Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Strauss-Kahn - Did you think you could get away with this? Seriously??

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York Court

So Mr. Strauss-Kahn's sins have at last caught up with him! Who would have thought that it would take a simple African immigrant maid to bring down the popular former French Minister of Finance and current IMF president? I do not this he can believe it himself. It is incomprehensible! An African chambermaid had him pulled off a taxing plane? Wow!

I do not want to come across as not giving the Mr. Kahn the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but his past record does not give him much room for this presumption. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is known to have been reprimanded by the IMF Board for unbecoming behavior towards his female staff and as of yesterday a 31-year old French writer says she too will file a criminal complaint against this "powerful" European for a similar alleged incident in 2002. Who knows how many other presumably "voice-less" women Mr. Strauss-Kahn has victimized in the many countries he has visited. If this incident actually took place it is clear that he thought he could get away with it as he has done previously. After all who would pay heed to a "simple African maid"? He is the IMF President, a figure to reckon with in the world of high-level economics and politics! 

Guinean Voters
The New York chambermaid who has made this sexual allegations against Mr. Strauss-Kahn is a citizen of Guinea - a former French colony in West Africa. Guinea - formally known as French Guinea - is also referred to a Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbor Guinea-Bissau.  Guinea recently gained a democracy after military rule since 2008 after a military coup. The country has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and is among the world's least developed countries. It is one of the 10 poorest countries and depends largely on an economy of agriculture and fishing. As per 2002 statistics, 40% of Guinea's population lives below the poverty line. This poor West African country is one of IMF's clients and in 2002 IMF suspended Guinea's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) because the government failed to meet key performance criteria.

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn before his fall
Considering these economic factors about Guinea I think it is safe to assume that the chambermaid came to the USA looking for a better life for her and her 7-year old daughter. It is admirable that the Sofitel New York, where the incident took place, are solidly backing the chambermaid who, the hotel says, has worked at the hotel for the last three years and has a "satisfactory record in terms of her work and behavior". Sofitel is a French-based chain of hotels. 

What is interesting to me is how quickly this incident was investigated within the hotel and a conclusion made within a few hours to pull Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the president of IMF, off a plane bound for France as it was taxing off. Within a few hours of reporting the alleged assault this West African maid had the police pulling a prominent and presumably powerful European politician off a plane. It makes me wonder how much clout this maid has at the hotel or does the hotel move this fast on these forms of allegations against their best clientele? This man was paying $3000 a night and when a simple African chambermaid made an allegation of sexual assault the hotel did not hesitate to pull all the ropes to get their client pulled off a taxing plane.  

My theory is that there may be more to this story than what we currently know. There could be an element of truth that this was a set up. After all, Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who recently declared his candidacy for Presidency in France, was favored by the polls as being the best placed Socialist candidate to beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in a run-off.  The French Presidential elections are in 2012. In the last few months it was becoming clear that this Presidential campaign was set to be a nasty in low politics and Mr. Strauss-Kahn has not been favorably portrayed by the French media.

I think there is more to this story than just the sexual allegation. Time will tell. Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be in court again on May 20th. I will patiently wait... the truth always comes out sooner or later.

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