While their peoples congratulated themselves that their leaders and those of the international community had "les couilles" to oppose Bush, they added, with a laugh in direction of the clueless Yankees, "Do you believe everything your leaders tell you?!"
Russian and French firms dominated the list of companies that made nearly $2 billion in illicit payments to Saddam Hussein's regime in order to win contracts under the Iraq oil-for-food program, according to a massive new report released yesterday in a U.N.-approved inquiry.Contrary to what you have been told,
More than half the companies that participated in the U.N. oil-for-food program helped Saddam undermine international sanctions by paying kickbacks and fees to the regime, according to investigators, who found that 2,250 firms from 66 nations made illegal payments to Iraq.
"The reports show that Saddam Hussein aggressively manipulated a well-intentioned program so that he could divert to his personal use billions of dollars that belonged to the Iraqi people," said John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"But he was only able to accomplish this misdeed with the willing cooperation of U.N. officials, the acquiescence of some member states, and, as today's report indicates, the willingness of private companies and individuals to pay huge sums in bribes and kickbacks to the Hussein regime."
Firms from countries that Iraq deemed sympathetic -- including U.N. Security Council powers France, Russia and China -- were often given preferential treatment, according to the 623-page report compiled by a team of investigators headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker.
Those same governments worked to loosen the sanctions, and also opposed the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq.…
Only a handful of U.S. firms were found to be in violation of the oil-for-food program, in part because Washington was emphatically in favor of stern sanctions.Claims that "America did the same" are not only false, therefore, they are part of the fallback tactic when the usual holier-than-thou strategy seems (at least temporarily) impossible to defend: "Either we are (far) better, wiser, more lucid, and more tolerant than our bogeymen (the Yanks) or, at worst, we are just as bad all of us. But heaven forbid that at any time, anybody should entertain the notion that Uncle Sam may be (may have been) right"…
What is interesting (and self-serving) is that, consciously or not, this fallback tactic is in itself part of the holier-than-thou strategy, in view of the fact that, with the Yanks being the clueless idiots that everybody knows them to be (the idiots who think they are holier-than-thou when everybody knows we are all equal), the "we are all as bad" tactic goes to show that, even then, the Euros prove to be more wise and more tolerant and more open-eyed and more open to self-criticism than the Yanks in question…