Orban and the Odor of Olives

Hungary Offers Olive Branch to U.S.Wall Street Journal, 13 January 2015

That?s rather rich:

1. The US government denies entry to high Hungarian officials, including the head of the Hungarian IRS, a personal friend of the prime minister, Viktor Orban, for corruption (e.g., what amounts to demanding bribes from US companies for doing business in Hungary).

2. Orban (who calls all the shots in what he calls his ?illiberal state?), instead of honestly and transparently investigating the corruption charges, demands that the US goverrnment do the investigation and provide the evidence, accuses the US of trying to manipulate Hungary for US purposes, and publicly orders the head of the Hungarian IRS to sue the American embassy chargeƩ d?affaires (the US messenger) for defamation, or be fired from her job.

3. And now Orban extends an ?olive branch?: ?Let?s let bygones be bygones. Forget these corruption charges. Back to business as usual.?

There is something profoundly rotten going on in Hungary these days. Media control and other shenanigans have so far prevented the electorate from smelling it, for two terms, but by now the stench is becoming overwhelming internationally, and it?s even beginning to get through to the noses of the Hungarian citizenry, who have been demonstarting nonviolently in growing numbers for Orban?s ouster.

Orban, with his US ?olive branch? in one hand, has publicly floated threats to amend the lawshttp://openaccess.eprints.org/ of public assembly to put an end to this public unrest as part of a ?national defence plan? to protect Hungary from the foreign forces fomenting these expressions of dissatisfaction from his unruly citizenry.

Go figure.