No, thats not a comment on the quality of my blog postings. It refers to today's Oil for Fraud? editorial in the Washington Post. Its about time that this long discredited paper actually print an editorial that approximates the truth.
In recent congressional testimony, the General Accounting Office said it has evidence that the government of Saddam Hussein also profited from the program, through the imposition of "surcharges" on suppliers. Several months ago, an Iraqi newspaper also claimed it had documents proving that oil money had found its way to others. Among them, the newspaper alleged, were French and Russian politicians and parties; a pro-Hussein member of the British Parliament, George Galloway; the PLO; and, most damagingly, Benon Sevan, director of the oil-for-food program. Finally, Cotecna, the company chosen by the United Nations to inspect goods being imported into Iraq, had not only been previously implicated in bribery scandals, it was also the former employer of Kojo Annan, the son of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.The Post's editorial gets better.
Mr. Annan has denied any wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the secretary general, who has openly called for the United Nations to play a larger role in postwar Iraq, had not attempted to investigate the press reports -- allegedly because Security Council members France and Russia were privately blocking him. This week, Mr. Annan has let it be known that he would like to reverse course and launch an "independent" investigation. According to spokesmen, he is scheduled to reveal some of its details today.And the piece de resistance
Mr. Annan owes it to the Iraqis to make this investigation real and thorough. If the United Nations cannot disprove its critics -- and punish wrongdoers, if any -- it will be harder to trust the organization to manage humanitarian and peacekeeping missions in the futureSure, I don't think they are hard hitting enough. But lets look at the strides that have been made.
1) They now, albeit reluctantly, seem to acknowledge the credible reasons for the Bush Administration's reluctance to allow any UN role in Iraq.
2) They reveal, in plain detail for their readers, anti qar and liberal left darling George Galloway's utter lack of veracity.
3) They expose France and Russia and the International Community's shocking indifference to the fate of the Iraqi people.
4) They paint liberal left hero Kofi Annan to be the lying, cheating, scoundral he is.
While I undoutably am in favor of much harsher punishment for wrongdoers than the Post, their simple call for punishment of senior UN officials is nevertheless admirable (especially in light of how much it must pain them to state)