Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The election of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has diverted the punditocracy from the constant examination of polling numbers (bad break for GWB as he topped Senator Kerry for the first time in what seems like ages.)

And Sr. Zapatero duly kicked off his administration by thumbing his nose at the Untied States. Sounds like a great European leader to me. So nuanced. So sophisticated. His grasp of foreign policy is something our elected leaders should aspire towards. (Imagine GWB taking office and immediately burning foreign policy bridges.)

While this is the current international news du jour, there is also an ongoing examination and exposure of corruption in the U.N. Oil-for-Food program. This is the one put in place in the 1996, which allowed the Saddam Hussein regime to trade oil for humanitarian needs like food and medicine.

As freedom takes hold in Iraq (Boo! Hiss!), the inner workings of this humanitarian program are floating to the surface. Apparently, Saddam Hussein (the name is like a cross to a vampire for the Democrats) was being kicked back 10% of each bid. And the U.N. assessed a 2.2% commission for administering the program. The bank that handles the finances for the program is BNP Paribas, a French banking conglomerate.

To complicate matters a list of foreigners Saddam Hussein gave options on barrels of oil was discovered in January 2004. It included Benon Sevan, an assistant secretary-general, who was in charge of the program since October 1997.

Smells bad. So as Sr. Zapatero basks in his election victory and collects the plaudits of the anti-Americans (and Democrats, you’re Americans first), this little imbroglio will serve as the impetus behind our foreign policy decisions with the French and Germans.

Too bad little Zapatero can not see this.

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