Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Oil For Food, Part Two - Claudia Rosett

In my first post about Oil For Food, I mentioned Claudia Rosett. The scandal had been brewing slowly, but it was this April article in Commentary that first brought the issue front and center to a lot of people. There was some degree of knowledge that the program was crooked, but the scale was starting to become apparent. Early estimates by Rosett and others had the fraud at a "mere" $11 billion, but most of the storyline was already known. In fact, Ms. Rosett was criticizing Oil For Food as far back as September, 2002, albeit for being basically a UN job program. A quick glance at this link shows just how instrumental Ms. Rosett has been on keeping the fire going on this issue, for which she deserves our thanks this Thanksgiving.

There are huge aspects of this story that I have yet to mention (but will go into soon)...meanwhile, the disgust with the UN seems to be growing by the day. Captain's Quarters alerted me to a quote from US Amabassador to the UN John Danforth, worth quoting at length:
John C. Danforth, the United States ambassador, assailed the General Assembly on Tuesday, saying its decision to avoid voting on a resolution denouncing human rights violations in Sudan called into question the purpose of the Assembly.

"One wonders about the utility of the General Assembly on days like this," he said. "One wonders if there can't be a clear and direct statement on matters of basic principle, why have this building? What is it all about?"

The point: the UN is failing its most basic mission. If the UN cannot stop mass murder in Rwanda and the Sudan, if it can't enforce a dozen resolutions on Saddam Hussein, if it is a hotbed of corruption, then the time has come to pull the plug.

No comments: