Friday, October 08, 2004

Fallout from the oil for food scandal continues

The Telegraph gives a whole page to the developing scandal, including details of who got what:

When the United Nations set up the oil-for-food programme to save Iraqis from hunger and disease in 1996, few had any idea that it would also allow Saddam Hussein to create one of the most widespread systems of corruption in modern history.
According to the Iraq Survey Group, presidents, prime ministers, political parties, activists, "friendship societies" and businessmen around the world received lucrative oil contracts in return for political favours and a share of the profits.

The boss of the UN aid program got in on the act, as did the Russian Communist Party! Solidarity and all that, I guess.

According to the ISG, Russian traders received 30 per cent of oil export contracts, followed by the French with 15 per cent and the Chinese with 10 per cent.
It is no coincidence that Russia, France and China were the three permanent members of the UN Security Council that tried hardest to lift sanctions on Iraq.

These revelations don't allow us to excuse the mess that seems to be developing in Iraq, but they do undermine the positions of the French et al. How can they suggest they care about the civilians of Iraq when they are responsible for perpetrating the very problem that necessitated action.


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