Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Oil for Food "Scandal"

Remember the big brouhaha about that big Oil for Food Scandal a few years back? Big stinks were made about it to imply that all the starved kids at the end of the day died because of Saddam's thievery. As Bob Dutko had said to me on the air "Saddam wouldn't feed his people. He had to build more golden palaces for himself.?"

Just for the record (check the 600 page UN Final Report if you're interested), that amounted to a total of 1.8 billion dollars in illegal sales, most of which occurred with the full knowledge of the U.S. and Britain, but it wasn't a problem because the bulk of the sales were to U.S. allies.

The largest beneficiary of the illegal sales was the Kuwait military, which was overcompensated to the tune of $419 million. Saddam's associates managed to extract $50 million.

I suppose that's a scandal of sorts. And it's true Saddam did live in luxury while his people starved. But if this deprivation is so bad, what of the $12 Billion of Iraqi money that disappeared in duffel bags and by other means? Why isn't that a scandal? Why doesn't anybody know about that in America? And why is it always foreign press covering this stuff? Here's some BBC video on this.

Just prior to the handover of the government from the Coalition Provisional Authority literally tons of $100 bills were placed on pallets and loaded into C-130's. Literally 363 tons of cash. It's mind boggling. This is money that belongs to the people of Iraq, and they need it to rebuild the schools and infrastructure destroyed after years of sanctions and bombardment. Where is it? And why is the much smaller amount of money acquired by Saddam and his associates discussed so much more extensively?

In truth I know the answer to that question. If you want to know why read this book.

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