Tuesday, April 20, 2004

This author says that is exactly the wrong answer.
But the big question here is who is fooling whom. The UN, as Claudia Rosett has documented in devastating separate articles appearing now on the Web sites of Commentary magazine and National Review Online, has a long and corrupt history with Iraq. In the former, she notes that the UN claims to have delivered at most $15 billion in actual food and medicine. "But at what cost?" Rosett asks, "Are we supposed to conclude that, in order to deliver this amount of aid, the UN had to approve Saddam's more than $100 billion worth of largely crooked business, had to look the other way while he skimmed money, bought influence, built palaces, and stashed away billions on the side, at least some of which may now be funding terror in Iraq or beyond?"

In her NRO article, Rosett shows that Saddam and al-Qaida used some of the same front companies, at least raising the serious possibility that the UN program should have been dubbed "Oil-for-Terrorism." The US Congress is currently investigating extensive evidence that the Oil-for-Food program put not only the UN, but France and Russia, effectively on Saddam's payroll to the tune of billions of dollars.

The UN bureaucracy, France, and Russia have a huge incentive to cover up their own complicity in Saddam's pillaging of Iraq, as does the Arab bloc in preventing a successful Iraqi regime from arising. The UN is the ideal vehicle for all these anti-democracy forces. Indeed, if one were to write a recipe for failure in Iraq, putting the UN in charge would probably be the place to start.

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