Friday, March 19, 2004

The UN Corrupt? No... 

We here in the Nest must not live in the real world, because we were shocked, shocked I tells ya, to hear about how the UN's food for oil didn't benefit the Iraqi people. Who it did benefit though should be an eye opener for the "no blood for oil" people (btw, I'm still waiting to get all the free gas for my car and such that the "no blood for oil" people promised us). Just as a side note, I think it was on FNC, but I don't remember for sure, I saw that France stood to profit about $10 billion (yes, that's billion with a B) with their oil contracts with Iraq. So tell me again who was motivated by oil concerns? This comes from The Center For Security Policy originally written in the Opinion Journal.

"If there is evidence, we would investigate it very seriously," Kofi Annan insisted last month when presented with allegations that U.N. officials knew about and may have benefited from Saddam Hussein's corruption of the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food Program. Fortunately, Saddam appears to have been a stickler for record-keeping.

Lucky for us, that Saddam took records of all the people he bribed with oil.

A letter has come to the Journal supporting allegations that among those favored by Saddam with gifts of oil was Benon Sevan, director of the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food Program. As detailed on this page on Feb. 9, Mr. Sevan's name appears on a list of individuals, companies and organizations that allegedly received oil allocations or vouchers from Saddam that could then be sold via middlemen for a significant markup. The list, compiled in Arabic from documents uncovered in Iraq's oil ministry, included many of Saddam's nearest and dearest from some 50 countries, including the PLO, pro-Saddam British MP George Galloway, and French politician Charles Pasqua. (Messrs. Galloway and Pasqua have denied receiving anything from Saddam.) According to the list, first published by the Iraqi daily Al Mada in January, Mr. Sevan was another beneficiary, via a company in Panama known as Africa Middle East Petroleum Co. Ltd. (AMEP), about which we have learned quite a bit.

So, the free Iraqis uncovered a document from Saddam's regime that listed people who benefited from the Oil for Food program, and many of the recipients of bribes just so happened to support a regime that was responsible for gross human rights violations. Oh, and the guy responsible for administrating the program also just so happened to be on the take. Should we really trust the UN to investigate itself?

Mr. Sevan, through a U.N. spokesperson, has also denied the allegation. But the letter, which two separate sources familiar with its origins say was recovered from Iraqi Oil Ministry files, raises new questions about Mr. Sevan's relationship with Iraqi authorities. The letter is dated Aug. 10, 1998, and addressed to Iraq's oil minister. It states: "Mr. Muwafaq Ayoub of the Iraqi mission in New York informed us by telephone that the above-mentioned company has been recommended by his excellency Mr. Sevan, director of the Iraqi program at the U.N., during his recent trip to Baghdad." The matter is then recommended "for your consideration and proportioning" and the letter is signed Saddam Zain Hassan, executive manager of the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), the Iraqi state-owned company responsible for negotiating oil sales with foreign buyers. A handwritten note below the signature confirms the request was granted "by his excellency the Vice President of the Republic [presumably Taha Yassin Ramadan, now in U.S. custody] in a meeting of the Command Council on the morning of Aug. 15, 1998." Scrawled below that to one side is another note stating that 1.8 million barrels were allocated to the company two days later, on Aug. 17.

So then, the state owned company (read another appendage of Saddam's regime) wrote a letter to this guy outlining the bribe. Hmmmm

A second document shown to the Journal is a chart in Arabic with the heading "Quantity of Oil Allocated and Given to Mr. Benon Sevan." The Oil-for-Food Program was divided into 13 phases in all, representing roughly six-month periods from December 1996 through June 2003. Under phase four (during which the letter was written), the chart shows 1.8 million barrels as having been allocated to Mr. Sevan and 1,826 million barrels "executed." In some phases the chart indicates that an oil allocation was approved but no contract was executed for some reason, so that the total allocation awarded to Mr. Sevan in phases four through 13 is 14.2 million barrels, of which 7.291 million were actually disbursed, according to the document.

More evidence that the administrator of Oil for Food was on Saddam's payroll. Benon Sevan was obviously as corrupt as his program, but you would think that this guy would be smart enough to cover his tracks. Nope, he worked at the UN. Why would anyone investigate the UN?

Mr. Sevan could not be reached for comment on the letter, but did issue a denial in response to our Feb. 9 article. "There is absolutely no substance to the allegations . . . that I had received oil or oil monies from the former Iraqi regime," he said through a spokesman. "Those making the allegations should come forward and provide the necessary documentary evidence." The denial notwithstanding, the documents raise enough questions to warrant an investigation by the U.N., as well as by outside investigators, including the U.S. Congress. (A U.N. spokesman said yesterday that Mr. Sevan is on extended vacation until late April, after which he retires at the month's end.)

Most convenient.

There is no doubt that the U.N. relief effort in Iraq has been a global scandal. A monstrous dictator was able to turn the Oil-for-Food Program into a cash cow for himself and his inner circle, leaving Iraqis further deprived as he bought influence abroad and acquired the arms and munitions that coalition forces discovered when they invaded Iraq last spring.

Isn't the UN's strength supposed to be as a humanitarian relief organization? Don't answer, that was a rhetorical question.

A U.N. culture of unaccountability is certainly also to blame. And Security Council members share responsibility for lax oversight, no doubt one reason there is so little appetite for an investigation.

The UN believes itself to be above the law, not only that, but as has been shown, France, who just so happens to be a permanent member on the security council stood to profit from Saddam's oil.

But Saddam's ability to reap billions for himself, his cronies and those who proved useful to him abroad depended on individuals who were his counterparts. These deserve a full investigation if the U.N.'s credibility is to be restored and its role in Iraq and elsewhere trusted. Especially now, with the U.N. taking a more active role in Iraq, it's time we knew more about how the Oil-For-Food scandal was allowed to happen.

The UN has no credibility. They passed resolution after resolution but refused to enforce them. There will be no accounting for this from a body who was on the take. The US enforced the UN resolutions and was condemned for not being a part in the international community. They won't investigate themselves simply because the people who are in charge were most likely involved somehow (read Kofi Annan, but that comes Monday).

Thursday, March 18, 2004

More From the VRWC 

Spain was attacked by al-Qaeda for sending troops to Iraq. But I thought the Left claimed Iraq had no connection with al-Qaeda. Maybe I need to check with my people in the VRWC to see what the truth really is. I mean even the Left is smart enough to not keep on repeating something after they've been proven wrong. At least I think so.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Ketchup Really Voted for the $87 Billion? 

Well he did, kinda. In his own words, he first voted for it, and then voted against it. I'm not quite sure I understand that. He supported $87 billion for the troops and voted for it, but when the bill passed, he was one of the 12 who voted against it. This still doesn't compute, did he or didn't he? He was all for supporting the troops when Pres B's tax relief was ended, but when the tax cuts were left in place, Ketchup was against supporting the troops. Even after the explanation, I don't understand. Does Ketchup support the troops or doesn't he? I suppose that as per the Ketchup practice of being on both sides of the issue, Ketchup has to maintain his principals. What they are, I don't know. This is not some position where he can take his "nuanced" position. He voted (no matter how hard he tries to backtrack on it) to send troops into Iraq. He has an obligation to support the troops that he voted to send into battle no matter how hard he tries to backtrack. Ketchup loves to talk about how he served in Vietnam (even with all the questions about his combat experiences and subsequent betrayal of the soldiers still left in Vietnam during his anti-war "activism") and one thing that he talks about is politicians not supporting the troops they order into battle.

Hey Botulism Face, look in the mirror. You've become who you blamed for Vietnam.

Kerry is always whining and crying about the "Republican attack squad." It just goes to show us that he is not nearly a strong enough person to stand under the scrutiny of running for president, to say nothing of being in the Oval Office. Ketchup claims his patriotism is being questioned. He wants to debate Bush every month until the election. I don't know what his motivations for debating is; he runs away from his record, now, what will he do on national TV when his record is questioned. Explain his "nuanced" views? Try to blame questions on his record on the "Republican assault squad?" Whine about his patriotism being attacked? Kerry defenders attempt to explain Ketchup's flip-flops by talking about his evolution of ideas and ways of thinking. Does he not have a set of core ideals? Apparently not. If Ketchup did, he would take strong views and not run away from them, he would stand by his record. What's he going to do when he is forced to take a strong stance in the White House? Luckily, we'll never have to find out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A Modest Proposal... 

There has been much hand wringing from the Left about how Pres B is "squandering the good will" of other nations to America.
Since I spent a bunch of time thinking up a schoolyard analogy, I'm going to use it.
The international schoolyard is a pretty cliquish place. You have the UN countries that always hang out, you have the OPEC nations, you have the EU nations, etc. Little America always sits on the bench. Well, not always because sometimes other nations let America play with them when one of their "friends" stays home sick. All the other countries pretend to hate America, but whenever a bully is around, everyone goes to America for help. To its credit, America is always willing to help. Whenever anyone forgets their lunch money, America is always willing to loan some money knowing that they will never be repaid. Whenever someone needs help with their homework, America is always there to help them with it (not really, I'm just sticking with the theme). And for all this, people complain that we are not part of the "international community." IF THEY DON'T LIKE US AFTER ALL WE DID FOR THEM THEY CAN PISS OFF! The Leftists who are worried about "world opinion" can join them. No one can say it better than Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair who had it right in 1973, and it remains right to this very day.

On to the ranting.

Time and time again we hear about how the world hates us and our polices. So what. I have a modest proposal. Instead of propping up corrupt governments who pretend to like us because we pay them, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to name two, quit sending them money. Keep it here. Let them reap what they sow. If Germany doesn't want to help us in military missions, take our troops out, and put them into countries that would like to host our military, and the economic benefits of having a large group of well paid American soldiers in your city. In fact, we shouldn't lift a finger to defend anyone who is not a public and private ally of ours. It's too easy for other countries to pay lip service, but to undermine our policy at the drop of a hat, i.e. France. Let them use their army to *snicker* defend themselves. Let's do something like deploy the Big Red One to Israel and, the second the displaced Arabs wrongly known as the Palestinians think about attacking them, send the Big Red One in to wipe them out and send a message, "Don't f*ck with America!" If the UN wants us to deploy our troops someplace for "humanitarian" reasons, we send them the bill. I don't mean to turn our military into mercenaries, but if a deployment does not benefit America in any way, then why should the American taxpayer foot the bill, i.e. Haiti. What was our benefit? Next time someone wants to deploy our troops, before we mobilize send them a bill covering the estimated costs, and there will be an installment plan, we don't mobilize until the first payment is here, we don't deploy until the second payment, etc. If they miss a payment, we pull out. For everyone of our servicemen that are killed or wounded, they must pay the family a lump sum payment for the injury or death (I don't mean to put a price on the lives of our people, but if our military is fighting for another country's interest, then they should have to pay for our ruined lives). America is taken for granted across the world, they can say whatever they want about us, but we will always help them because America is better then everyone else, i.e. Iran. After the earthquake that killed around 30,000 people what did we do? Did we dance in the streets and gleefully proclaim, "God has brought His punishment down on the people of Iran for blasphemously referring to us as the Great Satan." No, we sent in humanitarian aid. Humanitarian aid to a country that would see each and everyone one of us dead. Why did we do it? Because we are Americans, we are willing to rise above other countries, and respect their life.

I have a modest proposal, we must step back, and take stock of the world. We need to redeploy our troops to defend our friends, and let the countries who want our help but not our friendship take care of themselves. It is time that we look out for ourselves and our friends, not countries who pretend to be our friends, but will stab us in the back when it becomes convenient. George Washington had it correct in his farewell address when he warned against foreign alliances. We see everyday how true that is. In spite of the fact that America is pro-democracy across the world, our "friends" would rather see the status quo maintained, especially when they are bought off by dictators. The US is the world's policeman. It's time we let the world police itself. They will be begging for our help before too long. They will blame us for pulling out, but the blame will be on their shoulders for expecting us to be there, but will be unable to realize that they did it to themselves by biting the hand that feeds them.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Thus Spaketh the Spaniards 

Spain has decided to toe the line that al-Qaeda drew in the sand. It is a blow to Western Civilization in WW IV. The Muslims are still fighting the Crusades, which just so happen to have ended 710 years ago. And I thought that I could hold a grudge for a long time. The Muslims hate Spain because of the 1492 reconquest. In short, Muslims hate Christendom. They hate us for our freedoms, they hate us for our "decadence," they hate us because we don't worship the same way as them. Spain showed al-Qaeda can use terrorism to cause other democratic nations to dance to their tune. The incoming PM of Spain has announce that the 1300 troops in Iraq will be pulled out when their tour of duty is over. He is also being criticized for being weak on terrorism. If the Islamofascists hear that, they will be all over Spain. To compromise with terrorism is to be defeated by it. Israel has been under siege by terrorism for its entire existence. Ariel Sharon was elected because he promised a tough stance on terrorism. Spain took one terrorist attack and decided to run away. I know that many people have referred to 3/11 as the Spanish 9/11. While all of us in America feel the pain of people being murdered in cold blood only because they rode the train to work, losing 200 people is a little different than losing 3,000. I feel that I am beginning to lose some of my sympathy for the Spanish. They decided that instead of fighting to preserve democracy and Western Civilization, Sharia, might not be so bad. Spain made their choice, instead of taking the offensive, they would rather hope that by withdrawing that they won't be attacked. If al-Qaeda smells fear, they will strike again, and Spain doesn't have the will to fight back. I hope the people who would vote for Ketchup take note, this is the same thing he wants to do in WW IV, hide his head in the sand and hope we aren't attacked. He won't unilaterally deploy troops in defense of America unless the entire structure of America is about to fall. I'm glad to know that Ketchup thinks so much of us. Moral relativism is fancy phrase for surrendering. Spain did it. After the successful Madrid bombings, the Spanish electorate emboldened al-Qaeda enough that we should expect attacks in Italy, Poland, the UK, etc when they hold elections. What will al-Qaeda do in November? We know that Pres. B will have a strong response to terrorism on American soil. Will Ketchup's convince the dictatorships and other anti-American interests at the UN to allow us to defend ourselves? That is what should scare every voter who even thinks about voting for Ketchup.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Foreign Leaders For Kerry 

Rush has an item up that shows us the "foreign leaders" who are for a Kerry presidency.

The Legacy of the Pro "Choice" Movement 

Just more proof that the pro "choice" movement is more concerned with killing babies than in respecting life. Memo to pro "choice" advocates, forced abortion takes away the right to choose. If the abortionists were concerned about choice, they would give unbiased information rather than forced abortions. But, this is just more proof that NOW and other women's "advocacy" groups are nothing more than pro abortion lobbies. They're also a core Democrat constituency. Remember what choice means to these people when Ketchup Kerry talks about a woman's right to choose. Choose what? A forced abortion or an abortion by choice? Well, these people are advocating forced abortion.

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