Thursday, August 12, 2004

Food-for-Oil - Version One

The media writes the first version of history. Most of the time they hope it will be the last if it's unfavorable. First they print it, then they deep six it.

The New York Times is finally examining the Iraq Food-for-oil program. It's the U.N.'s fault. "The United Nations let him do it." It's their fault. For being so trusting. And having those bothersome committees.
When the report landed in the UN's Iraq sanctions committee, the clearinghouse for all contracts with Iraq, it caused only a few ripples of consternation. There was no action, diplomats said, not even a formal meeting on the allegations.

After the sanctions committee debated for months about what to do...

Two committee members said the panel debated for months whether to urge India to investigate. "Discussions on the matter remain inconclusive," the committee said.

The bothersome truth is the sanctions committee was made up of members of -- soo prize -- the Security Council.
In the halls of the UN, the program became a battleground for the competing commercial interests and political agendas of the 15 individual nations that made up the Security Council, diplomats said. Those same nations made up the Iraq sanctions committee, which took action only by a consensus that could be blocked by any member.

Sooo.. someone is to blame for blocking the solution. Much like the dithering in Rwanda and the Sudan where consensus was and still is subject to veto by a member of the Security Council. Why didn't you just say so?

Nice try for the first version of history by getting the unpalatable truth outfront. That the Security Council knew what was happening in Iraq, participated in the looting of Iraq oil and agreed to kickbacks to Saddam Hussein. And did nothing. It's so clear now. Except there are a few details...

The New York Times isn't going to write a second version. That's the chapter on how the media knew all of this then and wrote nothing. And how the Clinton administration knew all of this and did nothing.

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