Letter Published in the New Haven Register
In the editorial "Oil-for-food scam" that the Register reprinted from the Dallas Morning News, outrage is expressed at the over 2,000 companies that paid kickbacks to the Hussein regime so they would be chosen to sell and buy Iraqi goods. The writer wonders if a "loophole-free oil for food program might have brought Saddam to his knees."
That was not the purpose of the program. It was the sanctions against Iraqi oil sales and the total UN control over what was allowed to be sold to Iraq that was to take care of Saddam who supposedly menaced the world with mountains of weapons of mass destruction. However, in 1995 a letter from researchers of the UN World Food Program revealed that an estimated half million small children had died because of the UN economic war against Iraq. This presented a publicity problem for President Clinton and his fellow leaders of Western civilization.
Their answer was the oil-for-food program which allowed Iraq to sell oil and receive some of the proceeds in the form of food and medicne. I say "some" because huge amounts went to to pay reparations for countries claiming damage in the '91 war, some went to the UN for "administration" and tens of billions were held up as leverage. The death rate among children never declined very much, but the State Department could point to the billions of dollars of Iraqi oil being sold as proof of its humanitarian intentions. Neither Congress, nor "60 Minutes", nor the print media bothered again with reports on Iraqi child fatalities, so it must be said that "Oil-for-food" was really a glorious success.
The only entity that has been punished for breaking the sanctions law was "Voices in the Wilderness", a group of pacifists who delivered food, medicine and toys to Iraq. They've been fined $20,000 and have since dissolved. This is another Administration success. If no one speaks out about the masses of children we killed in Iraq, than for all practical purposes it never happened and all Americans can sleep more soundly.