Wednesday, April 23, 2003

FrontPage links to this article from the Times (of London, natch) on the so-called oil-for-food program which financed Saddam for the last twelve years. Check it out for even more information on the cupidity of the United Nations, the "moderate" Arab states, and France, Russia, and China. Then check out Dick Morris's piece, also from FrontPage, on the general scuzziness of Saddam's friends on the Axis of Weasels.

The oil-for-food scam must end instantly. What I would do is this: Cancel all contracts signed by the Saddam regime. Confiscate all Iraqi assets overseas and use the money for reconstructing Iraq. Put all oil contracts up for bids just as soon as possible; exclude France, Russia, Germany, and China from the bidding, and also exclude American and British companies to prove to the world that we did not overthrow Saddam for the oil. Have the contracts run out after three or five years; by then, if there is a democratic government in Iraq, they will be able to manage their own business for themselves and can deal with whoever they decide to, even if it is TotalFinaElf. Don't do this for reconstruction contracts; give the jobs of, say, fixing the port and putting out the oil fires and the like to whoever can do the job the best, even if it is Halliburton or Bechtel.

By the way, Joe Queenan has a funny piece in the Wall Street Journal. There's a not-so-funny gag in the Onion on Christopher Hitchens, whom I firmly believe is a jerk, but they insist on portraying him as a drunk. Why does everyone who takes a shot at Hitchens accuse him of being a drunk? Is he one? And why do they say that Hitchens was attacking the antiwar crowd "from the left"? I thought he was attacking the antiwar crowd because he hated Saddam, and as far as I could tell he used pretty much the same arguments as pretty much everybody else on the right, in which direction he has plainly moved.

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