Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Cheating on the Global Test
John Kerry wants a "Global Test" for going to war, but how do we know that the others involved in the test aren’t underhanded cheating surrender monkeys? (Via InstaPundit) The Scotsman reports:
SADDAM HUSSEIN believed he could avoid the Iraq war with a bribery strategy targeting Jacques Chirac, the President of France, according to devastating documents released last night.
Memos from Iraqi intelligence officials, recovered by American and British inspectors, show the dictator was told as early as May 2002 that France - having been granted oil contracts - would veto any American plans for war....
Although they found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the "guiding theme" of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible."
Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.
To keep America at bay, he focusing on Russia, France and China - three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers.
Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.
Iraqi intelligence officials then "targeted a number of French individuals that Iraq thought had a close relationship to French President Chirac," it said, including two of his "counsellors" and spokesman for his re-election campaign.
They even assessed the chances for "supporting one of the candidates in an upcoming French presidential election." Chirac is not mentioned by name.
A memo sent to Saddam dated in May last year from his intelligence corps said they met with a "French parliamentarian" who "assured Iraq that France would use its veto in the UN Security Council against any American decision to attack Iraq."
Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, last night said again that he was wrong to suggest Saddam had WMD - but asked the British public to accept that Iraq would probably have acquired such weapons if he had not acted.
However, the ISG uncovered millions of pages of documents and, after interviewing scores of captured Iraqis - including Mr Aziz - the report lays out what it says is were plans to end the United Nations sanctions then start to acquire weapons.
The bribery runs very very deep as today’s Telegraph notes:
France and Russia pressed for the lifting of UN sanctions from the mid-1990s.
This highlights the severe limitations of the multilateralist approach. Giving those that have been bribed by our enemy (in this case the French and Russians) veto power over policy towards that enemy essentially gives proximate veto power to the enemy himself. Yielding decisions to the UN Security Council would not have been altogether different than yielding decisions to Saddam Hussein.
In 1992, according to Iraqi intelligence documents included in the report, Abdel-Razek Al Hashimi, the Iraqi ambassador to France, handed $1 million for the ruling Socialist party to Pierre Joxe, the defence minister.
Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister, awarded several French "individuals" substantial oil vouchers in return for using their influence to help lift sanctions.
Most vouchers could be exchanged for cash from oil middlemen in Baghdad. "Saddam sought favourable relations with France because France was influential in the Security Council," the report said.
In June 2000, Iraq awarded $1.78 billion in short-term contracts under the food programme to France, worth 15 per cent of Iraq's total oil contracts, in the hope of ensuring support over sanctions.
Coalition of the "coerced and bribed"? "It’s all about the oil?" Perhaps John Kerry and the left were correct after all, at least when it comes to the French and Russians.