Monday, November 15, 2004

It was the oil, stupid

Think about the United Nations and all the opportunities it had to stop Saddam, and the twelve years in which it did nothing.

And don't forget when the U.S. went to the U.N. repeatedly, how certain countries took every opportunity to ensure that Saddam remained in power.

As more and more becomes known about the Oil-For-Food Program in Iraq, the U.N. — looking dirtier and dirtier — still refusing to cooperate, may be in for a surprise.

Annan's obstruction of outside investigations has strong support within the U.N. members whose citizens are most likely to be embarrassed by revelations of payoffs: Russia, France and China lead all the rest. He has dutifully continued to align himself with their interests by declaring the overthrow of Saddam "illegal" and recently denouncing our attack on the insurgents in Falluja. Perhaps he thinks that this confluence of national interest in cover-up - along with the unwillingness of most media to dig into a complicated story - will let his stonewalling succeed. He reckons not with an insulted Congress.
William Safire has more .



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