Thursday, January 29, 2004
Wow. I was reading this post and came across this comment:
"Good post, Roger. I agree with the sentiments you express. I am a proud Republican, yet I am saddened by what appears to be happening to the Democrats. Our political system works best when the opposition party offers constructive criticism; that criticism often affects the governing party's policies and makes them better for everyone. What most Democrats are offering here can hardly be characterized as constructive. To the contrary, much of it is vitriolic and destructive. I don't agree with everyting this Administration does, but I don't see any alternatives on the horizon."Boy doesn't that hit the nail on the head? I'm a very uncomfortable republican. (If people insist on one label.) I'm not happy with the religious wing of the repubs, and I'm certainly opposed to the war on drugs and restrictions on abortion. But...
I don't see any good alternatives. I want someone who will be tough on foreign policy, tough on national security, generous on science and exploration, gentle but pragmatic on the environment, and who will cut spending. The dems are soooo far off base and none of the other parties are any closer.
That's not healthy for the country. This country should never speak with just one voice, but lately one half of the dialogue about how to run the country and where we should be headed just comes out as "Yaaargh!"
. . .
"ABCNEWS has obtained an extraordinary list that contains the names of prominent people around the world who supported Saddam Hussein's regime and were given oil contracts as a result.
All of the contracts were awarded from late 1997 until the U.S.-led war in March 2003. They were conducted under the aegis of the United Nations' oil-for-food program, which was designed to allow Iraq to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian goods.
The document was discovered several weeks ago in the files of the Iraqi Oil Ministry in Baghdad.
According to a copy obtained by ABCNEWS, some 270 prominent individuals, political parties or corporations in 47 countries were on a list of those given Iraq oil contracts instantly worth millions of dollars.
Today, the U.S.Treasury Department said that any American citizens found to be illegally involved could face prosecution.
"You are looking at a political slush fund that was buying political support for the regime of Saddam Hussein for the last six or seven years," said financial investigator John Fawcett.
Investigators say none of the people involved would have actually taken possession of oil, but rather just the right to buy the oil at a discounted price, which could be resold to a legitimate broker or oil company, at an average profit of about 50 cents a barrel."
Guess who was the biggest beneficiary? Russia. Guess who was the second biggest beneficiary? France.
So the Minister of the Interior, the ambassador to the UN, and "a close political associate and financial backer of French President Jacques Chirac," all took millions from Saddam.
Then in Russia: "The single biggest set of contracts were given to the Russian government and Russian political figures, more than 1.3 billion barrels in all — including 92 million barrels to individual officials in the office of President Vladimir Putin."
Kind of explains their pre-war behavior doesn't it? I cannot think of anything sleazier than accepting $90 million dollars diverted from the oil for food program and then opposing the war and attacking people for bypassing the UN.
. . .
. . .