News from Outside the Bubble
...to quote Harry Shearer, and I fully expect to hear this on Le Show this weekend:
US ignored warning on Iraqi oil smuggling
But a joint investigation by the Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, shows that the single largest and boldest smuggling operation in the oil-for-food programme was conducted with the knowledge of the US government.
“Although the financial beneficiaries were Iraqis and Jordanians, the fact remains that the US government participated in a major conspiracy that violated sanctions and enriched Saddam's cronies,” a former UN official said. “That is exactly what many in the US are now accusing other countries of having done. I think it's pretty ironic.”
I'm guessing this won't make US papers for a while. Some might see the UN official quoted and assume this is simply partisan sniping, but later in the article it's confirmed by Paul Volcker, who's heading the oil-for-food investigation, that "Washington allowed violations of the oil sanctions by Jordan in recognition of its national interests."
There's that nasty realpolitik rearing its ugly head again. The right simply sees oil-for-food and screams "Scandal! UN! Hypocrites!" but it's actually not so simple. A lot of people had their hands in the trough, including US multinationals. And the interested parties apparently were informed of the violations, yet did nothing. The ship of state moves slowly, but it shouldn't move THAT slowly.
The whole point of the right's emphasis on this scandal is to knock down the credibility of the UN. If so, it must come with a concurrent knockdown of the credibility of the US and UK governments.