist Worker in Britain:

Thatcher takes up residence at the Ritz

Margaret Thatcher has a new pad—the posh Ritz hotel. After hearing she is ill, the up to £4,500-a-night central London hotel invited her “to stay there for the foreseeable future”, says the Daily Mail.

It was always one of her favourite places, the newspaper adds—better even than her four-storey Belgravia home. “She is being pampered by all the staff,” a friend said. It’s good to see that in this time of austerity Thatcher is sharing our pain.

But Thatcher’s not the only one with a hotel hideaway. Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been spotted at a five-star resort in Mauritius. Rooms at the “totally indulgent tropical hideaway”, as the resort calls itself, cost up to £1,200 a night.

Strauss-Kahn, who was accused of raping a hotel cleaner in 2011, has nevertheless continued jetsetting around the world and staying in plush hotels. He was last spotted in Venice on a speedboat.

French Prosecutors Plan to Charge Strauss-Kahn With Pimping: here.

Strauss-Kahn financial scandal: here.

Will xenophobia spare Strauss-Kahn jail for rape?

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hotel workers protest as Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court

New York City union hotel workers protest as former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair leave Manhattan Criminal Court after Strauss-Kahn‘s arraignment hearing on sexual assault charges in New York.

From the New York Times in the USA:

Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as in Jeopardy


Published: June 30, 2011

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

“Sexual encounter”; what an euphemism for what was presumably rape.

Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

Well, if you are poor, as you cannot afford a New York City rich people’s house on a chambermaid wage, then you probably live in a “poor” neighborhood. A New York City neighborhood where some people do not see other ways of making money than drug deals etc. And if those people live, eg, next door to you, then you know them, and then there is a “possible link”. It is very twisted logic to infer from this that a poor African immigrant woman probably lied about being sexually attacked by one of the richest and most powerful men in the world.

George W. Bush lied about very many things, like those supposed Iraqi weapons of mass destruction which were a pretext for the Iraq war. Yet this does not mean we should doubt Bush’s veracity when he said that Dick Cheney would be his election running mate, as Cheney indeed turned out to be his running mate.

It seems that prejudices against women, against Africans, against immigrants, against working class people, play a role amongst New York authorities involved in the Strauss-Kahn rape case.

And now, the other issue mentioned by the New York Times. “The asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper”. Mr Strauss-Kahn, not being female, not being poor, not being African, could get easily into the USA.

For the Guinean chambermaid, things are different. Guinea is a bloody dictatorship; there is much sexual violence against women. Yet, xenophobia in the USA makes it difficult for Guineans to get political asylum.

So, she may have, technically, “lied”. Like some other refugees from poor countries, faced with rigid bureaucracy and rigid rules in rich countries, do.

Ms Ayaan Hirsi Magan (real name of “Ayaan Hirsi Ali”), when she applied for political asylum, and later for a Dutch passport, in the Netherlands, lied about her name, about her birth date, about her whereabouts before applying for asylum. Other women (and men) of Somali origin doing that would be harshly punished with deportation by the Dutch authorities.

However, Ms “Ali” was not punished, as her attacks on Islam were useful for the political right wing in its anti-immigrant witch-hunt.

The New York City Guinean chambermaid does not seem to be useful to the establishment, like Ms “Ali” is.

Don’t let xenophobia, racism, misogyny and anti-worker prejudice prevail over justice in the Strauss-Kahn case!

Portia Crow, Inter Press Service: “Despite questions about her credibility, the Sofitel maid who is accusing former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault is still a victim and should be treated as one, according to her attorney… He claimed that District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was trying to drop the case in order to save face, and stressed that the 32-year-old alleged victim still deserved justice”: here.

Violence Against Migrant Women Won’t End After DSK Case. Michelle Chen, Colorlines: “The narrative of the immigrant housekeeper allegedly assaulted by a European official perfectly illustrates an axiom of violence and power: the wider the gap between genders and races, the greater the latitude of injustice. Yet the same story plays out every day on an endless loop around the globe: a retaliatory rape against a young girl sends a warning to the enemy militia; a wife is pummeled into bloody silence, her bedroom beyond the purview of traditional local courts; a daughter is married off to pay down a farm debt. The stories weave into a pattern that a media-fatigued public has come to normalize”: here.

Nafissatou Diallo Interviews: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Speaks: here.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case: Hotel Maid‘s Lawyer Says Her Remarks Were Wrongfully Portrayed: here.

Nafissatou Diallo Sues Dominique Strauss-Kahn Over NYC Hotel Encounter (VIDEO) : here.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn allies allegedly offered £4m to silence ex-lover: here.

Arrests after Strauss-Kahn speech in UK. Police detain man and woman protesting against speech by French politician who quit as IMF chief over rape accusations: here.

Former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a French court yesterday he was unaware that female participants at hotel orgies in Paris and Washington were prostitutes. He and 13 co-defendants are on trial accused of aggravated pimping in connection with a sex ring centred on the Hotel Carlton in Lille: here.

IMF boss arrested

This Assioxated Press video from the USA says about itself:

A hearing has been delayed for IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who is accused of sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury hotel in New York. In a brief appearance before reporters, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer said he is innocent. (May 15).

International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested early Sunday morning on charges of criminal sex acts, attempted rape, and unlawful imprisonment: here.

International Monetary Fund chief and possible French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York today in connection with the violent sexual assault of a hotel maid: here.

Strauss-Kahn arrest: IMF chief may face new sex charge: here. and here.

The IMF Chief’s Rape Charge: Metaphor for the IMF’s Abuse of Power | By Matthew Rothschild: here.

Sinn Féin from Ireland on Twitter:

IMF preach austerity in Europe. Force people into poverty in Ireland, Greece & Portugal and Strauss-Kahn lives it up in €3000 a night hotel.

New York judge denies bail to IMF chief on sex assault charges: here.

IMF head held without bail on sexual assault charges: here.

Dominique Strauss Kahn: IMF Chief On Suicide Watch In New York Jail: here.

A majority of French people believe International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is “the victim of a plot,” according to an opinion poll released today: here.

Strauss-Kahn arrested, how about Bush (and Libya)?

This video from the USA is called John Conyers learns of Bush crimes on Democracy Now! Part 1.

Part 2 is here.

From Juan Cole in the USA:

Why was Strauss-Kahn Arrested but W. & Cheney went Free?

Posted on 05/15/2011 by Juan

What is it about the United States that makes for harsh prosecutions over sex crimes but lets leaders off the hook when it comes to war crimes? New York police rushed to arrest Dominique Strauss-Kahn , the head of the international Monetary Fund, on Saturday on learning of charges against him by a hotel maid of sexual assault. This quick action against a wealthy and powerful individual, seeking justice for a person at the bottom rung of the American social hierarchy, is praiseworthy. It affirms the principle that no one is above the law.

But the widows and orphans of Iraq cannot hope that the New York police would similarly frog-march George W. Bush off his first-class flight and arrest him for crimes against humanity.

Glenn Greenwald argues that the lessons of the Nuremberg trials have been forgotten and that Bush and other members of his administration should be tried for war crimes. His piece builds on earlier journalism on this subject, such as that of Jan Frel. Not only should Bush and his cronies be tried for launching an aggressive war, but many jurists want them tried for crimes against humanity such as torture, in which they have admitted engaging.

The US and other United Nations members are signatories to the United Nations Charter, which as a treaty has the force of law. Chapter 7 of the UN charter forbids war except under two conditions: 1) Self-defense or, 2) a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing war against a regime that is posing a threat to international order.

Juan Cole continues after this part of his blog post, with which I basically agree, and to which I added hyperlinks as usually on this blog, with another, wrong, part. He defends the NATO war against Libya. The difference between Bush’s Iraq war and the present Libya war, he says, is that the latter is based on a United Nations security council resolution.

That is one difference, but definitely not enough to see the Libya war as “humanitarian” instead of neo-colonial, which it is, basically like the Iraq war. The UN resolution was about a no-fly zone in Libya. A United States general, interviewed on television, said that NATO countries’ air forces basically achieved the no-fly zone within one day. Then, the NATO countries made the war escalate beyond its official no-fly zone intention into a war of “regime change”, and of changing the original Libyan anti-dictatorship, anti-privatisation rebellion into a puppet appendix of pro-privatisation, pro-Big Oil imperialism.

The NATO aircraft did not bother any more about pro-Gadaffi aircraft, but killed little girls, Muslim clerics, an apolitical son of Gadaffi along with children in his house, other civilians, and anti-Gadaffi fighters. Meanwhile, more and more NATO countries’ special forces “military advisers” (like in the beginning of the Vietnam war) mean more and more “boots on the groundescalation.

No mention of this by Juan Cole, transformed from anti-Iraq war liberal into cruise missile liberal.

Anti-war campaigners will protest outside Downing Street this [Monday] evening, calling for an end to the Nato bombardment of Libya: here.