The oil-for-food 'scandal' is a cynical smokescreen

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by mioque, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. mioque

    mioque
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    United States Senators, led by the Republican Norm Coleman, have launched a crusade of sorts, seeking to "expose" the oil-for-food programme implemented by the United Nations from 1996 until 2003 as the "greatest scandal in the history of the UN". But this posturing is nothing more than a hypocritical charade, designed to shift attention away from the debacle of George Bush's self-made quagmire in Iraq, and legitimise the invasion of Iraq by using Iraqi corruption, and not the now-missing weapons of mass destruction, as the excuse.

    The oil-for-food programme was derived from the US-sponsored Security Council resolution, passed in April 1995 but not implemented until December 1996. During this time, the CIA sponsored two coup attempts against Saddam, the second, most famously, a joint effort with the British that imploded in June 1996, at the height of the "oil for food" implementation negotiations. The oil-for-food programme was never a sincere humanitarian relief effort, but rather a politically motivated device designed to implement the true policy of the United States - regime change.

    Through various control mechanisms, the United States and Great Britain were able to turn on and off the flow of oil as they saw best. In this way, the Americans were able to authorise a $1bn exemption concerning the export of Iraqi oil for Jordan, as well as legitimise the billion-dollar illegal oil smuggling trade over the Turkish border, which benefited Nato ally Turkey as well as fellow regime-change plotters in Kurdistan. At the same time as US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was negotiating with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov concerning a Russian-brokered deal to end a stand-off between Iraq and the UN weapons inspectors in October-November 1997, the United States turned a blind eye to the establishment of a Russian oil company set up on Cyprus.

    This oil company, run by Primakov's sister, bought oil from Iraq under "oil for food" at a heavy discount, and then sold it at full market value to primarily US companies, splitting the difference evenly with Primakov and the Iraqis. This US-sponsored deal resulted in profits of hundreds of million of dollars for both the Russians and Iraqis, outside the control of "oil for food". It has been estimated that 80 per cent of the oil illegally smuggled out of Iraq under "oil for food" ended up in the United States.

    Likewise, using its veto-wielding powers on the 661 Committee, set up in 1990 to oversee economic sanctions against Iraq, the United States was able to block billions of dollars of humanitarian goods legitimately bought by Iraq under the provisions of the oil-for-food agreement. And when Saddam proved too adept at making money from kickbacks, the US and Britain devised a new scheme of oil sales which forced potential buyers to commit to oil contracts where the price would be set after the oil was sold, an insane process which quickly brought oil sales to a halt, starving the oil-for-food programme of money to the point that billions of dollars of humanitarian contracts could not be paid for by the United Nations.

    The corruption evident in the oil-for-food programme was real, but did not originate from within the United Nations, as Norm Coleman and others are charging. Its origins are in a morally corrupt policy of economic strangulation of Iraq implemented by the United States as part of an overall strategy of regime change. Since 1991, the United States had made it clear - through successive statements by James Baker, George W Bush and Madeleine Albright - that economic sanctions, linked to Iraq's disarmament obligation, would never be lifted even if Iraq fully complied and disarmed, until Saddam Hussein was removed from power. This policy remained unchanged for over a decade, during which time hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result of these sanctions.

    While money derived from the off-the-book sale of oil did indeed go into the purchase of conventional weapons and the construction of presidential palaces, the vast majority of these funds were poured into economic recovery programmes that saw Iraq emerge from near total economic ruin in 1996. By 2002, on the eve of the US-led invasion, Baghdad was full of booming businesses, restaurants were full, and families walked freely along well-lit parks. Compare and contrast that image with the reality of Baghdad today, and the ultimate corruption that was the oil-for-food programme becomes self-evident.

    Scott Ritter is a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq (1991-1998) and the author of 'Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America', published by Context Books
    http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=592306  


    Interesting detail. Prior to the current war in Iraq it was suggested that Scott Ritter spoke against the claims of the Administration because he was in the pay of Saddam.
     
  2. liebeskind

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    Mioque,

    You know what gets me? The fact that the administration flat out lied about Saddam's involvement with 911 and the threat of his invisible weapons of mass destruction or mass death as Bush calls them, leaves a bad taste in my mouth that Americans, (professing Christians mostly) are ignoring the facts about His lying actions (and I say "his actions" Because he is COMMANDER AND CHIEF)! But let someone mention U.N., hell you don't even have to mention the "N", and americans will jump all over it, just like they did with Blix and Blix turn out to be correct (FACE THE FACTS America, AINT NO WEAPONS overthere)!

    No we have Kojo being attacked by weak men that don't have the evidence to say anything about the U.N., but have all the evidence that Bush new that we were going to be attacked, and the administration warned some in congress not to fly planes during certain months. Now that is a fact and it came out of Hilary Clinton's own mouth, but you don't see anyone making a fuss about that, and THAT WAS TRUE.

    Ron
     
  3. Pennsylvania Jim

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    And the funny thing that many don't comprehend is that Bush and the UN bigshots are on pretty much the same page, if re-structuring the world to the benefit of the bigshots.
     
  4. Scott J

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    If this is true then why isn't Annan and the UN cooperating? Why the obstruction? If nothing to hide then why not let the light of day shine on all the records?

    Bush and the GOP apparently feel pretty secure that they aren't going to be entangled in the scandal or else they wouldn't allow it to be pushed.

    What Bush has or hasn't done is irrelevant to whether Annan, France, Russia, Germany, and others were involved in corrupt, illegal dealings.

    Are you saying that the pursuit of justice and integrity at the UN are not important?
     
  5. Scott J

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    What leaves a bad taste in my mouth is people (professing Christians mostlYy) who dishonestly distort the known evidence to make the claim that Bush lied.

    Is it possible that he lied? Of course. The evidence doesn't prove it however. But if he did, it is the best cover up since Vince Foster's death.

    Bush weighed conflicting evidence and determined that Saddam was too much of a risk. The UN said there were unaccounted WMD's in Iraq. The CIA director appointed by Clinton called it a "slam dunk". Clinton, Kerry, Gore, and many other Democrats with direct means of knowing the intelligence thought he had them. British intel along with several solid middle eastern countries said he had them.

    Putin acknowledged during the election that Saddam had real intentions of sponsoring terrorism against the US. This isn't one of "the coerced". This is a guy who voted against us and whose country may be neck deep in the "Oil-for-Food" scandal.

    If a guy threatens your wife with a gun, how long do you stand there and wonder whether its loaded or not before you take action?

    If you will remember, we launched the invasion at the last possible moment (more proof that Bush really believed WMD's were there). The military insisted that if we waited any longer, the heat of summer would make an invasion under the threat of chemical/biological weapons impossible.

    By the fall, the UN inspectors would have been gone, international will to hold Saddam accountable most likely would have followed, and we would have been left with a guy who: a) had WMD technology and scientists, b) had used WMDs before, and c) had declared a desire to attack the US through terrorism.

    Sorry if you disagree but Bush did exactly the right thing to secure the US.

    Then there should be no resistance to a full, fair, and open investigation... but there is. Why?
    Oh... it came out of Hillary's mouth. Kind of like, "right wing conspiracy"?

    So what? The administration warned leaders about flying in certain "months"? That is pretty weak evidence that Bush specifically knew that terrorists were going to seize plans on 9/11 and fly them into buildings. I am sure that even before 9/11 there were terrorist hijacking and kidnapping alerts that went out to leaders.

    Prove it didn't occur prior to Bush or that Bush only warned Republicans and you might have a case. If he is the monster you think he is and knew this attack was coming, it would have been stupid to warn Dems who could afterward use the information to impeach him.

    Ron, you really need to get over the hate. If there is proof of Bush's guilt then I am sure that the liberal media and Democrats like Hillary will make it known. They hate Bush even more than you do and would most certainly take him down if they thought any of your charges would hold up.
     
  6. liebeskind

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    Scott,

    You asked if a man threatens my wife with a gun, how long would I stay there wondering if it's loader. Well I would not wait and anyone who knows me personally, knows that it will be lights out, and I will sleep like a baby for the rest of my life.

    Now using your example, which is very lame, you can not compare the two! North Korea has weapons that can reach our shores, but Iraq NEVER HAD or HAS any LONG RANGE rockets that would or could reach our shores. Iraq was not a threat to anyone! So what if Saddam killed his own people, so are other nations but do we see U.S. ready to war with them, NOPE! The Neocons have a plan for the Middle East my freind, stop showing your ignorance on this issue, because people are not dumb and will not fall for anything! DID NOT COLIN POWELL say that he regreted stating that Iraq had WMD's? But the only comeback you <snipped> Christians have is that "IRAQ IS A BETTER PLACE NOW". That was not our goal, to make Iraq a better place, our Goal was OSAMA, but bush said that he was not really concerned about him, and I heard him say it on National TV. I guess that's not true and because I state the facts, i'm considered a Bush hater.

    Now tell me this ,after the first Gulf war, when did SADDAM STICK A GUN IN YOUR WIFE'S AMERICAN FACE! Month, date and year please! Thanks!

    Ron

    Moderator note: Questioning the salvation of other posters is not permitted.

    [ December 17, 2004, 02:41 PM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  7. Matt Black

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    Isn't the real reason for going to war in Iraq so that Bush's Saudi paymasters can have a nice little extension to their personal oilfield?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  8. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Who, me?

    I make no excuses for the UN. I think it should be abolished. I also make no excuses for Bush, who pretty much supports the UN agenda.
     
  9. Scott J

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    N Korea has never directly threatened the US. They have also never used WMD's and haven't attacked a neighbor for over 50 years. The argument could be made that they just want a voice... and a means to sustain a system that is failing economically.
    Wait... didn't you praise Clinton for sending troops into the Balkans to prevent people from being killed? Were there no other nations doing worse?... Oh yeah, Sudan.
    So do the liberals, my friend... and they aren't all that different.
    Yes. I regret a job I once took on faulty information... but I can't get those two years of my life back.
    I am a Christian... not a "so-called Christian". I asked you once to justify what you deemed the mark of a Christian with scripture. I don't think you responded.

    My salvation rests with Jesus Christ, not George Bush or Hillary Clinton or any other politician.

    Now to your point, you haven't seen me use that justification. I would like to think that all of us could agree that the opportunity is there for a better situation in Iraq but that remains up to them.

    The only real justification for the war is that our leaders acting on the best available intelligence saw Saddam as a security threat.

    BTW, regime change was also the policy goal of Clinton.

    Osama has been neutered. Be honest enough to leave Bush's statement in context. The elimination of terrorists' threats is far more important than killing or capturing one man.

    As I stated before, I think we did have Osama cornered once and let him go. It is easy to imagine the very reasonable calculation that he was less of a threat as a weak, embarassed leader of a decimated organization than if he died and became a martyr.
    No. You are a Bush hater because express an irrationally hateful attitude toward him that causes you to distort facts and take statements out of context.

    Maybe ask Clinton... I seem to remember numerous bombings and even attempts to foster a civil war.
     
  10. liebeskind

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    Scott,

    Maybe my approach is wrong, but let me make this clear, I am not political, I call a Spade a Spade, I don't laugh unless something's funny, and I don't scratch unless there's an itch. I very bipartison, believe it or not.

    Ron
     
  11. Hardsheller

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    Ron,

    What do you do in Washington, DC?
     
  12. liebeskind

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    As far as work is concerned, I'm an Office Manager for a Geotechnical Subsurfacing Exploration Engineering Firm.

    In the early 90's I was a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist on Capitol Hill, 2nd & D street to be exact. I played squash with Packwood, Spector, the Levin brothers, and personally trained Tom Foley, Richard Brian, and fox news contributor Mara Liason.
     
  13. Scott J

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    I believe you. I haven't seen it but if you say so I will accept it at face value until proven different.

    My support for Bush is based on a number of things besides his testimony. For one, I like the fact that he doesn't socialize with the DC elite. I like the fact that when he had to make a call he didn't wait on world approval like his dad did. He saw what he thought was a threat and acted in spite of knowing the possible political costs of failure.... like having people call him a liar and warmonger.

    I like that he is loyal though I wish Rumsfeld would reciprocate that loyalty and resign. I like the "ownership society" as a peaceful, gradual means of reversing the welfare state. I like the people he has tried to appoint to the judiciary.

    I like that his critics condemn him for relying on his faith, the Bible, and prayer too much in making decisions.

    I like that we haven't been attacked in over 3 years.

    I don't like the Patriot Act. I don't like the spending growth on domestic programs that are not self terminating. I don't like Cheney or Rumsfeld. I don't his decisions about illegal aliens although I think our immigration policy with Mexico should be more liberal.

    I don't like that he plays politics like when he gave the outgoing CIA guy a Freedom Award. The guy was wrong on 9/11 and wrong on WMDs and is leaving an Agency in disarray. This is hardly cause for reward.

    I don't like that he pussyfoots around with the Muslims. I would like for him to force them to take sides more aggressively.

    I don't like that more isn't being done on energy.

    I don't like that his Social Security and tax reforms aren't going to be nearly aggressive enough to avoid future problems... even though I realize the political costs of doing the right thing and also that no one has a plan that is politically viable and will work. Increasing SS tax won't work long term since we are headed from a 6 to 1 payer to beneficiary ratio to a 2.5 to 1 ratio in the next 30 years.

    I could probably give you alot more but suffice it to say that I voted for Bush not because he was perfect but because I think he is more likely to make more movement in the right direction.
     
  14. just-want-peace

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    Well said, Scott J, well said!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Plain Old Bill

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    When we do something for europe they like that. When we get thier permission to do something they like that.We need to remember to always ask the older and wiser europeans for advice first then permission before we do anything after all look at how well they run thier part of the world.Little upstart colonials like ourselves just don't know our place.
    Don't be to surprized if weopons of mass destrutcion show up in Syria.
    I wonder how this conversation would be going if 911 had happened in europe.I wonder how europeans would be feeling if it was us not comming to thier aid?
    As for you my friend Moique I do understand you get frustrated. I remember the days when I was an atheist and thought if there really were a God He would at least be smart enough to come to me for some advice from time to time since I had gone to college and He had'nt.I also wish to take a moment to thank your soldiers for helping and let you know that I pray for them on a regular basis.
     
  16. Hardsheller

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    As far as work is concerned, I'm an Office Manager for a Geotechnical Subsurfacing Exploration Engineering Firm.

    In the early 90's I was a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist on Capitol Hill, 2nd & D street to be exact. I played squash with Packwood, Spector, the Levin brothers, and personally trained Tom Foley, Richard Brian, and fox news contributor Mara Liason.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks Ron.
     
  17. Ps104_33

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    Remember Tariq Aziz? Well apparently he is ready to name names in this scandal.

    READ HERE
     
  18. poncho

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    Guess maybe thumbscrews do work. [​IMG] Thank you Mr. Gonzales for helping to make it all possible.
     
  19. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Guess who is about to rat out the UN officials in the oil for food scandal and name names?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  20. poncho

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    Osama Bin Laden in his newest internet release?
     

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