Sunday, October 03, 2004

Instapundit is frothy over "Oil for Food..."


I always like to poke around the conservative side to see what tidbits they're stringing together... this link points to this Rupert Murdioch-owned Times of London piece.

The UN oil-for-food scheme was set up in 1995 to allow Iraq to sell controlled amounts of oil to raise money for humanitarian supplies. However, the leaked report reveals Saddam systematically abused the scheme, using it to buy “political influence” throughout the world.

The former Iraqi regime was in effect free to “allocate” oil to whom it wished. Dozens of private individuals were given oil at knockdown prices. They were able to nominate recognised traders to buy the cheap oil from the Iraqi state oil firm and sell it for a personal profit.

The report says oil was given to key countries: “The regime gave priority to Russia, China and France. This was because they were permanent members of, and hence had the ability to influence decisions made by, the UN Security Council. The regime . . . allocated ‘private oil’ to individuals or political parties that sympathised in some way with the regime.”

The report also details how the regime benefited by arranging illegal “kickbacks” from oil sales.

So, let's see, their "remedy" for this was going to "year zero" in Iraq, replacing Saddam Hussein with another guy who doesn't mind doing summary executions of people after another guy, who stole something like 5-10% of the wealth of neighboring Jordan, proved to be too much of a weasel, and buy outsourcing most of the Iraq business to anyone but Iraqis. Looks to me like it's another case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Oh, and did I mention Qualcomm?.

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