The Guardian May 16, 2001


Reward time for Bush's mates

Next time media reports launch a righteous attack against the some 
small-time little despot in charge of a tiny kingdom somewhere in the 
world, spare a thought for the great superpower, the "leader of the free 
world" (their words). George W Bush has come to power through a faulty 
counting system and through financial support from his friends and 
corporate heads.

Now it is pay-back time. What do you give to a person who already has 
everything? Why, you can give out diplomatic postings, of course. Never 
mind that there is an army of professional diplomats people who presumably 
know their jobs.

Stuart Bernstein, the head of Bernstein Companies is to be ambassador to 
Denmark.

Finland will be blessed with Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, the President of Pace 
Communications.

Bush has also nominated George Argyros, the head of Arnel and Affiliates to 
be ambassador to Spain and Charles Swindells, managing director of US Trust 
Company, as an envoy to New Zealand.

Australia gets Tom Schieffer, Mr Bush's friend and benefactor. He was the 
man behind the huge profits Mr Bush had made from his part-ownership of the 
Texas Rangers baseball team.

In recent years, American Presidents have awarded about a third of the 160 
ambassadorships on offer to friends and election campaign contributors.

All the nominations are subject to the approval of the US Senate, but there 
again, money always seems to talk louder than anybody else.

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