Why did France and Russia oppose efforts to topple Saddam Hussein's regime? And why did they press constantly, throughout the '90s, for an expansion of Iraqi oil sales? Was it their empathy for the starving children of that impoverished nation? Their desire to stop the United States from arrogantly imposing its vision upon the Middle East?
It now looks like they it was simply because they were on the take. Saddam was their cash cow. If President Bush has suffered some discredit over his apparently false—but not disingenuous—claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the lapse is minor compared to the outright personal selfishness and criminality that appears to have motivated many of those who opposed his efforts to rid the world of one of its worst dictators….
Now it appears that Secretary-General Kofi Annan's sanctimonious posturing may have concealed oil bribes which reached high up in the ranks of the U.N. organization itself.
Whole thing here.
Forget for the moment whether the lone and level sands of Iraq may provide the Amerucan Umpire with its Ozymandias Moment. Iraq may end up having a far more long-term destructive effect on the UN, which first failed to enforce its own resolutions on Saddam's regime and now has been unmasked as complicit (either through greed or incompetence) with those same thugs. And the UN is now facing the possibility of actually running the joint sometime this year. Good luck–they're going to need it.
[NY Post link via Instapundit]