Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Oil For Food, Part One

I remember well the Iran-Contra scandal. The arms-for-hostages deal dominated the headlines for weeks and resulted in televised hearings that made a hero out of Oliver North and indictments of high government officials, though most were later pardoned by President Bush. It was, in short, a major story. Where is the outcry over the much worse Oil-For-Food Scandal at the U.N.? True, it’s getting some big play now, but still more so in England than elsewhere.

If “Oil-For-Food” is new to you, here’s a decent primer. The basic charge is this: Saddam Hussein, while under United Nations sanctions, was allowed to sell a portion of his oil for food and medicine for the Iraqi people as a humanitarian gesture. Instead, Hussein gave out vouchers as kickbacks to businessmen and government officials across the Middle East and Europe, including members of the Russian Parliament and a former Interior Minister of France (kind of puts the whole Iraq War debate in a different light, doesn’t it? Thanks for nothing, Jacques!). How much did Saddam and his cronies steal? How about 20 BILLION DOLLARS? That’s a full quarter of that $87 billion dollar supplement that John Kerry voted for and against while rubbing his head and whistling “Dixie”. While Saddam was building palaces with your money, children in Iraq suffered from malnutrition needlessly. Americans are literally dying as we speak to bring democracy to the Middle East in a war that France and Russia opposed out of sheer greed.

This should be front page news. I can’t imagine a scandal with a greater stench than stealing humanitarian aid to prop up a dictator while sanctimoniously accusing the U.S. of trading “blood for oil”. Blood for oil, indeed…our blood, their oil. Much more on this later, including a look at the work of Claudia