Thursday, October 07, 2004

Coaltion of the Bribed, Indeed

"It's hard to pass the 'Global Test' when the people grading it are being bribed to administer a failing grade". Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit in the blogosphere) uses the confessions of Tariq Aziz, among others, to argue that Kerry's foreign polciy case has collapsed. No only has Kerry admitted that he knows France and Germany will not send any troops but the Oil-for-Bribes scandal has uncovered a vast network of international figures bought and paid for by the Hussein regime.

Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France - having been granted oil contracts - would veto any American plans for war.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.

The Oil-for-Bribes scandal is perhaps the number 1 under-reported (or even unreported) story of the year. The same report by Charles Duelfer that the press is so eagerly touting as proof that the Bush adminstration mislead the world in regards to Husseins weapons contains damning evidence of bribes and corruption at the highest levels of the UN and several nations that were, unsurprisingly, critics of the Iraq war.

The Duelfer report said that Benon Sevan, the former chief of the U.N. program, is among dozens of people who allegedly received secret oil vouchers, with Saddam personally approving the list of recipients. The voucher list was dominated by Russian, French and Chinese recipients, in that order, with Saddam spreading the wealth widely to prominent business leaders, politicians, foreign government ministries and political parties, the report said.

The report names former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri and the Russian radical political figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky as voucher recipients, for example, and other foreign governments range from Yemen to Namibia.

Reynolds is right, the Global Test is rigged against us, by bribes, corruption and intimidation. The coalition of the bribed and the coerced, as Kerry calls it, was not the coalition that supported the war in Iraq. It was the coalition that opposed it.


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