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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Lord Haw Haw screws up

Here's the SOMO (Iraq's Saddam-era State Oil Marketing Organisation) paperwork showing an allocation of 4 million barrels of oil to a representative of George Galloway.


The full report of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee is here [PDF].

Christopher Hitchens:
The critical person in Galloway's fetid relationship with Saddam's regime was a Jordanian "businessman" named Fawaz Zureikat, who was involved in a vast range of middleman activities in Baghdad and is the chairman of Middle East Advanced Semiconductor Inc. It was never believable, as Galloway used to claim, that he could have been so uninformed about Zureikat's activities in breaching the U.N. oil embargo. This most probably means that what we now know is a fraction of what there is to be known. But what has been established is breathtaking enough. A member of the British Parliament was in receipt of serious money originating from a homicidal dictatorship. That money was supposed to have been used to ameliorate the suffering of Iraqis living under sanctions. It was instead diverted to the purposes of enriching Saddam's toadies and of helping them propagandize in favor of the regime whose crimes and aggressions had necessitated the sanctions and created the suffering in the first place. This is something more than mere "corruption." It is the cynical theft of food and medicine from the desperate to pay for the palaces of a psychopath.
More from Austin Bay.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 10/26/2005 07:57:00 PM


Blogger Chris said...

"A member of the British Parliament was in receipt of serious money originating from a homicidal dictatorship."

All of the governments and politicians who sold weapons to Saddam (and therefore made money) should be held to account...but they won't be.

10/26/2005 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger JamesP said...

Hardly unexpected but in a way it is also kind of sad. It was easier to dislike George when I thought his pro Saddam rants were based on genuinely held, albiet utterly mistaken, beliefs. Now it turns out that he may just be a greedy mouth for hire who has been caught out in a lie and who is going to be humilitated on the global stage. It's almost enough to make me feel a tiny bit sorry for the bastard.

10/26/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

There is a difference, Roger, between conducting legal if unsavoury business and illegally being on the take, breaking sanctions and lying about it under oath. But I'm sure you know this.

10/26/2005 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

Indeed Chefen. There are a few members of the current Bush administration who have mastered the art.

10/26/2005 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I am aware, Chefen, but the larger point is that there is no difference when it comes to arming murderers. Either you do it in secrecy, or your do it illegally. Either way it gets done, and both ways it is wrong.

10/26/2005 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

No its how the weapons are used that counts.

But that's not relevant to the issue. Galloway supported the Saddamite regime while directly on its payroll, as apparently did many others.

10/26/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

There is a difference Roger. Arms sales are by and large not secret. Look at Iraq's forces and see all the openly sold French and Russian hardware. If they are dumb enough to sell weapons to a madman then we can judge them for that but it isn't/wasn't illegal. If they sell them illegally then they should be tried under their laws. Galloway appears to have been receiving money from a foreign power, by way of oil, in the process breaking sanctions imposed by his own government and when he was exposed proceeded to lie about it under oath. That is at least three major crimes, with the first bordering on treason. I know you like to play devil's advocate, but it is sophistical to compare the actions of Galloway to, say, French arms exporters and then create a false dichotomy of secrecy/illegally when most of it is legal and open.

10/26/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

And selling weapons to Iran via israel, what precisely was that? Legal, open and moral?

10/26/2005 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chefen said...

Come come Ackers, even you can see I wrote

*If they sell them illegally then they should be tried under their laws.

*Arms sales are by and large not secret.

So don't try the fools game.

10/26/2005 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I will have to go look up the word "sophistical".

10/27/2005 09:23:00 AM  

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