Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Oil For Food Getting Noticed in UK

The sordid truth about the oil-for-food scandal By Con Coughlin(Filed: 10/10/2004)

So now we know the truth. Forget the row about Saddam's non-existent weapons
stockpiles. That, after all, should never have been the justification for war in
the first place. The proper casus belli for regime change in Baghdad was
Saddam's non-compliance with 17 United Nations resolutions over a period of more
than 12 years.
The real scandal contained in the long-awaited report of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) that was published last week concerns the fecklessness of the United Nations, not to mention the treacherous conduct of some of its security council members, in its dealings with Saddam's regime between the end of the 1991 Gulf war and last year's Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In the diplomatic build-up to last year's war to remove Saddam Hussein from power, the
two most vociferous opponents of military action were Russia and France. Even
though Presidents Putin and Chirac reluctantly signed up to UN Security Council
resolution 1441 in November 2002 - which threatened Saddam with "serious
consequences" if he did not fully comply - they were at the forefront of the
international campaign to block military action.
At the time it was felt that their main motivation was to protect their lucrative trade ties with Baghdad. In late 2002, Saddam still owed the Russians some $10 billion, mainly for illegal
arms deals. France came next in the trade rankings. Even so, Moscow and Paris
tried to claim that they were opposing the war as a matter of principle. That was certainly the impression Mr Chirac sought to give when he announced that he would veto any second UN resolution that authorised military action. Mr Putin also opposed the invasion of Iraq and, just as hostilities were about to commence, even dispatched Yevgeny Primakov, his trusty former KGB colleague, to Baghdad on a last-ditch mission to persuade Saddam to comply and avoid war...

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