The REAL REAL Reason France And Russia
Opposed War With Iraq
By Andrew L. Jaffee, 4/23/2003
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I just recently wrote about how France and Russia benefited by selling arms to Saddam Hussein, and how they had a vested interest in keeping Saddam in power. Well, the plot has thickened even more. France and Russia have raked in cash through their involvement with the former Iraqi dictator under the UN's "oil-for-food" program.
Now we find that the UN's "oil-for-food program is no ordinary relief effort. Not only does it involve astronomical amounts of money, it also operates with alarming secrecy," according to Claudia Rosett writing in April 18th's New York Times.
From another Times article it was revealed that Russian companies made $7.3 billion from Iraq since 1996, while France made $3.7 billion. The UN itself collected a 2.2% commission on every barrel of oil sold under this "oil-for-food" program to cover administrative costs. Oil-for-food bank accounts have held approximately $12 billion in the past year. Yet all these sordid financial details have been hidden from the people footing the bill: mainly American taxpayers and taxpayers of other Western nations.
Before the war to liberate Iraq, Russia was trying to have UN sanctions on Saddam lifted. Russia figured it could make more money from Iraq without sanctions. France also opposed sanctions before American military intervention.
Now that the war is over, President Bush has asked that UN sanctions on Iraq be lifted. All of a sudden, France and Russia are opposing the lifting of sanctions!?!? They now claim they want UN inspectors to verify that Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction before sanctions are lifted!?!? Wait a minute, France and Russia vociferously denied that Iraq had WMD before the war.
Such pork. Such cynicism. Such pork-barrel cynicism--or in this case, oil-barrel cynicism. Am I the only person amazed at the depth of French and Russian hypocrisy? (and indeed Orwellian double-think [in 1984, fearless leader changes the name of the enemy in mid-speech, and the throngs don't even notice]). In another sudden shift in policy, yesterday the French UN ambassador called for Iraq sanctions to be lifted.
It seems the French and Russians are desperate for a piece of the action in post-war Iraq. One would think they'd at least be a little ashamed of their hypocritical money grubbing. Oh, I forgot, Americans are the arrogant, utilitarian, evil capitalists trying to turn the world into one big profit center... (I'd laugh if I weren't already crying.)