October 14, 2005

UN Oil For Food Scandal: Finally, The French Connection Is Acknowledged (by French and English Media)

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:25 am

The London Times Nails It (HT Roger Simon; bold is mine):

Envoys admit taking oil payoffs
France has distanced itself from two former ambassadors facing corruption charges

TWO former French ambassadors have admitted earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of oil that Iraq had assigned to them under the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme.

The disclosure tarnished France’s moral stand against the invasion of Iraq, and its Foreign Ministry scrambled to distance itself from the alleged illicit activities of Serge Boidevaix, a former director of the ministry, and of Jean-Bernard Mérimée, a former French Ambassador to the UN. Both are facing corruption charges.

Jean-Baptiste Mattei, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said: “There is no link . . . with the decision of France not to participate in the Iraq war. This stemmed from our concept of international law.”

A question for Mr. Mattei: What’s French for “horsecrap”?

Even the press that is French can’t ignore the stench:

Questions raised about French links to Saddam

PARIS, October 13 (AFP) – A judicial investigation into two high-ranking former French diplomats — both suspected of benefitting from the largesse of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq — has cast a spotlight on the often ambiguous relations between Paris and the former dictator.

The affair also casts a shadow over France’s Iraqi policy and raises suspicions about the complicity of top political figures, according to French analysts and newspapers.

“It is at the very top of the state, where no-one can have failed to be aware of these transgressions … and whose zealous servants these men were, that ultimate responsibility resides,” said the left-wing daily Libération on Thursday.

“These suspicions will knock a deep hole in the image of French diplomacy,” said Le Monde. “Even the most indulgent will wonder about the risks of a pro-Arab policy that was at times wilfully blind.”

And here’s what Simon says (bold is his):

Liberalist blogs (I think that’s a better word than liberal, which doesn’t really apply) for my “obsession” with the Oil-for-Food scandal. What’s a little corruption, they seem to be asking (when they are not busy bashing me as an apostate)? After all, graft is pandemic. Why get so excited by one case?

….. It’s not just about graft. It’s about the preservation of fascism for money. You down with that, liberalists? Think about it in your hearts. This isn’t about Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives and all the rest of that left-over Eighteenth Century sports terminology. This is about real human beings who were living in a country where the dictator tossed people in paper shredders while his minions bought him protection on the UN Security Council. No thriller writer could get away with a plot like that, but Saddam Hussein did… with the help of his buddies Jacques Chirac and Kofi Annan.

How will the American press react to this? I predict: very, very quietly.

October 15: Wizbang Weekend Carnival participant.

Quote of the Day: Mark Steyn

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:10 am

Steyn (scrolling down at link may be necessary) connects the plot of “Serenity” with a certain modern quasi-megastate:

By now you’re probably wondering, yeah, so you liked the rough’n’ready sets and TV dialogue and reaction shots, but is it about anything? Well, it claims to be. The tag line on the posters in the US was ‘Because the future is worth fighting for.’ And, if it doesn’t quite live up to that billing, it’s got more going on than the Star Wars Zen-by-numbers colouring book. Having won the war, the Alliance begins mind-washing its citizens to make them more content and placid. Unfortunately, as a side-effect, folks also lose the desire to go to work, to breed, and ultimately to live — except for a very small minority whom the mind-washing backfires on and turns into feral predators who destroy everything they come near. Hmm. Aside from anything else, Serenity is also an excellent allegory for the next ten years of the European Union.

Positivity: Managing Molecules

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

This is not scifi dream stuff. The second paragraph describes an awesome accomplishment. The implications are amazing: