Monday, October 11, 2004

Iraq's WMD Program

Claudia Rosette, of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, and the Hudson Institute, writes in today's National Review Online a scathing review of Saddam Hussein's WMD program and how Saddam was positioning Iraq for a post-sanctions build-up of WMD's. As reported here last week, the Duelfer Report outlines a chilling and outrageous corruption scandal involving the UN, and many of the countries most opposed to the war in Iraq.

Here is an excerpt:

"CIA chief weapons inspector Charles Duelfer may not have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but he sure found information enough to blow the lid off the simmering scandal of the United Nations Oil-for-Food program. As it turns out, Oil-for-Food pretty much was Saddam Hussein's weapons program.
As Duelfer documents, Oil-for-Food allowed Saddam to replenish his empty coffers, firm up his networks for hiding money and buying arms, corrupt the U.N.'s own debates over Iraq, greatly erode sanctions and deliberately prep the ground for further rearming, including the acquisition of nuclear weapons. As set up and run by the U.N., Oil-for-Food devolved into a depraved and increasingly dangerous mockery of what was advertised by the U.N. as a relief program for sick and starving Iraqis.
The report notes that the start of Oil-for-Food, in 1996, marked the revival of Saddam's post-Gulf War fortunes. His regime amassed some $11 billion in illicit funds between the end of the Gulf War in 1991, and his overthrow by the U.S.-led Coalition in 2003. Most of that money flowed in from 1996-2003, during the era of Oil-for-Food. One might add that what allowed this dirty money to stack up was U.N. policy — urged along and overseen by Annan, in the name of aid — that allowed Saddam to import the equipment to revive Iraq's oil production, all of it accruing to Saddam. Saddam's regime had virtually no other source of income; there was no tax base. It was out of these oil flows, condoned (but not well metered) by the U.N., that Saddam derived virtually all income for the astounding roster of political bribery and illicit arms transactions detailed in this report."

Here is the whole article.

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