Thursday, June 24, 2010

Democratic Stability in Iraq: The Chicago Way?

In addition to President Obama, other high-level White House staff comes from the rough and tumble world of Chicago and Illinois politics. Illinois has a long history of political corruption. Six governors have been charged with crimes, of which three served time in jail.

The affair of Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, is the latest case. He was indicted on corruption charges in April 2009, arrested along with his chief of staff in December 2009, and put on trial in June 2010.

Blagojevich was charged with attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by Obama for cash and jobs, mail fraud, attempting to bribe the Chicago Tribune with state funds, seeking campaign contributions prior to releasing $8 million of state funds to a children’s hospital, and seeking graft in the form of campaign contributions from companies or individuals that received state contracts or appointments.

Obama was exonerated from any involvement in the governor’s criminal activities. However, the details that are emerging from emails, other statements and documents suggest a shady affair. Blagojevich may be convicted or acquitted, but court proceedings will illustrate the latest example of Chicago way politics.

Could someone explain how the Chicago White House will provide an example for the establishment and persistence of democratic stability in Iraq between ethnic groups that have a long history of conflict and oppression?