Jewish World Review May 13, 2005 / 4 Iyar,
Friends of Saddam
Good morning, and welcome to today's edition of "What's News?" A
Senate committee has released a report alleging that two prominent European
opponents of the Iraq War were paid off by Saddam Hussein as part of the
U.N. Oil for Food program. I'll reveal their names in a moment.
You will search in vain for this story on the print or Web
versions of The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post,
or the Chicago Tribune. I found it in The Washington Times and The New York
Sun. The point here is not to beat up the liberal media for their lack of
coverage, but merely to observe that news judgment that sacred totem of
journalism is not and probably never can be a neutral or unbiased matter.
What the New York Times and New York Sun respectively believe about the
world around them is reflected in what they put on the front page or
cover at all. That's why it is essential to get your news from more than one
source preferably from two sources with differing biases. As for me, I
like to get both sides of the story the right and the far right
That much having been said, the majors are missing a helluva
You may remember George Galloway of Great Britain. He is the
former Labor member of Parliament who compared U.S. and British troops in
Iraq to Nazi occupiers of France during World War II and defended the
"right" of the terrorists in Iraq to "resist foreign occupiers of their
Galloway was garrulous in praise of Saddam, effusing to the
dictator during one visit, "I salute your courage, your strength, your
indefatigability." (He claims that he was praising Iraqis, not Saddam, but
in context it amounts to close to the same thing.)
Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2004 and founded
his own party with the acronym RESPECT, which stands for Respect, Equality,
Socialism, Peace, Environment, Community and Trade Unionism (shouldn't it be
RESPECTU?), which is pretty self-explanatory but Galloway clarifies that
the party is founded to offer "an alternative to imperialist war, unfettered
global capital and the rule of the market." In May, he was re-elected to
In 2004, Galloway's name appeared on the list of 270
individuals, political parties and government officials who received
valuable oil allocations from Saddam (and who took positions favorable to
Saddam within their own governments and in the United Nations). Galloway has
vociferously denied the bribery charges. But the Senate subcommittee, headed
by Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman and fully backed by ranking Michigan
Democrat Carl Levin, present new evidence that Galloway and a charity he
founded were indeed profiteers in the Oil for Food Scandal.
Relying on information contained in the Duelfer Report, as well
as documents from the Hussein-era Ministry of Oil, the subcommittee also
interviewed key members of Saddam's regime, including Tariq Aziz and the
former vice president of Iraq, Taha Yassin Ramadan.
According to these sources, Galloway received a total of six
allocations totaling 20 million barrels of oil. When Galloway sold these
allocations, he would stand to collect between 3 cents and 30 cents a
barrel. I thought we were against "unfettered global capital."
Galloway has not been silent on the latest charges against him.
As The New York Sun reports, he denounced the Senate committee as a
"lickspittle Republican committee, acting on the wishes of George W. Bush."
He further reiterated his claim that "no one has acted on my behalf, trading
in oil Middle Eastern, olive, patchouli or any other ..." which certainly
qualifies Galloway for the Most Colorful Denial Award. It would be the most
convincing if not for the mountain of evidence.
The Senate Committee on Investigations has also pointed the
finger at Charles Pasqua, former French minister of the interior (now
senator) and close associate of Jacques Chirac. Pasqua argued passionately
during the 1990s on behalf of lifting economic sanctions on Saddam's regime
and declared that France had erred by siding with the allies in the 1991
Where was U.N. oversight of all this graft? Why, in the hands of
Kofi Annan, of course. Feel better? Democrats do. While one arm of the
Senate was indicting Galloway and Pasqua (and by inference the United
Nations itself), Democrats at the other end of the building were parading
their disdain for John Bolton, whose great shortcoming appears to be
insufficient adoration of the United Nations.
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