Kerry and the Global Con Artists - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Kerry and the Global Con Artists

The big news is that the U.N. has flunked “the global test.” And as big as it is, it’s a story that isn’t likely to find its way into the newspaper that trumpets “All the news that’s fit to print” in the upper left corner of its front page every day. To find that “the global community” is made up of a bunch of crooks, that “the global test” is a racket, and that John Kerry is either utterly naïve or in cahoots with these global con artists is something that’s just too unfit to think about, let alone broadcast to the masses, especially right before election day.

The whole shady story is in the Duelfer report. And while the Old Gray Lady in Manhattan tried valiantly to blur the real news under the headline “U.S. Report Finds Iraqis Eliminated Illicit Arms in 90’s,” what the report from the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group shows is that Saddam Hussein played the United Nations like a fiddle.

Highlighted in the first line of its “Key Findings,” the Duelfer report states that Saddam “wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction when sanctions were lifted.” To get there, Saddam set up an epic bribery scheme that put three of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in his pocket.

“It’s pretty clear that the Iraqi strategy and tactics of dividing the Security Council were having a fair amount of success,” said Charles Duelfer, the chief of the Iraq Survey Group, in public testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime.”

Saddam got within striking distance by corrupting the Oil-for-Food Program. With the U.N. in the role of overseer, Saddam was given a green light to sell oil in order to get funds to import “humanitarian goods.” Instead, as Duelfer told Congress, Saddam exploited the program to pile up billions in illicit money, import military items expressly banned by U.N. sanctions, and develop a massive kickback scheme to buy the votes and influence of strategic individuals and countries.

Especially targeted by Saddam were three veto-wielding members of the Security Council — Russia, France, and China. The bait was cut-rate oil vouchers which could be offloaded on the world markets at the going rate or surreptitiously swapped for cash. The alleged beneficiaries identified by the Survey Group included individuals with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and French President Jacques Chirac, i.e., Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, retired UN Oil-for-Food director Benon Sevan, and former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua.

In a shrewd tactic to rake in millions for himself, Saddam ordered voucher recipients to pay kickbacks. Duelfer reports that recipients made the payments by carrying bags of cash to Iraqi embassies in Moscow, Geneva, Ankara, Amman, Beirut and Hanoi, among other places.

By the time it was over, 45 percent of Saddam’s cut-rate vouchers had found their way into pockets in France and Russia, with Russia and France subsequently becoming the two most vociferous opponents of military action against Iraq. France went further, assuring Saddam that it would use its veto in the Security Council to prevent any invasion.

Having successfully corrupted and divided the international community, Saddam was a step away from celebrating the end of sanctions and reconstituting his WMD programs. As described by New York Times columnist David Brooks: “With sanctions weakening and money flowing, Saddam rebuilt his strength. He contacted WMD scientists in Russia, Belarus, Bulgaria and elsewhere to enhance his technical knowledge base. He increased the funds for his nuclear scientists. He increased his military-industrial-complex’s budget 40-fold between 1996 and 2002. He increased the number of technical research projects to 3,200 from 40.”

Iraqi nuclear scientist Mahdi Obeidi, writing in the New York Times on September 26, stated that “our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein’s fingers. Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary.” Additionally, Duelfer reports that Saddam “clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems” for missiles with strike capacities in excess of 600 miles.

The problem for John Kerry? It seems increasingly far-fetched to say that Saddam wasn’t a threat, or that we’re the ones running a “coalition of the bribed,” or that U.S. moves should pass a “global test.”

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