Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Braeckman on the New Book about Kouchner [Updated]

Memo to Self: There's no such thing as too much cynicism. Colette Braeckman reports that Bernard Kouchner, glamorous hero to the left, founder of Medecins sans frontieres, pal to the stars, and oh, by the way, foreign minister of France, pocketed 4.6 million euros between 2002 and 2007 from Gabon's president Omar Bongo and the Congo's Denis Sassou Nguesso. And what did he do to earn these vast sums? Provided the two gentlemen with "advice" on improving their countries' health care systems.

That the two presidents are so concerned about their countrymen's well-being will come as welcome news to their people, who, uncooperatively, rank 188th and 189th in the world life expectancy. The news will also serve as a stern rebuke to those nabobs of negativity, like the French police, who are investigating the two presidents for embezzling hundreds of millions of dollars to buy lavish French mansions, tailored suits, and sprees at the Waldorf that make the young Mick Jagger seem like a model of restrained asceticism.

Hey--I have some advice for the two presidents: Stop stealing all the money!

That'll be 4.6 million euros, please.

Update: Here's a link for an account, in English, of the kerfuffle. I see Kouchner is due to meet with Clinton later this week. Perhaps they can compare notes on how to squeeze the most out of their African dictator friends.

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