Friday, October 15, 2004

Update on Oil for Food

The press is finally beginning to pay more attention to the scandal, at least on the edges. The Fort Wayne News Sentinel has an opinion piece that sheds some perspective on the scam.

.(KRT) - John Kerry has been so busy on the campaign trail spouting "wrong war,
wrong place, wrong time" and trying to woo voters with how he's going to "build
alliances" to make Iraq all better that he probably hasn't had time to review
the tape of fascinating and frustrating testimony that took place in Washington
three days before the second presidential debate

And from the Moscow Times comes a very scathing take on Russias past and future roll in the UN and the world as a result of its part in the fiasco.

By helping undermine the UN sanctions against Iraq, Russia has weakened the
credibility of the UN itself. Why should anyone listen to Moscow the next time
it says, "Let's take this to the UN"?
Perhaps no one should be surprised at
accusations that Russian officials were profiting from shady schemes. But the
apparent hypocrisy is impressive. According to the report, the Foreign Ministry
itself was receiving oil vouchers from Hussein.

Britains Telegraph chimes in with more...

The real scandal contained in the long-awaited report of the Iraq Survey Group
(ISG) that was published last week concerns the fecklessness of the United
Nations, not to mention the treacherous conduct of some of its security council
members, in its dealings with Saddam's regime between the end of the 1991 Gulf
war and last year's Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In the diplomatic build-up to
last year's war to remove Saddam Hussein from power, the two most vociferous
opponents of military action were Russia and France. Even though Presidents
Putin and Chirac reluctantly signed up to UN Security Council resolution 1441 in
November 2002 - which threatened Saddam with "serious consequences" if he did
not fully comply - they were at the forefront of the international campaign to
block military action.
At the time it was felt that their main motivation was
to protect their lucrative trade ties with Baghdad. In late 2002, Saddam still
owed the Russians some $10 billion, mainly for illegal arms deals. France came
next in the trade rankings.

And so, it seems, the word is getting out more and may lead to a significant call for reform in this less than esteemed world body. It does show the folly of Kerry and his "allies" in dealing with the worlds problems. More in this previous post.