Oil for Food, Propaganda and the US-UK Sanctions

I have no doubt that the US-UK are very indignant that there is at least some marginal recognition of the truth. In this morning’s (April 24) NY Times, for example, in an article by Warren Hoge.

“There is no question that the bulk of the illicit oil revenues came from the open sale of Iraqi oil to Jordan and to Turkey, and that that was a way of going around the oil-for-food program [and that] We were fully aware of the bypass and looked the other way.” That’s Democratic Senator Levin, in today’s story, and was very clear before from the Volcker reports — as conservative as you can get — and other sources. The US winked at illegal shipments to its allies Turkey and Jordan, with a big rip-off for Saddam. Everything that passed through the Gulf was being monitored by the US Navy. The US and UK monitored everything very closely, and if they had cared about illegal contracts, they would have blocked them. The absurdity increases when we look at the numbers. Thus the great crime of the UN is that one employee, Benon Sevan, may have borrowed $160,000 from an aunt in Cyprus, maybe involving some oil-for-food scam. And that Kofi Annan’s son ripped off some sum that is also utterly trivial in comparison with what the US-UK authorized. Gets worse, when you review the actual numbers.

That aside, none of this begins to compare with the many billions of dollars of Iraqi oil exports ripped off by the US-UK occupation. No one knows where it has gone. If there’s any serious inquiry, it’s very likely to show that in just a year or two of occupation the US-UK stole far more than Saddam did (with US-UK help).

And that too is small potatoes. The real point of this entire PR scam is to divert attention away from the effects of the US-UK sanctions, which not only killed 100s of thousands of people while devastating the civilian society and strengthening Saddam, but also compelled the population to rely on him for survival, which is probably what saved him from the fate of a host of other gangsters that the US-UK supported, many quite comparable to him: Ceausescu, Suharto, Marcos, etc. — all overthrown from within despite strong US support to the end. These are all matters that have to be sent deep into the memory hole, so that the commissar class can yelp about how the US liberated the population from Saddam. Even if the scam is exposed about the US role in oil-for-food robbery, the US and its doctrinal system will still have won, by diverting attention from the major crimes to some misdeeds that are very minor in comparison — only maybe $20 billion.

That’s a major propaganda achievement, already past history — if we let the history disappear by focusing on who stole more money, as the doctrinal system wants us to.

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