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Oil for Food Farce


I presume the main motivation is to make sure that no one pays attention to the real scandal: that the US-imposed sanctions slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people, devastated the society, compelled the population to rely on Saddam Hussein for survival, and probably saved him from the fate of comparable monsters supported by Washington and London, including those now in office, all overthrown from within despite US-UK support to the very end in some of the worst cases.

That’s definitely not something that can be allowed to enter public discussion. Another motive could well be to divert attention from the fact that whatever corruption there may have been at the UN is scarcely a toothpick on the mountain of the vast corruption of the occupying authorities. In fact, it’s rather comical to watch. First, the famous $20 billion stolen by Saddam turns out to be mostly thanks to the US nodding its head at illegal shipments to its allies Turkey and Jordan. What passed through the Gulf was thanks to US orders to the Navy not to intercept it. The rest passed through a committee controlled by Washington. Volcker reported that maybe $1.7 billion is traceable to UN failure to keep to proper auditing (with the complicity of Washington); the largest part of that figure went to the Kuwaiti military. The NY Times, Feb. 4, has a front-page article on the UN scandal focusing on the terrible crimes of Benan Sevan, who is charged with having received $160,000 over 4 years from an aunt in Cyprus who doesn’t seem to have independent wealth. Moving on to p. 6, a small item at the bottom at the right reports that “Against the advice of its own auditors, the Army said yesterday that it would not hold back tens of millions of dollars each month from the Halliburton Company until the company justifies bills for past work in Iraq.” The figures involved amount to many billions of dollars.

But apart from the farce, I suppose the main purposes are to undermine any likelihood, however remote, that the hideous crimes of the sanctions themselves will ever receive attention, and to strike another blow at the UN, which is hated for the same reasons that international law, the World Court, the ICJ, etc., are hated: they might impose some difficulties on Washington’s free resort to violence. And elites cannot be happy at the fact that the population continues to express strong support for international institutions — I presume the reason why the crucially important poll results on these matters, released right before the elections, were scarcely even reported.

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