Thursday, November 10, 2005

Oil for Food Program: Smoking Gun or Smokescreen?

Paul Volcker, head of the United Nations independent enquiry investigating problems of corruption surrounding the oil-for-food program, has found that 2,200 international firms contributed to corrupting the UN program, as well as supporting Saddam Hussein's regime, by paying unaccounted surcharges -which allegedly went straight into the pockets of the leadership - in order to do oil business with Iraq. But former director of the oil-for-food program Denis Halliday argues that the enquiry "has diverted attention away from genuine scandals of size and significance, and neglected breeches of international law by UN Security Council member states in connection with UN aggression on Iraq, UN sanctions on Iraq and the corruption and abuse of the oil-for-food program." In other words, although the report succeeded in exposing corruption, it failed to expose the fact that all companies were, in one way or another, vetted by members of the Security Council to do business in Iraq.

Read the article by
Serene Assir at Al-Ahram Weekly

No comments: