Friday, May 20, 2005

Oil-for-Food Scandal

I am all for investigating the Oil-for-Food scandal, and for punishing anyone involved.

However, I am concerned that a lot of the concentration on the Oil-for-Food scandal is a way for the US and UK governments to shift the blame for the problems caused by the sanctions - "the sanctions didn't kill anyone! The Iraqis would have been healthy and prosperous if George Galloway and Kofi Annan had not stolen their money! We are blameless!"

That the sanctions per se led to a lot of deaths is not negated by the oil-for-Food scandal (in no small part due ot the fact that the sanctions existed for 5 years before the program was set up), methinks.

And the claims that if Saddam had used the money as it had been meant to be used everything would have been fine suffer when we consider that the sanctions, as I recall, prohibited certain items from being imported into Iraq; that is, the sanctions didn't just limit the quantity of Iraq's total imports, certain things were not allowed to be imported even if they were willing to spend Oil-for-Food money on it. I believe that these included many of the water purification materials used in Iraq.

I'll get more information and blog on this later.

None the less, let me close by saying two things: first, if Galloway is guilty, hand 'im, and second, let me say:

That is all.

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