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Well, hopefully this will start a serious discussion about the "U.N.". Maybe Kofi has to find a new residence in the next time. I think Brussels would be fine.

(first)

Den Bericht habe ich mir soeben erst einmal abgespeichert. In den deutschen Medien ist hingegen nur der übliche katastrophile Einheitsbrei angesagt:

Rumsfeld fürchtet eine Regierung von Kopfabhackern

Donald Rumsfeld hat eine düstere Vision: Zukünftig könnte der Irak unter die Kontrolle von Extremisten geraten, "die herumlaufen und den Leuten die Köpfe abhacken". Als Beitrag zur Stabilität des Landes wertete der US-Verteidigungsminister den Tod von "wahrscheinlich" 1500 Aufständischen in jüngster Zeit.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,321239,00.html

This scandal does speak volumes about the UN, but is the information in this report really "new?" I've seen several articles in the past that named names. Here's an ABCNews article from April with a partial list of those receiving lucrative oil contracts:

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/Investigation/oil_for_food_ripoff_040420-1.html

You can see several interesting things in this article:

1. Russia and France were the biggest beneficiaries of Iraqi oil contracts under this program.

2. There are two (Arabic-looking) names associated with the US -- does that qualify as implicated?

3. Even the PLO and Abu Al Abbas got a contract. Doesn't look like there was much adult supervision going on here, huh?

4. No wonder something like #3 could happen: the UN official in charge of the program got an oil contract himself.


I'm sitting here and think about this outrageous bribery. It makes me feel sick and angry. I mean, I already knew there was something going on, but it's different if you read it in detail.

Celebreties like Viggo Mortensen going to talk shows with an UN T-shirt...what a bunch of poor, stupid idiots. And somehow, deep in my mind, there was a little bit of ...hope(?) or trust... that the UN isn't totaly corrupted. The aura of incorruptness around this institution...

Hope this doesn't sound too stupid, but somehow I feel like a child, betrayed by it's own parents. All the ideas we grew up with, a better future, world government, "Alle Menschen werden Brüder"... it's just a fake.

I shouldn't feel that way, I'm old enough to know how things work. But still... how shall we fight this? And we must fight it.

This Quote from Thomas Jefferson comes into my mind:

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

I believe this leak may be of the UN official investigation into itself headed by Paul Volker. Or it might be a leak from the accountancy firm which the Iraqi government hired to audit their records of the Oil for Food program.

The most shocking thing is that the French vote on the Security Council appears to be for sale to the highest bidder, at least under Jacques Chirac it seems. Russia I think we pretty much knew worked that way. Perhaps it's even understandable given Russian financial problems. But France?!!!!

I thought higher of them.

"Celebreties like Viggo Mortensen going to talk shows with an UN T-shirt...what a bunch of poor, stupid idiots."

Not idiots. A trip to Iraq and a brief public statement against the US apparently paid quite well. The celebrity would be gifted with an oil voucher and could sell it to any one of a number of dealers at his luxury hotel. The funds could go somethere with secretive banking laws and their government would never be the wiser. I wonder how many western reporters received such preferment after a particularly favorable story?

The two 'US names' on the list appear to be Iraqis. One knows people like Brent Scowcroft (who opposed the war) and Richard Helms (not sure).

The second name financed Scott Ritter to make a movie about the inspections.

"The most shocking thing is that the French vote on the Security Council appears to be for sale to the highest bidder..."

Nothing about France shocks me anymore. I love Paris, though -- it's a great town.

What shocks me the most is the lack of international outrage about this. I suppose one reason for that is that there are so many people on the take that there aren't very many left to express outrage. No one has any fingers to point because they're all in the pie.

I'm with you, Hartmut. It is frustrating to watch all of this happening. And the gall of France and the UN to lecture the US. It is corruption and hypocrisy, literally at the highest level...and no one seems to care.

Don wrote:
>> But France?!!!!

Where do I begin? How old are you? France, first and foremost. Not one American on this board is surprised by anything in this story except that it has been given moderate exposure.

There`s a funny drawing of Kofi on the current issue of "Bahamas", and also a article on the oil-for-food-story (can`t call it scandal in Germany as long as it`s not covered by a broader public, right?), the 3rd one from top.
www.redaktion-bahamas.org

Die Bahamas habe ich auch hier, und der Artikel war glänzend recherchiert. Aber ansonsten ist es nur die Schweizer Weltwoche, die sich dem Thema angenommen hat:

http://www.weltwoche.ch/artikel/?AssetID=8846&CategoryID=73

Der zweite Artikel ist leider nur auf Registrierung hin zugänglich.

Der Rest der deutschsprachigen Medienwelt schweigt hingegen nach wie vor:

FOCUS: "Sucht an der Schule - Cannabis und Alkohol - der gefährliche erste Kontakt mit Drogen"
DER SPIEGEL: "Der Atem der Freiheit - Friedrich Schiller"
stern: "Abschied vom Jugendwahn - Die neuen Alten"

Alles wahnsinnig hochspannende Themen, nicht wahr?

Im Prinzip hätte man es sich auch denken können, aber es kommt, wie es kommen muss:

3 nations blocked UN oil-for-food probe, report says
Judith Miller NYT
Monday, October 04, 2004


NEW YORK Congressional investigators say that France, Russia and China systematically sabotaged the former United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq by preventing the United States and Britain from investigating whether Saddam Hussein was diverting billions of dollars.

http://www.iht.com/articles/541766.html

this is a new scandal !!!


http://www.drudgereport.com/dnc57.htm


thanks matt

Paranoia kann wirklich manchmal ziemlich schlimm sein:

Rumor of Bush earpice floats around Net

http://www.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=321

Good Lord. Kerry had notes, Bush had an earpiece.....who the hell cares? In terms of a manufactured scandal (which I think both are), they both fall flat.

@ Rich,

I suggest you look at both stories and decide for yourselves. Honestly, I also thought the "notes" thing was pretty silly...until I saw the video. It honestly looks like he is pulling notes out of his jacket pocket, a clear violation of the rules. Like I say above, had Bush been caught on tape like that it would have been a major story in the German media...but since Kerry did it, it is swept under the rug. My honest opinion.

---Ray D.

"Where do I begin? How old are you? France, first and foremost. Not one American on this board is surprised by anything in this story except that it has been given moderate exposure."

Oh I'm old enough to know all about France, Anonymous. But France has been an undoubted though spikey ally for many years. And the French vote in the Security Council has never been on sale. Until now.

Compare Chirac to his predecessor, Mitterand. Mitterand supported the UN resolutions against Saddam Hussein. The successful French effort to undermine those sanctions dates from Chirac's victory in 1995.

Mitterand knew that the inspections were the one thing which would keep the US from going to war with Iraq at the next crisis in the ME, so he supported them. Chirac simply didn't care where there was money to be made.

The depths of Chirac's corruption and irresponsibility still manages to astonish after 9 years of it. Don't minimize it by arguing that France has always behaved this corruptly - it's simply untrue.

I get impatient with fellow Americans who spout French surrender jokes without seemingly knowing anything about French history - specifically WWI and the battle of Verdun. Or anything about Charles DeGaulle, perhaps the greatest Frenchman who ever lived.

Make no mistake about it - France is a great nation and it's leaders usually have been far better than the current occupant of the Elysee Palace. Let's hope the Left can come up with a credible challenger at the next election. Having an honest man in the office would be an improvement....

http://www.google.fr
you will find 127 pages for
charles pasqua barils de pétrole

Don,

How ironic that you would praise de Gaulle as this comes out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/secondworldwar/story/0,14058,1318972,00.html

ATM,

Perhaps. Perhaps not. We've had a piquant reminder recently of how easy it can be to forge such things, have we not?

Virtually all great men have things discrediting them to some extent. Abraham Lincoln (heard about conditions in Northern prison camps?), FDR (detention camps for the California Nisei), Churchill (some MASSIVE fuckups in WWII and as Chancellor of the Exchequer).... Doesn't mean they're not great men....

It's unlikely that these are forged documents, given that the guy who acquired them also acquired other legitimate documents on other wartime activities of Petain government from the same archives.

The point is that this is not a fuck up or even mistreatment of a group that might be hostile to the government/nation. If true, this represents the mistreatment and possibly worse by the new government of citizens of allied nations who sacrificed many of their soldiers lives to free France in order to coverup the misdeeds of the old government. Now, to be perfectly fair it isn't clear whether or not de Gaulle knew about this and what his role was. But it clearly represents continued misdeeds by the French.

@ Hartmut- you speak many words of truth.
Hey Don-
Why is it that those attemptring to defend the incredibley childish, impotent, and scheming whores the french, have to always reach back hundreds of years to find that "glory"?
Why is that? and you point to the battle of Verdun as an example of their herosim??
WTF is that nonsense??? The battle was 9 months long, french were over run on the second day, and over 700,000 perished for an area of 10 sq miles.
Now THAT IS BOTH FOOLISH AND A VERY french-like type of BATTLE. Too bad they couldn't hire washed-up fool recruits from their colonies to fight FOR THEM at the time- ala the fwench forwin legion. France has "proxied" everything for it's entire existence.
France knows no glory and it knows no shame.

Bolton? Ah that Bolton who claims that Cuba is producing biological and chemical weapons without the shadow of a proof?

The U.S. not trading with Iran? When did that happen?

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5070.html

@Niko, 5 October 1:46 a.m.

Dubai - Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair

ThyssenKrupp Elevator wins second major order in Dubai. US$100 million elevator, escalator and moving walk order for Dubai Airport

http://www.thyssenkrupp-elevator.com/index.php?id=215&L=1&backPID=47&tt_news=78

The same guys in Dubai will honour one of the greatest Israel haters, the Syrian Sheikh Mohamed Sa'd Ramadan al Bouti.

Al Bouti is DIHQA´s islamic personality of the year. Gulf News, 5 October 2004

http://www.sheikhmohammed.ae/french/news/newsdetails.asp?New sID=5197&NType=S

Sorry, here the correct link for the Sheikh:

http://www.sheikhmohammed.ae/french/news/newsdetails.asp?NewsID=5197&NType=S

Pato, Verdun occurred in 1916 - 88 years ago. We in the US remain proud of the efforts of the AEF in WWI so I see no reason why the French shouldn't feel the same.

I don't know whether I'd call French losses at Verdun glory. It went beyond glory into madness. Imagine the 2nd and 3rd days of the Battle of Gettysburg - extended over a year or more. A Pickett's Charge every week. But I've heard the French called 'surrender-monkeys'. I think Verdun shows the precise opposite.

As does Zola's J'Accuse in a different way. To me there is something shining about the best part of the French tradition. Men like Emile Zola, Victor Hugo, Georges Clemenceau, the Impressionists, August Rodin, and many others. There is a power and a passion there which is very akin to that I see in US history.

That is why I insist that France is a great nation. The fact that there is a dearth of great Frenchmen this generation is very sad. I can think of only two living whom I consider great, Jaques Delors and Bernard-Henri Levy.

One doesn't have to hate France or Germany in order to be a good conservative, which is what I am. Nor to utterly detest the corrupt Chirac government as you will see if you read my posts above. Currently I hold mixed feelings - an underlying love of France overlaid with detestation of the current national mood. But the mood will pass sooner or later and the love remain.

"Sheikh Mohamed Sa'd Ramadan al Bouti"

Sheikh al Bouti?

Are you sure it's not Sheikh yer Bouti?


Sorry, couldn't resist.

Your comment on Drudge's Kerry/pen conspiracy story is right on: indeed, the Spiegel reports on the rumor that Bush was wired during the first debate.

In true incompetence SPON pairs its story with a picture from the second debate.

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