Thursday, September 08, 2005

Key findings of oil-for-food report

Of course Annan should resign. It may seem terribly old-fashioned to say so but any CEO in business, or highly-placed official in politics takes the credit for their subordinates' successes. The quid pro quo is that they also take the blame for their failures. The UN Secretary General does not need to have participated in his son's alleged misconduct or to have been aware of his subordinates' failings to be accountable for the UN's dismal performance.

The most significant comment in this summary of the findings however, is buried at the bottom of the list - just as it is only hinted at diplomatically in the text of the report itself. France and Russia, two of the "P-5" permanent members of the Security Council, were "...reluctant to address illegal oil flows to Syria...".

As a guest in Moscow, I choose not to comment on Russia's role.

What of France though? Why would that respectable member of the family of nations be reluctant to impede illegal flows of oil; flows serving the corrupt purposes of Saddam Hussein's regime, rather than genuine "oil for food" exchanges? Can we draw any inference from its conduct in this respect as to the reasons behind the subsequent conduct of French foreign policy in the run-up to the US Alliance's invasion?

Our European "friends" and "allies" took a cynical line about the invasion. The suggestion was that it was "...all about oil...", i.e. about the US gaining control of supplies from Iraq. It seems possible that it was indeed "...all about oil..." i.e. La Belle France's reluctance to lose her secret control of those supplies. Given that the US could have had Iraqi oil far cheaper by supporting France, China and Russia in ending sanctions, this is at least a more credible theory that that of the world-weary Continental sophisticates.

Telegraph | News | Key findings of oil-for-food report

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