A scandal has got the attention of the American congress. The “Oil for Food program” allowed Saddam Hussein to embezzle millions and those in charge of it in the UN to get important sums between 1996 and 2003. Such accusations must be studied. However, a considerable part of the information needed is public since 1996. Every semester, the Ad Hoc Commission of the Security Council presented the lists of participants in the program and how it was supervised by the Security Council. If the UN is responsible for not having noticed the frauds, Washington is too.
With regard to this program, the dozens of million of dollars of the Iraqi contracts embezzled by the UN Compensation Commission which withheld 30% of the Iraqi oil profits to “refund” poor enterprises such us the Kuwait Oil Company could be analyzed too. 200 million dollars aimed at doing the same operation were withheld in April 2005 when Iraq was negotiating the assistances.
_But in my opinion, the true scandal is the sanctions system implemented in 1990 and maintained after the liberation of Kuwait. This situation had dramatic consequences for the population and generalized corruption and crime. The middle class went to exile and Iraq has not been able to recover itself. Those sanctions were useless; the world knew it but did not do anything. Today, the reconstruction of Iraq could be more efficient if we could count on certain competent European enterprises but Washington wants to punish the “old Europe”. Who will be punished or even judge by these mistakes?

Gulf News
Gulf News is the main newspaper devoted to the entire Persian Gulf . Circulation: more than 90,000 editions. Edited in Dubai in English, it is read largely by the important foreigner community residing in the region.

When one scandal hides another”, by Alain Gresh, Gulf News, June 28, 2005.