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UNSCAM: Oil for Money
April 19, 2004 11:48 PM   Subscribe

UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation into the matter.
posted by MrAnonymous (93 comments total)

 
You can find more information on this in a few different places.
posted by MrAnonymous at 11:49 PM on April 19, 2004


No, Russia isn't trying to hold up the investigation.
posted by raysmj at 12:22 AM on April 20, 2004


why would his behavior be surprising? considering who he might have gotten the idea from in the first place, he seems to have acted like a chip off the old block. and not to belittle Hussein's manipulation of Oil for Food . . . but i think the US might be sitting on top of the public financial scandal to top all public financial scandals - not iraq.
posted by nyoki at 1:28 AM on April 20, 2004


The National Review isn't exactly the most unbiased of sources. I doubt they have much love for the UN.

Still, I'll be paying close attention to the story as it breaks. It was, as I understand, fairly common knowledge that Saddam was abusing the oil for food program, and I'd not be surprised to learn that he had help in doing it.

But to suggest that the UN, as a body, actively participated in taking kickbacks, etc. is a bit far-fetched. At least I hope it is . . .
posted by aladfar at 9:04 AM on April 20, 2004


There was a document floating around the net this past summer/fall. It was found by the US military and listed people whom Saddam was giving oil kick backs to. Recall it naming people all over the world. Iirc correctly it named a person in the UN body but not the UN itself.
posted by thomcatspike at 9:31 AM on April 20, 2004


"Oil for terror" - sounds like unbiased reporting to me... perhaps MrAnonymous could remind us of some of the international terrorism Iraq was proven to be involved with since the 1st gulf war?

fyi - you might aslo want to check cheney's push for relaxation of restriction on us companies doing business with iraq prior to 9-11 as well.
posted by specialk420 at 9:59 AM on April 20, 2004


If there was an overriding failure in Iraq, it was in the leniency ultimately shown by the Secretariat and the Security Council in day-to-day relations with Baghdad. U.N. officials were based in Iraq only with the agreement of the government, as if they were diplomats. Iraq was free to decide how much oil to pump and what to buy with the proceeds, though the money was in escrow under U.N. control. The head of one major agency working in Iraq told me that it was clear the Iraqis did not want real development aid.
Oil-For-Food: Where Was the Security Council?

Office of the Iraq Programme: Oil-for-Food

Iraq - estimated cost of food imports for one year (1996)

funny how people who seldom (if ever) complain about the shame of, say, Ken Lay still being free as a bird or don't see a "credibility problem" staining the work of an administration that peddled the lamest trumped-up evidence in order to strike Iraq preemptively, funny how these people are now so quick on the trigger of the oil-for-food thing.
heh.
of course if the allegations are true, we need to dismantle the UN.
just like, you know, the USA were dismantled after Watergate proved Nixon to be utterly corrupt.

the more reasonable among us understand that if people actually profited from oil-for-food they need to be punished harshly -- they need to be removed and tried. (this includes possibily negligent or dishonest Security Council members, since they had to oversee the program, btw the largest humanitarian program in UN history)
it's also safe to compare this need for justice to the need to punish harshly Halliburton, Bechtel and others if they are actually overcharging the US govt for the reconstruction of the place they pushed to hard to destroy in the first place.

by the way, since we're discussing Iraq, an interesting footnote:

U.S. deaths from enemy fire at highest level since Vietnam


The last time U.S. troops experienced a two-week loss such as this one in Iraq was October 1971, two years before U.S. ground involvement ended in Vietnam.
There are 135,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Nearly 700 American troops have died since the beginning of the war. As of Friday, 493 had been killed by hostile fire.
The Vietnam War started with a slower death rate. The United States had been involved in Vietnam for six years before total fatalities surpassed 500 in 1965, the year President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a massive buildup of forces. There were 20,000 troops in Vietnam by the end of 1964. There were more than 200,000 a year later.
By the end of 1966, U.S. combat deaths in Vietnam had reached 3,910. By 1968, the peak of U.S. involvement, there were more than 500,000 troops in the country. During the same two-week period of April that year, 752 U.S. soldiers died, according to a search of records kept by the National Archives.
U.S. officials say that comparisons with Vietnam are invalid and reject the idea that Iraq has become a quagmire.
But the two-front battle that U.S. troops have been waging against Sunni and Shiite insurgents for the past two weeks is the most widespread resistance U.S. forces have faced since the war in Iraq began.
Senior U.S. officials insist the current fighting is only a "spike" and not indicative of a widening war.

posted by matteo at 10:43 AM on April 20, 2004


raysmj, thanks for pointing that out. Glad to see Russia is backing down. But we'll still have to wait and see what happens when it comes to the Security Council.

I'll admit that National Review is a conservative rant mag, but this was the most extensive article I could find on the topic, mostly because it is a conservative rant mag.

thomcatspike, I think that serves as part of the basis for this scandal.
posted by MrAnonymous at 12:46 PM on April 20, 2004


funny how people who seldom (if ever) complain about the shame of, say, Ken Lay still being free as a bird or don't see a "credibility problem" staining the work of an administration that peddled the lamest trumped-up evidence in order to strike Iraq preemptively, funny how these people are now so quick on the trigger of the oil-for-food thing.

Yes ... and its equally funny how the people that periodically (if not daily) complain about the administration - perpetually alleging that it is not credible because it didn't do things with UN approval, and isn't turning over the rebuilding to the UN - funny how when the UN itself may well have a serious credibility problem, and actually be guilty of everything the US is accused of ... they are so quick to frantically distance themselves from the whole issue.

You find it funny that those who don't worry about "credibility" with Ken Lay or Bush care about it with the UN? How about the people that have been perpetually preaching on the credibility issue when it comes to Bush - and suddenly apparently think that credibility doesn't matter when it comes to anyone else? Ain't that equally funny?

Also interesting how most of the comments in this thread attempt to shift focus to anything but the actual issue at hand. I can see why - since the biggest complaint about the US going into Iraq was that it didn't have the "approval" of the virtuous UN, this is a potentially devastating scandel ... because if it turns out that two of the five permanent member nations on the SC, as well as UN bureaucrats, were actually getting kickbacks from Saddam - we suddenly wind up with a situation in which the UN was actually supporting a dictator that tortured his people - and going out of its way to prevent his removal and maintain the status quo (all the while lecturing the US from its high moral ground) - for motives as low and crass as it accuses the US of having.

If this is true - shouldn't it be widely discussed, and publicly investigated? Especially because the UN is still being used as an excuse to blast the US? Is this the UN who's blessing that Spain and others should demand before they commit troops? This is the UN that should take over the difficult work of helping to rebuild Iraq as a democratic nation?

What Bush did do is remove one of the worst dictators on earth. If it turns out that the UN, and a couple of member nations that fought his removal did so because Saddam successfully bribed them ... well, it kinda changes the bigger picture.

It is, however, fun to watch a MeFi FPP that brings up the issue ... turn into a thread that largely ignores the issue, and serves as nothing but the Bush=Evil thread du jour.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:58 PM on April 20, 2004


MrAnonymous, when seeing the link, wish I had booked marked the document. The link was highly ranked on the net that day and thought a member here would post it.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:32 PM on April 20, 2004


MidasMulligan: Very good point. Imagine if Dick Cheney had received kickbacks from Saddam. He would be out of office and Kerry would win in a landslide, and we conservatives would never hear the end of it. But since it was the UN, France, and Russia...let's just ignore it.
posted by MrAnonymous at 2:37 PM on April 20, 2004


"Oil for terror" - sounds like unbiased reporting to me... perhaps MrAnonymous could remind us of some of the international terrorism Iraq was proven to be involved with since the 1st gulf war?

specialk420, read more than the headline and Mr. Anonymous won't have to answer your uninformed question.

and matteo, that's quite a spin job. First Fabrizio Quattrocchi shows us how an Italian dies, then matteo shows us how an Italian lies. You do your heritage a disservice with every word.
posted by David Dark at 2:42 PM on April 20, 2004


First Fabrizio Quattrocchi shows us how an Italian dies, then matteo shows us how an Italian lies. You do your heritage a disservice with every word.

That is an incredibly low ad hominem attack.
posted by srboisvert at 2:51 PM on April 20, 2004


And a David Dark trademark.
posted by y2karl at 3:34 PM on April 20, 2004


Gee: only 15 posts on this subject in hours; no previous post on the scandal, now at least four months underway....

This is surprising? The core Metafilter demographic overlaps significantly with the love-the-UN, have George Bush crowd. And after WMDS (which the same pathetic demographic insists never existed, be they still in Iraq, or now in Syria or Lebanon), this is the biggest reason to have invaded Iraq on the terms we did. It's also one of the biggest reasons to side with President Bush in November.

In fact, this scandal is a reason to ditch the UN; let it be defunded, and start a new organization.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:53 PM on April 20, 2004


or, "the core metafilter demographic" knows that no organization is perfect. but the UN, while flawed, still beats the bush administration.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:25 PM on April 20, 2004


Well gee, Midas, we done already been through this shitty little partisan charade of yours once before, haven't we. For some strange reason, you never replied to:

I, Mr. Mutilate, brilliant international commie, do hereby solemnly declare that the United Nation's Food for Oil program should be fully investigated. Public criticism should be loud and aggressive, including here on MetaFilter (since the brilliant international fiancier is so concerned about the Food For Oil program, maybe the brilliant international financier could have made a front page post about it, instead of posting something as bland and silly as a corporate press release....). If the Food For Oil program is found to be fraudulent in design or execution, it should be modified or discontinued. Those convicted of wrongdoing should be removed from office and/or prosecuted.

So now, brilliant international financier, let's hear your call right here in this thread for loud and aggressive investigation and criticism (including here on MetaFilter) of Our Government. Let's hear your clamor for hot white light shining into the orifices that are PlameGate, 9/11Gate, AWOLGate, MedicareGate, ChalabiGate, EnronGate, EnergyTaskForceGate, NigerGate, NoChildLeftBehindGate, TexasPublicRecordsGate, HalliburtonGate, RepubsStealDemComputerFilesGate, etc etc. 'Cause, strangely enough, we sure as hell ain't heard that from you and the rest of the right.

Strangely enough we sure as hell ain't heard anything from you folks countenancing criticism on problems in our own country. Strangely enough, all we hear from you folks is the sound of your lips puckering up to Bush's ass and the Holy Orifice of More Money.

Wonder why that is?

We'll expect you to change your ways and hear your loud call right here in this thread, and from here on out.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:04 PM PST on April 2


Like I said...we still ain't heard too much from the right about a nice bright light on those little scandals dogging AWOL and the greedheads. Strange, ain't it?

Lots of folks are calling for full investigation into any misdeeds in the U.N. program. You let us know when we can expect the lots of conservatives to finally step up to the plate and insist on a full accounting from their toadie in the White House, ok?

We won't hold our breaths.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:40 PM on April 20, 2004


And the "core metafilter demographic" is just as lenient with the Bush Administration as they are with the UN, of course.
posted by MrAnonymous at 4:41 PM on April 20, 2004


You do your heritage a disservice with every word.

I can't think of anything more cowardly or despicable or frankly stupid than bringing someone's nationality or race or "heritage" into a debate.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:43 PM on April 20, 2004


This story doesn't even show up on Newsmap, which means it's not even a blip on Google News' radar, which means it's not a prominent story, which means it's not of wide interest yet, which might be one reason it hasn't been discussed on Metafilter before now.

Oh, that and the lockstep hive mind that keeps us dirty liberals from questioning the UN, which we never do, ever since we all agreed to have the same opinion on everything.

Lastly, where do you get off saying it's Metafilter's fault for not posting this story yet? You are Metafilter, and you don't need anybody's approval to post stories if they are worth discussing. ParisParamus, if the "scandal" is four months underway, you should have posted about it four months ago, huh? Probably easier to just bitch about a conspiracy of silence instead.
posted by Hildago at 5:29 PM on April 20, 2004


We won't hold our breaths.

Way to further avoid the issue at hand. Just flat out don't want to talk about it, do ya. If that pile of bile you just quoted is what passes for some sort of actual question I'm supposed to answer - well its hard to figure out what that question is. It looked to me to be little other than a long list of allegations made by extremely left-wing folks with the sole intention of trying demean the right. (Guess what - adding "gate" to something is longer very clever).

The UN scandel, however, is not a "gate" made up by the right (though its interesting that a few right-wing publications are the only ones even reporting on it - it is being almost universally ignored by the "mainstream media" that most of the folks here claim is not biased to the left). It grew out of documents originally discovered in Iraq - and was actually first broached by Iraqis themselves ... who were not at all happy to realize that Saddam was being supported by western nations, and the UN, because in some cases he was flat out giving them money.

So go ahead. spend your time trying to find past posts I didn't "respond" to. Try to change the subject of this thread with every rhetorical trick you can think of ... I'll make certain your efforts are seen for exactly what they are: Avoidance of an issue that may potentially completely expose the real motives behind the UN (and France and Russia's) claim that the US was exchanging "blood for oil".

The fact is that the US is spending large amounts of money trying to create a democratic Iraq (and the US is making no "oil money" - we are finacially worse off ... but ultimately the Iraqi people will be better off) while France, and the UN may have been fighting against the democratization of Iraq, and to keep a brutal dictator in power, to get oil money from Saddam. "No blood for oil" indeed.

I understand why you'll want to change the subject - but this thing isn't going away. I realize the thought that the US may have spent a lot - in both money and lives - to depose a dictator, while France and the UN may have been reaping financial gains from keeping that dictator in power makes the moral high ground you're used to standing on to condemn Bush kinda shakey (to say the least) ... and may seriously call into question things like Kerry's assertion that the situation should be turned over to the UN (really? turning over the transition to a democracy should be placed in the hands of those who most strongly argued against removing Saddam in the first place?).

This is a VERY entertaining thread to read.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:35 PM on April 20, 2004


Lots of folks are calling for full investigation into any misdeeds in the U.N. program. You let us know when we can expect the lots of conservatives to finally step up to the plate and insist on a full accounting from their toadie in the White House, ok?

ok, lets play U.N. and just go and steal the oil.
posted by clavdivs at 5:37 PM on April 20, 2004


Lastly, where do you get off saying it's Metafilter's fault for not posting this story yet? You are Metafilter, and you don't need anybody's approval to post stories if they are worth discussing. ParisParamus, if the "scandal" is four months underway, you should have posted about it four months ago, huh? Probably easier to just bitch about a conspiracy of silence instead.

I've been reading about this for awhile. And have actually brought it up in a few comments within other posts. The thing is, I (and at least a couple of the other token conservatives I know on MeFi) are constrained by the ridiculous notion that we are guests in Matt's house. for a good deal of time now, he has posted a request about "Iraq" posts ... its the one liberals ignore daily when they post the Bush=Evil post du jour about Iraq.

While every now and then it seems worth it to participate with a couple of comments within one of the Iraq posts, I (and several other conservatives) have never, and will never, initiate an FPP about Iraq. Because our host - in whose house we are guests - has asked us not to. To me, that MATTERS.
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:48 PM on April 20, 2004


Hildago: I'm not sure that anyone thinks there is a conspiracy. I just thought there would be those conservatives more motivated than myself to post this story. I've been reading about it for a few days before I ever bothered to post it. Besides, I'm more of a sporadic MeFi reader.
posted by MrAnonymous at 6:45 PM on April 20, 2004


Gee: only 15 posts on this subject in hours; no previous post on the scandal, now at least four months underway....

Related post.
posted by y2karl at 6:56 PM on April 20, 2004


I can't think of anything more cowardly or despicable or frankly stupid than bringing someone's nationality or race or "heritage" into a debate.

If you're implying that matteo's contribution to this thread was an attempt at honest "debate" of this thread's subject matter, you've got more serious problems than trying to think of anything more cowardly or despicable or frankly stupid than bringing someone's politics into the discussion. What's that?

Pay attention. Questioning a person's political leanings is an ad hominem attack, which makes your comment extremely funny coming from a guy who can't form a rational thought without tying it to an ad hominem on his right-wing opposition. I can't remember the last time I read a fold_and_mutilate comment that didn't attack a user based solely on his non-leftist-views. Right Wing Apologists. The Rabid Right. The American Taliban. Why is someone's nationality, race, or heritage any less important in a "debate" than their politics? A point is a point is a point, unless, of course, it's. . . how did you put it?

A shitty little partisan charade.

Hypocrite. Like that's anything new.

Now, would anyone like to discuss the U.N.'s corrupt enabling of brutal dictatorships to line their own pockets without attempting to change the subject to Vietnam?
posted by David Dark at 6:59 PM on April 20, 2004


read more than the headline and Mr. Anonymous won't have to answer your uninformed question.

david dark - perhaps you could hold mr. anonymous's hand and fill us in on the "terrorism" that has actually been pinned on the iraqi's since the gulf war, then while you are at it - perhaps you can prepare a list of the terrorist incidents funded by the saudi's (bush's buddies) and vis a vis the united states and our dependence their oil?
posted by specialk420 at 7:02 PM on April 20, 2004


and then take a f*ckin' chill pill.
posted by specialk420 at 7:03 PM on April 20, 2004


Now, would anyone like to discuss the U.N.'s corrupt enabling of brutal dictatorships to line their own pockets without attempting to change the subject to Vietnam?
Sure, we can discuss it along with our government's continuing corrupt enabling of brutal dictatorships.

The UN is made up of people representing governments--no one here says they're perfect. It's also funny that the UN was ok and a big help in the first Gulf War, but not now. And that the first Bush was actually our UN Ambassador...have people forgotten that?
posted by amberglow at 7:11 PM on April 20, 2004


We're working closely with the United Nations envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, and with Iraqis to determine the exact form of the government that will receive sovereignty on June 30th. The United Nations election assistance team, headed by Karina Parelli (phonetic), is in Iraq, developing plans for next January's election.

George W. Bush
posted by y2karl at 7:29 PM on April 20, 2004


The UN is made up of people representing governments--no one here says they're perfect

So - er, a response to the virtually daily anti-Bush diatribes on MeFi that said:

"The Bush administration is made up of people representing consituents, and no one here says they're perfect. It's also funny that the Clinton Administration - and the UN - both thought Saddam had WMD, but suddenly when Bush says it, it is a big lie ... have people forgotten that?"

... that would be fine? An adequate response that is all that is required to dismiss the issue? Again, nice try at changing the topic into one of the daily anti-Bush diatribes ... but the topic of the post is corruption in the UN. And the specific allegations have to do with money-laundering and payoffs to people and companies in some of the countries that came out against deposing Saddam, some UN bureaucrats (including senior level people), and individuals and firms associated with both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

This is the ultimate leftist nightmare ... the notion that the same UN that the US is supposed to go to for "approval" was turning a blind eye to Saddam's money-laundering, accepting kickbacks - and, on top of that - a link between al Qaeda and Saddam may be discovered in the oil-for-food program itself.

Again, it is easy to see why serious effort will be expended to try to change the subject to Bush=Evil ... and you probably can be (partially) successful at avoiding the topic on MeFi ... the this issue is a global powderkeg, and at this point even Kofi knows he isn't going to be able to avoid it.
posted by MidasMulligan at 7:53 PM on April 20, 2004


They thought he had WMD, but did not invade and occupy, Midas--Gigantic difference, no? And they didn't leave unfinished business in Afghanistan to do it.
posted by amberglow at 8:04 PM on April 20, 2004


Speaking of Corruption: Spoils of War

The spoils of war add up to more than capturing expansive palaces and luxury cars. As Marketplace reporters have discovered, not all of the $22 billion being spent to rebuild Iraq is going where it should. Who's watching the money as it streams through Baghdad? Just about no one, and bribes and black marketeering are rampant, witnesses say. A leading anti-corruption group claims as much as 90 percent of U.S. money spent in Iraq is being lost to corruption. From Halliburton subsidiaries charging double for gas, Iraqi officials and Arabic translators unrestrained from pocketing millions of dollars, or even members of the interim governing Council accusing each other of taking tens of millions in bribes. Trouble is, the root of the problem can't be found anywhere near the Green Zone. Try the White House, and Capitol Hill, where oversight of Iraqi construction crews and U.S. contractors like Halliburton has only just begun to be assigned… more than a year after the war began.
posted by y2karl at 8:06 PM on April 20, 2004


This is the ultimate leftist nightmare ... the notion that the same UN that the US is supposed to go to for "approval" was turning a blind eye to Saddam's money-laundering, accepting kickbacks

...because the UN is a monolithic organisation that thinks with one mind, and acts with one hand.

- and, on top of that - a link between al Qaeda and Saddam may be discovered in the oil-for-food program itself.

Wanking in public is unbecoming.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 8:09 PM on April 20, 2004


the question i have to those of us who lean toward the right - why in the f*#k did bush appoint Negroponte? are they pressing a comparison to iran/contra? on top of vietnam? and watergate? and every single one of the other scandals plaguing the bush administration?

and i'm being quite serious here? why appoint someone with such a tainted history to such a sensitive and volatile situation? it seems similar in metaphor to what chris rock was saying about rap - as in republicans like bush, but it's getting dammmnnnn hard to defend.
posted by nyoki at 8:54 PM on April 20, 2004


This investigation could prove to be very interesting since Cheney was head of Halliburton when they were signing contracts with Sadaam as part of the oil-for-food program right up until 2000. Be careful what you wish for. Will they open the books on those deals to see who got paid what? And while they're at it they might take a look at Cheney's business with those other axes of evil, Iran and Libya.

I guess dealing with "terrorists" is okay as long as there is a buck to be made.
posted by JackFlash at 11:27 PM on April 20, 2004


While every now and then it seems worth it to participate with a couple of comments within one of the Iraq posts, I (and several other conservatives) have never, and will never, initiate an FPP about Iraq. Because our host - in whose house we are guests - has asked us not to. To me, that MATTERS.

Well, in point of fact you have made posts about Iraq, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume they were before Matt said he'd rather not see them.

Still, you can't expect me to believe that there are no conservatively-slanted Iraq-related front page posts? If I went and searched out an example, you'd probably say that it was posted by someone who wasn't one of the people who were respecting Matt's wishes. Ok, sure.

But what it would prove is that there are conservatives making slanted posts about Iraq, and that brings us back to where we started -- there are conservatives posting, they just didn't post this story. So why is that proof of the Metafilter Liberal Bias, and not proof that a) there are lazy conservatives on metafilter, or b) that this is recognizable as a non-story by everyone until now?
posted by Hildago at 11:30 PM on April 20, 2004


For the record, my surprise that this hadn't been posted before...I don't think it has to do with any liberal bias. Maybe it's the media's liberal bias for not giving this story any coverage. Eh...whatever.
posted by MrAnonymous at 11:40 PM on April 20, 2004


Amberglow: I pity you, and your deluded view of the world. The UN is a disgusting, corrupt organization that gives a patina of legitimacy to many who should actually be deposed, in prison, or executed; is it any wonder that the same organization which has targeted Israel for de-legimization, and can't even get Haiiti under control would be found to have created what is, by most definitions, the largest corruption racket in world history? How pathetic of you and others on Mefi to somehow defend the UN, or try to change the subject. How do you sleep at night? How disgusting. How French.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:19 AM on April 21, 2004


Paris: likewise, hon. There are many disgusting, corrupt organizations in the world--Neo-Nazis, Fred Phelps and his crew, the Klan, etc. The UN is not one of them, and if it does not have the power or make the decisions it should, then it's all the more reason why we should be more involved and give them more resources, to help it make better ones, instead of trashing it.

Iraq is just the most recent example of why unilateralism does not work. We've never won a war or successfully occupied anywhere by ourselves. If our army, after taking out Saddam, had been replaced by Blue Helmets, the horrific shit that's happening every day in Iraq wouldn't be happening.
posted by amberglow at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2004


specialk420, it's a new day, have you calmed down yet?

and then take a f*ckin' chill pill.

I thought you might have a heart attack there for a minute.

perhaps you could hold mr. anonymous's hand and fill us in on the "terrorism" that has actually been pinned on the iraqi's since the gulf war, then while you are at it - perhaps you can prepare a list of the terrorist incidents funded by the saudi's (bush's buddies) and vis a vis the united states and our dependence their oil?

This is not about the Iraqis, this is about Saddam Hussein. You know, the brutal dictator whom France and Russia and Kofi Annan made secret deals with while stonewalling the U.S. and Britain's plans to enforce certain U.N. resolutions since said enforcement would cost them billions of dollars in illegal profits?

Saddam Hussein's links to terror:

There are at least two links documented already. Both involve oil buyers picked by Saddam and approved by the U.N. One was a firm with close ties to a Liechtenstein trust that has since been designated by the U.N. itself as "belonging to or affiliated with Al Qaeda." The other was a Swiss-registered subsidiary of a Saudi oil firm that had close dealings with the Taliban during Osama bin Laden's 1990's heyday in Afghanistan.

I can't find any terror operations that were funded by the Saudi government. Perhaps you can. But here's a list of terror operations that were thwarted by the Saudi government.

Kingdom Arrests Eight Terror Suspects
Saudis arrest bomb suspect
Saudis Arrest Terror Suspect Amid High Security
Saudis arrest more suspected militants

That's just page 1 from google.

Now, in good faith, why don't you do me a favor and make a list of all the terror operations thwarted by Saddam Hussein's regime? Good luck.

If our army, after taking out Saddam, had been replaced by Blue Helmets, the horrific shit that's happening every day in Iraq wouldn't be happening.

This is a crap argument, unprovable and irrefutable. But it's the very same argument that was popping up last week, claiming that the Brits in the South weren't falling prey to attacks from insurgents because they understood the Iraqis better than their American counterparts in Fallujah. And now this in Basra.
posted by David Dark at 10:35 AM on April 21, 2004


Kingdom Arrests Eight Terror Suspects
posted by David Dark at 10:38 AM on April 21, 2004


This is a crap argument, unprovable and irrefutable.
Really? Let's talk Bosnia. Let's talk all the current UN Peacekeeping operations, and the levels of hostility and violence they encounter or engender. I think it's safe to say what i said.
posted by amberglow at 10:51 AM on April 21, 2004


Let's talk all the current UN Peacekeeping operations, and the levels of hostility and violence they encounter or engender.

That would be no hostility and no violence, because they don't go anywhere until the situation is stable. U.N. troops are incompetent, undertrained, and ill-equipped to handle volatile situations. As soon as an area becomes unstable, they cut and run. Which means that if the U.N. had taken over Iraq, the country would already be in the midst of the civil-war bloodbath everyone is hoping to avoid.
posted by David Dark at 11:27 AM on April 21, 2004


If our army, after taking out Saddam, had been replaced by Blue Helmets, the horrific shit that's happening every day in Iraq wouldn't be happening.

Hahahahaha!! No wait. I'm not done yet. Hahahahaha!

That is so totally absurd! You really think the UN could handle all these insurgents better than a bunch of Marines? Are you serious? These attacks on our troops would be happening even if it was the UN. You think these people have more respect for UN troops than US troops? Come on! You are joking, right? Please say yes.
posted by MrAnonymous at 11:36 AM on April 21, 2004


Key Oversight Body In Iraq Needs More TIme To Review Coalition Spending, New Report Finds

The monitoring group in charge of overseeing Iraq's oil revenues has less than three months to account for billions of Iraqi funds spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority, said a report by the Open Society Institute's Iraq Revenue Watch project. The report, Racing the Deadline: The Rush to Account for Iraq's Public Funds, warns that the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) cannot provide accurate accounting for this money unless it is able to work beyond June 30th, when the Coalition Provisional Authority is scheduled to hand over power to an Iraqi interim government.
posted by y2karl at 11:48 AM on April 21, 2004


Witnesses: No quick end to Iraq burdens (For Login see BugMe Not)

Richard Perle, until February an adviser to the Bush administration, said, "If we could only get others to share it, it would significantly diminish the burden we have to carry. I think as a practical matter, that's highly unlikely."

Committee leaders were upset the Bush administration sent no Defense Department witnesses to the hearing. They said they were concerned that the administration, which intends to hand over power to the Iraqis on June 30, had not been sufficiently forthcoming about future costs there.

The administration has sometimes failed to "communicate its Iraq plans and cost estimates to Congress and the American people" and "must recognize that its domestic credibility on Iraq will have a great impact on its efforts to succeed," said Chairman Richard Lugar.

Sen. Joseph Biden, the committee's top-ranking Democrat, said U.S. forces in Iraq "may soon be confronted by an untenable situation . . . caught between hostile Iraqi populations that they were sent to liberate and an increasingly skeptical American public." He added, "No foreign policy can be sustained in this country without the informed consent of the American people, and there has not been an informed consent yet because we have not leveled with them."


There's scandal aplenty in that last sentence.
posted by y2karl at 12:02 PM on April 21, 2004


ABC News is now reporting on UNSCAM

UN peacekeepers have firefight with... UN peacekeepers

This thread captures the complete hypocrisy of the NewsFilter Majority here at NeFi.
posted by Mick at 12:07 PM on April 21, 2004


The potential for a bigger UN role in Iraq

According to Edward Luck, a UN expert at Columbia University in New York, the US is not about to give up control of security in Iraq. "And the UN doesn't want to take that on anyway," he adds. On reconstruction or "nation-building," an area in which the UN has considerable expertise, the US is likely to retain control because it is largely paying for it, and because so much of the project is already under way.

"That leaves a political role, which [the UN] is already playing to a certain extent with Brahimi's presence," he says. "But it's still thin and uncertain, and I don't see that changing in any big way any time soon."

...IN a sense, the US and the UN are continuing what Columbia's Mr. Luck calls a "distant duet" around each other that has been danced for years but which became all the more distant and mutually suspicious in the bitter negotiations before the Iraq war. The difference now, he says, is that the Bush administration, out of pragmatism and under electoral pressures, sees a need to get the UN involved in Iraq - right when the UN is most reluctant to rejoin the dance. "For months the administration treated the UN as irrelevant, and now all of a sudden it's turning to it as a miracle worker," says Luck. "It was never irrelevant, and it's never been a miracle worker, either. It's something in between that's always been difficult for this administration to work out."


Perhaps if the President and his administration hadn't waffled on the UN's role in Iraq so much, those Iraqi elections might be a little more than just a pipe dream today.
posted by y2karl at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2004


This thread captures the complete hypocrisy of the NewsFilter Majority here at NeFi.

nobody here is denying that the UN has its problems. where's the hypocrisy?
posted by mcsweetie at 12:57 PM on April 21, 2004


Call me whatever names you like--multinational forces under UN auspices have never caused the retaliation and violence that one country invading and occupying another does.

And we'll find out, anyway--the UN's coming in, sooner or later. If they come in sooner, less Americans and Iraqis will die for this misbegotten war and occupation.
posted by amberglow at 1:02 PM on April 21, 2004


where's the hypocrisy?

Could be amongst those that cry NewsFilter when it's bad news for their cause, and yet have difficulty mopping up the drool when it's anything else.

Personally I'm not surprised that there's corruption at the UN. Pretty much every government across the world is corrupt at some level, but the thing is that you try and fix these things. Throwing it away and starting from scratch (or worse, completely abandoning the idea of a global forum) seems like a very bad idea (but that may just be my jaded programmer aspect talking).
posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:32 PM on April 21, 2004


March 18, 2004 -- WASHINGTON - The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan worked for a company the United Nations hired to police the notoriously corrupt Iraq oil-for-food program, raising new questions about the role of top diplomats in the growing bribery scandal. Fred Eckhard, spokesman for the secretary-general, confirmed yesterday that Annan's son, Kojo, worked for three years for the Swiss company, Cotecna, which the United Nations hired in 1999 to inspect food and medicine being shipped into Iraq under the program.
posted by clavdivs at 2:49 PM on April 21, 2004


"why we should be more involved and give them more resources, to help it make better ones, instead of trashing it."

Yeah. Sure. Thank G-d this will not happen. I say, de-fund the place and start over. Amberglow: you are the Perfect Argument to re-elect the President. I will withhold the obscenities your mental capacity and nature evokes, and simply say: how stupid, how depraved you are.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:09 PM on April 21, 2004


Nothing says stupid like a vicious personal attack.
posted by y2karl at 3:15 PM on April 21, 2004


High-level U.N. bureaucrats and even Secretary General Kofi Annan’s son have been implicated. Iraqi investigators have compiled a damning international list of suspects, with Russian and French names all too prominent. Russia and France, through their intelligence services -- and, for that matter, the secretary general’s office -- had to know Al Wasel & Babel was not merely purchasing food and medicine.

So many of the self-righteous left still scream about "blood for oil" and maliciously accuse the United States of toppling Saddam in order to secure petroleum supplies. The truth is otherwise. Oil for Food lined the pockets of Saddam, his international political supporters, and corporate cronies, and that oil was paid for, hour by hour, with the blood of Iraqis slaughtered by his brutal regime.

To pinch and paraphrase a recent line from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, we must debate the reality, not the myth, of Oil for Food, and confront the reality of the United Nation’s corrupted bureaucracy.
posted by David Dark at 3:31 PM on April 21, 2004


Personal attack? No: his/her positions are depraved. And so are yours.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:50 PM on April 21, 2004


sad, Paris, just sad. You hate the UN--fine. The rest of the world doesn't. The rest of the world knows there's more value and more benefits in working together on international issues, than going it alone. Bush's father knew this, and Bush himself sent Powell to the UN to lie to them to get UN resolutions he wanted. The current Bush adminstration is even as we speak going back to the UN to beg them to get back into Iraq. And the new Ambassador to Iraq is our former Ambassador to the UN.

Maybe you should go back to your compound and look for black helicopters or Palestinians or something.
posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on April 21, 2004


The choice we have is to learn or to lose. Bullets will not solve this diplomatic mess. Diplomacy will.
posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM on April 21, 2004


read this Paris, darling: It's also important to put the UN scandal into perspective. As Phyllis Bennis has said, if there is blame for failures in the oil-for-food program, it goes to the Security Council, which had to approve each and every contract. That includes the United States. The only countries that saw the complete contracts, in fact, were Britain and the United States. And before anyone gets excited about revealing French and Russian duplicity, keep in mind --
throughout the program a sizable proportion of the contracts dubbed "French" were in fact contracts from foreign companies using their French branches, subsidiaries and agents. Among them were U.S. firms providing spare parts for the oil industry (including several subsidiaries of Halliburton).

posted by amberglow at 5:42 PM on April 21, 2004


I love how you link to a blogger who is misquoting an article by a Frenchman writing for the LA Times! Beautiful, amberglow. Just beautiful.

Though a number of contracts were put on hold by the American and British delegations on security-related grounds, no contract was ever held up because malfeasance, such as illegal kickbacks, had been detected.

Let me get this straight: The corrupt U.N. officials didn't explicitly state in the contracts that they were working on commission for Saddam Hussein, and the United States and Britain were the only two countries who even cared enough to look through the fucking things, so clearly the responsibility for the undetected misdeeds falls on their heads for not catching the unstated corruption.

I've seen fairly impressive spin, but this is a work of art. It takes a special strain of immorality to lie that well.
posted by David Dark at 6:12 PM on April 21, 2004


so, prove the blogger is lying.

here's this, too, from Straits Times (is that better?): Before long, the only holds placed on contracts came from US or British experts. However, US oil firms remained among the largest consumers of Iraqi crude, and are presumed to have paid the unofficial rates for crude.
posted by amberglow at 6:39 PM on April 21, 2004


Here's some more: Members of Congress such as Waxman and Dingell have recently questioned Halliburton's activity in not just Libya but also Iraq and Iran. When Halliburton purchased Dresser Industries, it inherited a stake in a joint project that provided oil services parts to Iraq under the United Nations' Oil-for-food program. Cheney originally denied Halliburton's activities in Iraq but later recanted, claiming he was unaware of the project which the company cut loose in 2000. --from Center for Public Integrity
posted by amberglow at 6:46 PM on April 21, 2004


and more:
The most recent report of the UN secretary-general, in October 2001, says that the US and UK governments' blocking of $4bn of humanitarian supplies is by far the greatest constraint on the implementation of the oil-for-food programme. The report says that, in contrast, the Iraqi government's distribution of humanitarian supplies is fully satisfactory (as it was when we headed this programme). The death of some 5-6,000 children a month is mostly due to contaminated water, lack of medicines and malnutrition. The US and UK governments' delayed clearance of equipment and materials is responsible for this tragedy, not Baghdad.

Who's corrupt? I think the blame goes all over.
posted by amberglow at 7:02 PM on April 21, 2004


Amberglow: you are full of shit. "The rest of the world knows there's more value and more benefits in working together on international issues, than going it alone"? Through a Saddam Hussein-approved organization? No thanks. You sound perfectly French, i.e., everyone's corrupt, so corruption doesn't matter."

Everyone is not corrupt. All nations aren't totalitarian and/or fascist and or socialist hell holes. At the very least, the US should reduce UN funding to a level corresponding to the US' population in the world, or, even, US GDP: those Arafat-level Criminals of Turtle Bay stop getting a free ride.

Today's NYPost Editorial recommended Mayor Guliani to replace Mr. Negroponte at the UN. I don't think Rudy would want the job, but it sure would be an just appointment.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:27 PM on April 21, 2004


you're insane, Paris...seek help.
posted by amberglow at 7:38 PM on April 21, 2004


No, you and a large number of Mefi-dwellers are insane, amoral beings with an irrational, pathological hatred of the President Bush.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:50 PM on April 21, 2004


Freud may not have known shit about female sexuality, but he was dead-on about projection.
posted by trondant at 8:37 PM on April 21, 2004


trondant wins!
posted by quonsar at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2004


So many of the self-righteous left still scream about "blood for oil" and maliciously accuse the United States of toppling Saddam in order to secure petroleum supplies.

I seem to remember at least a few bleeding heart liberals speaking up against the oil for food program and the embargo on Iraq before the war. I'm not sure what makes you think that opposition to the war and support of the oil-for-food and embargo are cozy members of the same set.
posted by weston at 8:54 PM on April 21, 2004


trondant wins!

Is this some kind of new reverse godwin, where if you mention Freud (except in the context of female sexuality), you automatically win?
posted by namespan at 8:56 PM on April 21, 2004


<"explaining patiently to the kid" voice>
no, you see, it was a very funny joke. PP said amberglow was insane, amoral, irrational and carrying pathological hatred. trondant implies projection on PP's part, thus neatly turning the insults around and rubbing the nazi bastards smug little bosch face in them.

<patton>
i DO so love this, god help me.
posted by quonsar at 9:11 PM on April 21, 2004


so, prove the blogger is lying.

I did. Stop skimming the print for the color of your energy, diva, and read for a change. I specifically pasted from the Frenchman's article what was deliberately left out by the blogger and what that omitted information logically implies, which is batshit insane at best.
posted by David Dark at 9:48 PM on April 21, 2004


Sometime, PP, you and I are going to buy a nice cup of coffee to go, take along a couple of biscotti, and go for a walk down to the river, where we will sit under a shady willow, dangle our feet over the embankment, and aside from all this partisan bitching and moaning, exchange our views of what the world should be. I will elucidate my vision of heaven on earth for you, from the ground up, and you will encapsulate your life of epiphanies for me. And then I will point down to the waterline, where the sunlight dapples the current, and say "Uh-oh, you dropped your biscotti!" And when you look down, I will push you in.
posted by scarabic at 10:27 PM on April 21, 2004


trondant wins!
No, scarabic wins.
posted by dg at 11:05 PM on April 21, 2004


In an earlier letter to Annan, to which he received no reply, Hankes-Drielsma noted that allocations of "very significant supplies of crude oil [were] made to ... individuals with political influence in many countries, including France and Jordan," both of which supported Saddam and his regime to the bitter end.

Among the revelations at the April 22 hearings, Insight has learned from investigators directly working on the case, will be new details of oil vouchers allegedly granted to Patrick Maugein, a prominent crony of French President Jacques Chirac, said to total 72.2 million barrels.

Maugein's involvement in the U.N.-approved oil deals is significant, investigators say, because he is believed to be a conduit for backdoor payments to Chirac and his family. It was Chirac who spearheaded a worldwide coalition last year that opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and tried desperately to keep Saddam in power.

Other French recipients named in the Iraqi documents include former Interior minister Charles Pasqua (12 million barrels), former French U.N. ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimee (8 million barrels) and Lebanese-French middleman Elias Firzli (14.6 million barrels).

Firzli acknowledged in a lengthy interview with Insight in Paris that the Iraqis were desperate to meet with Chirac and were willing to pay a high price for access. Shortly before the war broke out in March 2003, Firzli says he introduced Iraqi diplomat Nizar Hamdoon - sent as an emissary from Saddam - to senior French government officials in Paris. But Firzli scoffed at the oil vouchers, calling them "small stuff compared to the billions of dollars people made in the 1980s."
What is going to have to be admitted, sooner or later, is that despite transparent attempts to circumvent the issue by blaming anything Iraq/Oil/Sanction/UN-related on the US and UK, this corruption doesn't lie at the feet of those who wanted Saddam out of power, but it lies instead at the feet of those who tried so desperately to keep him in power so they could continue the Christmas in Baghdad party and continue to get fat off the blood of 400,000 dead Iraqis.
posted by David Dark at 11:06 PM on April 21, 2004


Bless you, David Dark.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:05 AM on April 22, 2004


...this corruption doesn't lie at the feet of those who wanted Saddam out of power, but it lies instead at the feet of those who tried so desperately to keep him in power so they could continue the Christmas in Baghdad party and continue to get fat off the blood of 400,000 dead Iraqis.
Bull. We'll see if and when all the facts come out--many US companies were enjoying Christmas in Baghdad too, for ages. They had the support of our reps in the UN, and our government. Let's see our government release all applicable documents along with the French and Russians. And let's see all the records from all the companies that did do business and paid the payoffs, knowing that some of the money went to kickbacks and graft.
posted by amberglow at 5:10 AM on April 22, 2004


and from your own link: France accounted for approximately 25 percent of all U.N.-approved trade with Iraq, according to an estimate by the CIA.

Hmm...let's take a guess at who had a bigger share, thru direct business, subsidiaries, and shell companies. I'd bet you my firstborn that whatever shit the French did, we did more of.
posted by amberglow at 5:14 AM on April 22, 2004


We've never won a war or successfully occupied anywhere by ourselves.

What? Who's "we"?

neatly turning the insults around and rubbing the nazi bastards smug little bosch face in them.

Great! Because nothing says "on topic" like rubbing insults at "nazi bastards" right? [insult deleted].

Speaking of which, it would behoove you to educate yourself on Hitler's political stance, which was SOCIALIST, not unlike many "nuanced" purveyors of the rabid left right here in our own backyard. Yes, that is a mirror.
posted by hama7 at 6:24 AM on April 22, 2004


*yawn*
US - Evil. UN - Evil. Quonsar evokes Nazis ad hominem. Amberglow with her rose colored glasses. And the Rabid Right chasing its only carrot.

Where is my coffee?
posted by blogRot at 6:25 AM on April 22, 2004


David Dark: U.N. troops are incompetent, undertrained, and ill-equipped to handle volatile situations. As soon as an area becomes unstable, they cut and run.

MrAnonymous: You really think the UN could handle all these insurgents better than a bunch of Marines? Are you serious?

Mogadishu, Somalia 1992
posted by dmt at 8:42 AM on April 22, 2004


We've never won a war or successfully occupied anywhere by ourselves.

What? Who's "we"?


We=the US. We've never won a war when acting alone. We've never successfully occupied anywhere by ourselves.
posted by amberglow at 8:55 AM on April 22, 2004


amberglow, please educate yourself by reading Claudia Rosett's full report on the Oil-For-Food scandal. It is incredibly in-depth and reasonably easy to understand, and since you obviously haven't read it, continuing any discussion in your current state of ignorance would be unfair to you.
No, something was at work here other than passive acquiescence. At precisely what moment during the years of Oil-for-Food did the UN Secretariat cross the line from "supervising" Saddam to collaborating with him? With precisely what deed did it enter into collusion? Even setting aside such obvious questions as whether individual UN officials took bribes, did the complicity begin in 1998, when Saddam flexed his muscles by throwing out the weapons inspectors and when Oil-for-Food, instead of leaving along with them, raised the cap on his oil sales? Did it come in 1999, when, even as Saddam’s theft was becoming apparent, the UN scrapped the oil-sales limits altogether? Or in 2000 and 2001, when Sevan dismissed complaints and reports about blatant kickbacks? Did it start in 2002, when Annan, empowered by Oil-for-Food Plus, signed his name to projects for furnishing Saddam with luxury cars, stadiums, and office equipment for his dictatorship? Or did the defining moment arrive in 2003, when Annan, ignoring the immense conflict posed by the fact that his own institution was officially on Saddam’s payroll, lobbied alongside two of Saddam’s other top clients, Russia and France, to preserve his regime? Certainly by the time Annan and Sevan, neck-deep in revelatory press reports and standing indignantly athwart their own secret records, continued to offer to the world their evasions and denials, the balance had definitively tipped.

Annan’s studied bewilderment is itself an indictment not only of his person but of the system he heads. If anyone is going to take the fall for the Oil-for-Food scandal, Sevan seems the likeliest candidate. But it was the UN Secretary-General who compliantly condoned Saddam’s ever-escalating schemes and conditions, and who lobbied to the last to preserve Saddam’s totalitarian regime while the UN Secretariat was swimming in his cash.

Annan has been with the UN for 32 years. He moved up through its ranks; he knows it well. He was there at the creation of Oil-for-Food, he chose the director, he signed the distribution plans, he visited Saddam, he knew plenty about Iraq, and one might assume he read the newspapers. We are left to contemplate a UN system that has engendered a Secretary-General either so dishonest that he should be dismissed or so incompetent that he is truly dangerous—and should be dismissed.

The final perfidy, though, is not personal but political. The UN, in the name of its own lofty principles, and to its rich emolument, actively helped sustain and protect a tyrant whose brutality and repression were the cause of Iraqi deprivation in the first place. What can this mean? The answer may be simply that, along with its secrecy, its massed cadres of bureaucrats beholden to the favor of the man at the top, its almost complete lack of accountability, external oversight, or the most elementary checks and balances, the UN suffers from an endemic affinity with anti-Western despots, and will turn a blind eye to the devil himself in order to keep them in power. Certainly there is much in its history and its behavior to support this view.

Perhaps, then, the complicity was there all along, built in, and was merely reinforced year after year as the UN collected the commissions and processed the funds that transformed Oil-for-Food into the sleaziest program ever to fly the UN flag and the single largest item on every budget of all nine UN agencies involved, plus the Secretariat itself. That, in the end, may be the dirty secret at the center of the Oil-for-Food scandal.

And is this the same United Nations that, now, we are planning to entrust with bringing democracy to Iraq?
One last note: Let's keep in mind that while we scramble to tie the US to this scandal, we're talking about the Clinton administration. For the Bush administration to be involved in this, you'd be making the argument that Cheney et al. decided against accepting billions of dollars in kickbacks and oil revenues to go and do the right thing.
posted by David Dark at 8:59 AM on April 22, 2004


{bangs fist on table}

YES!
posted by clavdivs at 9:29 AM on April 22, 2004


I just read it--she's no less biased than the blogger i linked to earlier.

Here's something from Newsmax which you should understand: (pay attention to where I bolded): Halliburton Iraq ties more than Cheney said Oil industry executives and confidential U.N. records showed, however, that Halliburton held stakes in two companies that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer, the Post reported.
The Post said U.N. records showed that the dealings were more extensive than originally reported and than Cheney had acknowledged, however.
According to the report, the Halliburton subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co., sold material to Baghdad through French affiliates. The sales lasted from the first half of 1997 to the summer of 2000. Cheney resigned from Halliburton in August.
The firms traded with Iraq for more than a year under Cheney, however. They signed nearly $30 million in contracts before he sold Halliburton's 49 percent stake in Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co. in December 1999 and its 51 percent interest in Dresser Rand to Ingersoll-Rand in February 2000, the Post quoted U.N. records as saying.


I could do this all day...stop painting us as the uncorrupt innocents.. Our companies exist to make money, and they're just as bad as the French and the Russian and whoever.
posted by amberglow at 10:04 AM on April 22, 2004


My friend, you are uneducable. My sympathies.
posted by David Dark at 10:48 AM on April 22, 2004


We=the US. We've never won a war when acting alone. We've never successfully occupied anywhere by ourselves.

Wow. Don't tell that to Japan, or Germany, or Korea, or Haiti for starters. Exactly what war has the United States lost when acting alone, or for that matter, when acting in cooperation with other countries? Not one by my count.
posted by hama7 at 11:34 AM on April 22, 2004


We weren't acting alone in Japan or Germany, and we didn't win in Korea during the Korean War (nor were we alone). Who knows what we were doing in Haiti.

I can't wait for all the UN info to come out--it'll show that US companies are completely and totally implicated and guilty of the same shit the french and russians are. And for this to break now, during an election year--can you say blowback?
posted by amberglow at 12:04 PM on April 22, 2004


Since when did the US as an individual country declare war on either Japan or Germany? The US waged the war in Korea all by itself? Are you sure about that?
posted by dg at 3:23 PM on April 22, 2004


dear darkmidasparamus111 - this squabbling - it really doesn't matter. even if chimpy is re-elected, ala clinton, we filthy depraved liberals intend to hound the smirking simian from office. we'll tie him up so tight in his own lies he'll choke like monica on the big willie. and there's not a damn thing you chest-thumpers can do about it. watch as your triumphal smear of clinton turns to a crusty stain on your favorite sheets (the ones produced by malnourished, underaged children working 15 hour days for fifteen cents a week). think nixon, boys.
posted by quonsar at 7:45 AM on April 23, 2004


amberglow, I was going to let you revel in your blissful ignorance, but I don't think you realize you have yet to make a single, on-topic comment. And since you bet your firstborn on your being right, and the simple fact is that it's not only unlikely but impossible for you to be right, here is my final attempt at a civilized explanation.

America has many economic sanctions against various countries, including a complete trade embargo with Iraq that went into effect August 9, 1990. No US company or civilian was allowed to engage in any type of economic contract with the former Iraqi regime. Your Newsmax link does not implicate US companies in this scandal, nor Halliburton, nor Cheney himself. Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Company did nothing illegal. Foreign subsidiaries are not bound by US law, and therefore were allowed to do business with Iraq under UN approved contracts. This violates no laws. Cheney imposed a personal policy against even Halliburton's foreign subsidiaries doing business with Iraq, and other than these French subsidiary dealings, which Cheney claims not to have known about, there were none. The article implies but does not offer proof that Cheney has been caught in a lie, and that's all it does. Either way, it's irrelevant. The point is, even if he did know, it would not have been illegal.

No matter how this UN scandal turns out, the information will not show that "US companies are completely and totally implicated and guilty of the same shit the french and russians are." While true that our companies exist to make money (and frankly, whose do not?), they are not "just as bad as the French and the Russian and whoever." Not about this. US companies could not have been involved, because they were forbidden by the embargo. If any US company were somehow involved in this, believe me, you'd already know about it. Given the volume of corruption the French and Russian governments are accused of, there is no chance that any American involvement could outshine their deeds. You're lucky that no one is likely interested in raising a child with genetically imposed intellectual deficiencies, or your passionate proclamation to give up your first-born would be tragic, indeed. But this, like your attempts at drawing the US and UK into the fire, is not pertinent to the topic.

The topic is the UN's corruption. The two Americans who are implicated in this scandal, Samir Vincent and Shakir ak-Khafaji, like the other UN officials accused of turning the largest humanitarian effort in history into a money-laundering machine, became not only middlemen working on commission for Saddam, but also conspiritors and collaborators. Saddam sold them oil vouchers at below-market value, and they would then resell the vouchers to end-users at a huge profit, kicking back a commission to Saddam in illegal Iraqi bank accounts. They aided Saddam in circumventing the entire process they were charged with enforcing, and looked the other way while he repeatedly violated UN resolutions. Saddam could basically do whatever he wanted, because he was not only bankrolling their personal fortunes, but he had them by the balls through the documentation of the program. That's why they didn't balk when he threw out the inspectors in 1998, that's why they gave him free reign to smuggle goods across his borders, and that's why they fought to keep the Coalition from going in and putting a stop to it.

Contrary to what you and others of your ilk would like to believe, this changes everything. The UN won't be disbanded, but sweeping changes including some key resignations are likely. The UN, and especially France and Russia, lost the moral high ground they claimed their objections to America's policies were based on. I think it will be some time before you hear of their threatening to veto another US-led resolution. On the homefront, one thing this confirms for Americans is that the last thing we need is for John Kerry to take office, march into the UN building, and formally apologize to these corrupt assholes. And therefore, Mr. quonsar, when you think election, you should be thinking Dukakis. Ouch.
posted by David Dark at 6:09 PM on April 23, 2004


After all, quonsar, America is the kind of place where anyone--even the President of the United States--can hope to be elected President someday.
posted by y2karl at 7:27 PM on April 23, 2004


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