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What a solid piece of reporting. But I am a little sanguine about the level of influence that Saddam’s oil contracts represented to the Unity Party (i.e. Putin).
Based on your reporting we’re looking at $30-40 million over a three to four year period. (Correct me if I am wrong.) Sounds like a lot of money till you consider that Putin with a simple phone call could have a $10 million campaign contribution sitting on his desk in a day. Being as five of the ten richest people in the world reside in Moscow, and there are no campaign finance laws in that country, dropping that kind of cash in the right hands is done on quite a regular basis. When the oligarchs assets holdings end in the letter B on the balance sheet what’s a couple of million to assure good service?
I would also point out that the arrest of Khodorkovsky, of LUK oil was an attempt by Putin to do two things: first to send a message to the oligarchs that political meddling has limits; second to assure his party had parity in what was being dished out. Khodorkovsky was prior to the time of his arrest known to be providing funds to the opposition out of proportion to the party in power such is the ham handedness of Russian affairs. No one has ever accused Russians of being subtle.
If the Russians were willing to poison an opposition candidate for the Ukrainian elections to assure a favorable deal from the incumbent for an oil pipeline to the Baltic, it gives one pause to understand that bribes in the former CIS states is grease not influence. Saddam’s OFF offerings to Russia were more likely inducements for better pricing on military hardware than trying to curry personal favor in the ruling party.p>A sad tale nonetheless. So what do you have on the French? br> — John McGinnis br> Arlington, Texas /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?