Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




Total Pageviews

Monday, May 16, 2011

ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT, AND THEN SOME

I assume most of you have seen the news that the French head of the International Monetary Fund was arrested yesterday in New York City, as he was trying to fly back to Paris, accused of having sexually assaulted a young maid at the fancy mid-town hotel where he was staying. This has come as an atomic bomb blast here in Paris, because Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the 62 year old IMF Head, was also [at least until this news broke] the odds on favorite to win the nomination for President on the Socialist Party ticket and to defeat Sarkozy, after a long dispiriting string of electoral defeats for the Socialists. The details are these: A young 32 year old African woman, working as a maid at the Sofitel Hotel on 44th street, where Strauss-Kahn had a $3000 a night suite, knocked on the door, said "housekeeping," and entered to clean the room. Strauss-Kahn burst out of the bathroom stark naked and seized her, starting to tear her clothes off. He also locked the door of the suite [thereby making himself liable to a charge of "sequestration" in addition to charges of sexual aggression and attempted rape. After he had dragged her into the bathroom and forced her to "perform an act of oral sex," she broke free and fled. She immediately told her bosses, who called 911. The police appeared almost at once, but by then Strauss-Kahn had left, leaving behind, among other things, his mobile phone. [That, I should imagine, will count heavily against him.] By the time the police caught up with him, he had managed to get to JFK and had talked his way onto the first Air France flight heading for Europe, saying [correctly, as it happens] that he was scheduled the next day to meet with Angela Merkel in Germany.

I have just finished reading the lengthy minute by minute account of all of this in Liberation, the Socialist newspaper [while sitting in Le Metro cafe drinking a deca and eating a croissant au confiture -- bottom feeding the news is so much more fun in Paris.] Needless to say, all the Socialist Party bigwigs, including the other aspirants to the nomination, are stunned, and being very careful what they say. The two talking points [and it really does sound as though they have hastily coordinated their responses] are "he must be accorded the presumption of innocence" and "it does not sound like the Dominique Strauss-Kahn I have known for thirty years." His third wife said that she did not "believe for a second that the charges are true." Standing by your man is not, it appears, solely an American political custom.

In fact, it seems that it sounds very much like Strauss-Kahn, who has a long history of sexually predatory behavior, both in his official positions and as a Professor in Paris. There were the inevitable suggestions by a few that he had been the victim of a sting operation [thought why on earth the New York Police Department should care a fig for a French Socialist Party pol and IMF Chief I cannot imagine.] And of course it has also been suggested that this just shows how prudish Americans are. But that does not fly either. Had DSK been found in flagrente delicto with a consenting adult, no one in France would have cared, nor would the police in New York have taken notice. Indeed, Strauss-Kahn is well known to have had a number of affairs during his three marriages [Newt Gingrich, anyone?] But attempted rape and sequestration [which only fails to be kidnapping because no state lines were crossed] is quite another matter.

Strauss-Kahn was no dope to try to get back to France. The charges in New York State carry a potential twenty-five year jail sentence.

By the way, for TV fans, it is worth noting that at one point in the middle of the night the case was handed over to the Special Victims Unit of the NYPD. It seems there really is an SVU, not just on CSI: Special Victims Unit.

Speaking as a dedicated socialist, I am deeply depressed by this turn of events. We had a terrific chance to defeat Sarkozy and take back the Elysee Palace. Now, all bets are off.

2 comments:

Aristocles said...

I have not been following the DSK case closely, but at least one New York lawyer is skeptical of the whole thing, but yes, it makes for a sensational story.

http://blog.simplejustice.us/2011/05/17/war-declared-against-france.aspx

peter said...

The situation is very bad for the lady who has visited to france for her works.I think that there was no security for the guest in those hotels.The Govt. should provide necessary security to the guests in every cases so that there will be no problems to the local as well as foreigners.You can get the Legal Letters here to solve your problems here.