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Not only is that statement extremely vague so that it could mean anything, the source has got to be questioned.
Why do you suppose France and Russia — nations that for years urged the lifting of sanctions on oil production of Saddam's Iraq — are now preventing an end to those U.N. sanctions on free Iraq?
Answer: the Chirac-Putin bedfellowship wants to maintain control of the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, under which Iraq was permitted to sell oil and ostensibly use the proceeds to buy food and medicine for its people. (In reality, Saddam skimmed a huge bundle and socked it away in Swiss, French and Asian banks.)
This extortion is greeted with hosannas by the thousand or more U.N. employees and contractors involved in the present oil-for-food setup, many beholden to France for their jobs. And so long as the U.N. bureaucracy handles the accounting, it is as if Arthur Andersen were back in business — no questions are asked about who profits from the sanctions management.
My Kurdish friends, for example, who are entitled by U.N. resolution to 13 percent of the oil-for-food revenues, believe their four million people are owed billions in food and hospital supplies. I wonder: in what French banks is the money collected from past oil sales deposited? Is a competitive rate of interest being paid? Is that interest being siphoned off in "overhead" to pay other U.N. bills?
IN the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, and in the year since, a fashionable argument about toppling Saddam Hussein's regime went something like this: no effort to end the suffering of the Iraqi people would be "legitimised" unless it was led by the UN because, while the UN's motives were humanitarian, those of the US and its allies were blackened by material self-interest. There is now growing evidence that the opposite was the case. Iraqi oil production is at pre-war levels, and generating $20 billion a year in profits that flow direct to the Iraqi people – not the coffers of the coalition of the willing. But in a scandal that has now snaked its way right to the office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it appears that it was at the UN, and among Security Council members who opposed the invasion, that Iraq was "all about oil".
Frenchman Michael Soussan, a former program coordinator for the $100 billion fund, is expected to be the star witness of a House International Relations Committee hearing looking into Saddam's gigantic $10.1 billion rip-off.
Committee sources said Soussan, now a New York-area writer, is expected to give the first, under oath, public account from an insider about how top U.N. officials were aware of Saddam's oil smuggling and kickback schemes but chose to let him get away with it.
Originally posted by CazMedia
Some ally france turned out to be. The Russians i can see doing this as they need hard currency, and well screwing the USA in a quiet way helps ease the sting of losing the cold war, but those darn french have about worn out our "alliance".
UNITED NATIONS - An Iraqi official said today there was a list of cash bribes made by Saddam Hussein's government to journalists, politicians and groups in connection with the US$67 billion ($108.92 billion) UN-run oil-for-food programme.
Jalal Talabani, a Kurdish member of the Iraqi Governing Council, said Iraqi officials combing Saddam's files had not decided whether to release the list as part of a burgeoning scandal over the defunct programme.
"We have a list of cash paid to journalists, personalities, groups and parties," Talabani told a news conference after conferring with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan over an Iraqi interim government.
A separate, previously released list contains the names of more than 250 individuals, business, politicians and other groups alleged to have received vouchers for oil they could sell.