December 08, 2004

Deliberately Smearing Annan and the UN

If you are pro-Bush, it's almost essential to be anti-UN. The United Nations is the only entity in the world with the moral authority to declare Bush's foreign policy illegal, and Kofi Annan has done so.

The neo-cons and other Bush backers have been blaming the UN for everything - including Saddam, Sudan and the Taleban - for years. So it was no surprise when a GOP senator called for Annan to resign this week. What was surprising was how the global media picked up the story - talk about the tail wagging the dog!

It reached the point where world leaders like Tony Blair felt compelled to stand up and defend Annan. Even Colin Powell leapt to his defence. Annan himself was forced to make a statement, as GOP senators increased the pressure by calling for his ARREST!

I sometimes prefer to ignore such obviously concocted publicity stunt stories (and remember, the audience is domestic US voters: Bush & Co dont give a damn what the rest of the world thinks). Fuelling these pseudo fires helps no one, and in fact you end up doing exactly what the Bushies want you to do - being forced to defend their target, allowing the Bushies to dictate the narrative.

But in this case, there is a history which bears examination. Criticism of Annan is based on Saddam's exploitation of the UN Oil-for-food program. But from all informed accounts, a genuine expose of this scandal could be as embarrassing for the USA as for anyone else.

Remember when US agents raided Ahmed Chalabi's offices and publicly declared that he was an Iranian spy? At the time, Chalabi was rumoured to be in possession of accounts from Claude Hankes Drielsma, a KPMG investigator who was eager to seize documentation regarding Saddam's oil-for-food subterfuge before it disappeared from Baghdad's freshly-invaded ministries. Paul Bremer had been running a similar search for evidence with accountants from Ernst and Young.

Following the raid, the KPMG papers disappeared and Drielsma's hard disc was mysteriously destroyed. At the time, Drielsma said the report "would have been even more damning than anticipated."

Shortly thereafter, Ihsan Karim, the head of Iraq's Board of Supreme Audit, who had been working with Bremer and the Ernst and Young team, was killed in a mysterious car-bomb after agreeing to turn over his board's findings to an independent investigative team led by former Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

The evidence, if it still exists, is presumably now in the hands of the CIA, who can selectively leak whatever facts they like while keeping others secret.

Mother Jones has full details of the scam right here.

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