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Attila the Pun
Thursday, October 07, 2004
 
UN corruption not surprising enough to be news

Event - Release of report by Iraq Survey Group.

The Age's reporting of it:

Contradicting the main argument for a war that has cost more than 1000 American lives, the top US arms inspector reported today that he found no evidence that Iraq produced any weapons of mass destruction after 1991.

and this:

The inspector's report could boost Kerry's contention that Bush rushed to war based on faulty intelligence and that sanctions and UN weapons inspectors should have been given more time.

comes before this (buried in paragraph 7):

But Duelfer also supports Bush's argument that Saddam remained a threat.

Interviews with the toppled leader and other former Iraqi officials made clear to inspectors that Saddam had not lost his ambition to pursue weapons of mass destruction and hoped to revive his weapons program if sanctions were lifted, the report said.

So sanctions and weapons inspectors should have been given more time to do what exactly? If there were no weapons, what would more time have done? The report suggests that the only thing stopping the creation of WMD were the sanctions. Is Kerry (and the rest of the pro-Saddam lobby) suggesting that sanctions should have been left there indefinitely? To prevent WMD surely the only two options would have been a) indefinite sanctions or b) remove Saddam?

The sanctions were blamed for bringing misery on the Iraqi people, and we have heard what a bad idea removing Saddam was, so what course of action should we have taken?

Speaking of sanctions, and the oil-for-food program, it comes as no surprise that these findings in the ISG report didnt get a mention anywhere in the Australian media:

The report by Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, alleges the Iraqi government manipulated the U.N. program from 1996 to 2003 in order to acquire billions of dollars in illicit gains and to import illegal goods, including acquiring parts for missile systems.

The alleged schemes included an Iraqi system for allocating lucrative oil vouchers, which permitted recipients to purchase certain amounts of oil at a profit.

Benon Sevan, the former chief of the U.N. program, is among dozens of people who allegedly received the vouchers, according to the report, which said Saddam personally approved the list.

The secret voucher program was dominated by Russian, French and Chinese recipients, in that order, with Saddam spreading the wealth widely to prominent business men, politicians, foreign government ministries and political parties, the report said.

Surely not! But weren't the Russians, French and Chinese steadfast in their desire to see Saddam removed and Iraqsis freed from under the thumb of tyranny? Didn't the UN do all it could to assist?

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