U.S. Hits Snag in U.N. on Aid for Iraq
The Bush administration's efforts to tap into billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue to finance the relief effort in Iraq remained at an impasse today as Russia, France and Syria opposed any immediate role for the United States and Britain in administering the humanitarian program.
Russian, Syrian and French diplomats have voiced concern in closed- door meetings this week that a U.S. proposal to instruct Annan to consult with all "relevant authorities" -- including Iraq and coalition forces -- in administering the U.N. oil-for-food agreement would implicitly legitimize the U.S.-led war. Syria's U.N. ambassador, Mikhail Wehbe, said it also would violate Iraq's sovereignty.
"The oil is Iraqi oil," Wehbe said. "The government of Iraq is sill there, and it is still a member of the United Nations. So the interference in the country is in contradiction to the [U.N.] charter and the principles of international law."
Uhm. I know, you're probably like, "So why are you posting this? Isn't that more proof that everyone's just trying to block our humanitarian war?" And, honestly, when I first saw the headline I was thinking, "Ok, you know, if you're really objecting to the USA doing this on humanitarian grounds, why are you denying relief?"
However, what I see there: We want to take control of their Oil-to-Food program, away from the Iraqi people themselves (the Oil-to-Food program was instituted in 1996 to allow Iraq to sell oil despite sanctions in order to feed its populace, suspended at the start of the invasion), and we're making a play for it while we're still invading. Sure, the outcome of the war is pretty well decided, but that's still mighty presumptuous of us. Plus, if we really were into the liberation part, we should leave the Oil-to-Food program in the hands of the Iraqis, recognize their sovereignty. We don't need their oil anyway, isn't that the point I keep getting told?
Please don't give me the argument that recovery takes money -- we knew that going in, and we're going in based on the premise that we're the Greatest Nation, the Only Ones Who Can Do This, which means we put our money where our mouth is. The point of us paying for the reparations is that we take responsibility for the damage we do, bypassing by taking over their oil fields for "humanitarian" causes is just a loophole at best, an excuse to take control of their oil at worst.
I wish we'd just quit with this oxymoronic attempt at "humanitarian war" and just admit we're doing a takeover; it's not like we're fooling anyone but ourselves.