Monday, July 16, 2007

United Nations: Iraqi children less safe than a year ago

By Todd Anthony

According to Dan Toole, director of Emergency Programs for the United Nations Children’s Fun, “"Children today are much worse off than they were a year ago, and they certainly are worse off than they were three years ago."

Indirectly, that MUST be the fault of the United States, right?

Toole added that “Iraqis no longer have safe access to a government-funded food basket, established under Saddam Hussein to deal with international sanctions.”

I read this Associated Post report and couldn’t help but laugh. While no one is claiming that Iraqi is a modern day Babylonian utopia, would Iraqi civilians rather live under the Hussein regime?

Furthermore, taking the violence into account, let’s play the blame game for a second. Who is responsible for the current situation in Iraq?

Naturally, it HAS to be America’s fault right and its poor post-war prosecution, as well as the weak-willed defeatists on the Left?

Or is it the Nouri al-Maliki government, which has allowed cronyism and sectarian differences grossly interfere with running a credible?

Or could it be that the problem lies with the Iraqi people themselves for their failure to put aside ethnic and religious differences and take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity to forge a new, democratic Iraqi.

Sadly, while the first two reasons contribute to Iraqi state of affairs, the third reason very much belies lack of progress throughout the Muslim world. It is this incessant xenophobia that grips Muslim countries and produces terrorism. This fear of differing opinions has the mosques in its clutches.

This report clearly trumpets the “successful Oil-for-Food” program administered between 1991 and 2003. What the report fails to mention is the gross overindulgences of the Saddam government and the corruption that plagued the United Nations in its dealings with Saddam.

Toole adds the following, “Apart from shortages of items such as milk and baby milk formula, ‘the basic Iraqi food basket was fairly secure under the regime because there was food coming in and the government provided the food basket to its citizens.’”

Nevermind that children in general desperately require milk as a source for protein and calcium, other facets of the food program worked well, other than the random kidnappings, torture, and killings that occurred endlessly for those deemed to be political dissidents or anti-Baathist.

Aside from the Oil-for-Food program’s basic operations, the program essentially suffered from widespread corruption and abuse. For example, Benon Sevan, the program’s primary caretaker, refused to allow review and investigation into the program. He also stated that illegal payoff complaints should be formally filed with the whistleblower’s country of origin. As a result, Iraq could bar anyone who filed a report. Finally, Sevan ordered the shredded of several years worth of documentation.

Ultimately, an American-backed investigation, led by Paul Volcker, revealed that profits were used to curry favor with the UN and Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Also, Sevan had accepted over a hundred thousand dollars win bribes. That report and as well as other media reports concluded that 15,000 revealed a litany of individuals and programs that received oil sale contracts through the program, including several European outfits.

Perhaps before the United Nations publishes any Iraqi report it claims as facts, it needs to preface any such report describing its down-right criminal role in the Oil-for-Food program.

Coupled with its almost-inept positions in Darfur and Iran, does the United Nations really have ANY credibility? Or rather, is it more a Left-leaning institution completely unsuited to handle 21st century issues?

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home