One of the big stories this week is the extent to which Saddam Hussein cheated the U.N. Oil for Food Program.
Apparently, Hussein was able to obtain influence among corrupt officials at the U.N. and in neighboring states by awarding them "oil allocations." The allocations could be sold to oil companies who were supposed to be the sole recipient of such allocations from the Iraqi government.
So, let's get this straight. The authoritarian regressives on the right highlight corruption at the U.N. as evidence that the sanctions weren't working. The Republicans then hold Democrats responsible for the failure of the embargo, citing misplaced trust in the U.N. See the problems here?
I'll spell it out.
First, you can't blame the reality-based community for the failure of sanctions WHEN THE SANCTIONS WORKED!!! Saddam was contained, and posed no threat. We had leverage right up until Bush traded Iraq's secular state for a fundamentalist, fanatical chaos.
Second, the corruption was obviously facilitated by your beloved oil companies! You know the ones. Like Halliburton, which may have paid $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials while Dick Cheney was still CEO. Don't try to tell me the CEO won't notice that little $180 million line-item.
There's your real national security threat: big oil and its influence.