[Marxism] Oil for Food My Foot

Calvin Broadbent calvinbroadbent at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 1 05:28:24 MST 2005

>From 'Another Day in Empire' blog:


Oil for Food My Foot
Saturday October 29th 2005, 11:00 am

Few of us give a whit about the so-called Oil for Food scandal. It¡¯s little 
more than a pet project for neocon Republicans, so-called ¡°conservatives¡± 
in Washington, and like-minded folks at the United Nations and in the 
British Commons.

The so-called Oil for Food scandal obfuscates the real issue¡ªthe sanctions 
imposed against Iraq by a maidservant United Nations (and enforced by US and 
British warplanes) were responsible for killing more than a million people, 
half of them defenseless children. Denis Halliday, United Nations 
Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad, resigned his post in 1997. ¡°I don¡¯t 
want to administer a programme that satisfies the definition of genocide,¡± 
said Halliday. Halliday¡¯s successor, Hans von Sponeck, also resigned. ¡°How 
much longer can democratically elected governments hope to get away with 
justifying policies that punish the Iraqi people for something they did not 
do, through economic sanctions that target them in the hope that those who 
survive will overthrow the regime? Is international law only applicable to 
the losers? Does the UN security council only serve the powerful?¡± von 
Sponeck and Halliday wrote for the Guardian in November, 2001.

In fact, the rubber stamp UN Security Council does ¡°only serve the 
powerful,¡± as it demonstrates repeatedly. In regard to Iraq, the UN imposed 
a flurry of resolutions¡ª660, 661, 678, 686, 687, 688, 707, 715, 986, 1284, 
and finally 1441, this last demanding ¡°an accurate full, final, and 
complete disclosure¡± of Iraq¡¯s illusory weapons of mass 
destruction¡ªresolutions we may rightfully consider stepping stones to 
Bush¡¯s illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Bush used UN Security Council 
Resolution 1373 (an ¡°anti-terrorism measure¡±) to claim Iraq provided 
¡°shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against 
Iran, Israel, and Western governments¡­. And al-Qaida terrorists escaped 
from Afghanistan are known to be in Iraq,¡± all of this not only patently 
false, but an engineered lie, as we now know, and some of us knew at the 
time. Bush and the neocons used 1441 as a carte blanche excuse to invade 
Iraq and kill over 100,000 innocent Iraqis. Of course, there was a whimper 
of protest from the United Nations when Bush invaded, but this was less than 
pathetic, and in fact was used by neocon cheerleaders to demonstrate how the 
UN is rife with America haters and Saddam appeasers. Naturally, the 
self-righteous squawk of the neocons, attacking the UN and ¡°Old Europe,¡± 
dominated headlines and sound-bites across the subservient corporate media. 
Obviously, the UN¡¯s rubber stamp is not large enough.

Instead of concentrating on the criminal nature of the sanctions, we are 
subjected to neocon recrimination and the accusations of a former central 
banker, Paul Volker, who heads an ¡°independent¡± commission tasked with 
investigating the Oil for Food scandal. ¡°More than 2,000 firms that 
participated in the UN¡¯s oil-for-food programme were involved in bribes and 
kickbacks to Saddam Hussein¡¯s regime,¡± reports the Guardian. Of course, 
this should not be surprising¡ªbribes and kickbacks are business as usual 
for many corporations. Even so, former central banker Volker didn¡¯t come 
down too hard on these corporations. ¡°The identification of a particular 
company in the report does not necessarily mean that that company as opposed 
to an agent ¡­ made unauthorised [payments] or even knew about illicit 
payments,¡± said Volker. In other words, individuals will be ferreted out 
and made to pay for the sins of their employers¡ªonce again, business as 

Instead of taking down multinational corporations, select political 
opponents are to be skewered¡ªfor instance British MP George Galloway. ¡°Mr 
Galloway was not in the Commons to hear himself compared to Lord Haw-Haw, 
the nickname given to the infamous Nazi propagandist and convicted traitor 
William Joyce who was hanged in 1946,¡± reports the UK Telegraph, a Brit 
neocon newspaper successfully sued by Galloway for fabricated lies against 
him. In fact, so eager are Galloway¡¯s enemies to get him¡ªbecause his 
sharp-tongued criticisms of the Iraq invasion and occupation are spot 
on¡ªDenis MacShane, the former Foreign Office minister, called for a joint 
committee of the Commons and the US Congress to grill Galloway and either 
send him into the political wilderness or off to the hoosegow.

Meanwhile, understanding well how the United Nations is manipulated by the 
United States, Russia has called for the ¡°Independent Inquiry Committee¡± 
(so independent it is controlled by a former central banker) to disclose its 
sources. Russia figures prominently in Volker¡¯s report¡ªin fact, the 
country tops the list¡ªnot surprising since Russia was against the US-UN 
sanctions, designed to kill as many Iraqis as possible. ¡°We were in touch 
several times with the commission and in a number of cases the documents 
they showed us were fake, in particular the signatures of Russian 
officials,¡± claimed Russia¡¯s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Siphoning off a billion or so dollars from the Oil for Food program¡ªif 
indeed the accusations are true (and at least some of the accusations appear 
to be based on forged documents)¡ªpales in comparison to the crimes 
committed under the sanctions imposed against Iraq. Bush Senior, Clinton, 
and Bush Minor (and the Brit poodle Blair) are responsible for killing well 
over a million Iraqis. Of course, this is a minor issue for established 
sociopaths and war criminals, for instance Clinton¡¯s Secretary of State 
Madeleine Albright, who said: ¡°I think this is a very hard choice [killing 
500,000 Iraqi children] but the price¡ªwe think the price is worth it.¡± As 
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting explains, this quote¡ªso instrumental in 
revealing the mindset of the cold-blooded sociopathic neolib elite¡ªappeared 
but once in the corporate press after nine eleven.

Meanwhile, the search criteria ¡°oil for food¡± used on the Google News 
Search site produces ¡°about 17,500¡å results.

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