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Baghdadee بغدادي

Oil for Food Scandal

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I want to start with something I was thinking about 2 days ago while following the latest developments in the food for oil program scandal.


There's nothing surprising about the extent of corruption inside the UN to me and most Iraqis. We saw those shining names in Saddam's days dining with his thugs in his palaces. The same big hot shots that attacked Saddam's regime fiercely and then dramatically changing their attitude once they get to meet him and get a grip of the reality on the ground in Iraq. I was shocked at first when I saw Hans von Sponeck defend Saddam's regime after his resignation and attacking the US and the UK while in the beginning he was blaming both the allies and Saddam's regime on the poor performance of the food for oil program. Only money, and HUGE amount of money could explain such a change in such a short duration.


However I was not that shocked after hearing that Koffi Anan was getting bribes from Saddam. Oh sorry, meant his son. But that's not what I want to talk about today. Instead I want to share an idea about how to fix this problem that will surely recur again and again.


To try and find solutions for the UN problems is an important issue for all of us and although I'm not naive enough to think that it can be fixed that easily or that I can actually find part of a solution, but it won't hurt to discuss the issue, as in the end we, the people are just as concerned as politicians about it and also we, Iraqis were victims of such flaws in the UN.


Before trying to answer any problem we have to consider the elements. The human greed is something we cannot control and we should never expect those at high positions to be saints. The UN internal system is something I don't know much about and I also think it's not even a major element although some reforms there would surely help. But the most important element that cause such corruption in my mind is the presence of exceptionally large amounts of money and other resources in the hands of individuals whom their fate depend on the UN inspection teams' reports i.e. dictators and tyrannical regimes in general.


Regimes like Saddam's in the past, Kadaffi's, Asad's and the Iranian regime now and in the future have been and will always be capable of and willing to spend millions and millions of their people's money to gain the approval and support of the UN through bribing certain influential staff members who would be sent to seek the truth about a certain violation in their countries. How are we going to guarantee that honest respectable people who were chosen by the international committee for such missions won't weaken to the sight of a 6 digit check? There's no guarantee.


Yet there might be a way to avoid such a problem. First I think we should re-identify the problem. It's not that the UN is a week or corrupt organization. It's that we are dealing with two entirely different sets of regimes using one standard. One set of laws to deal with democratic and authoritarian states. That doesn't sound right.


So the answer may lie in finding two different set of rules, two different organizations to deal with those different states. But that might divide the world so we will have to decide which set of states is more reliable to depend on in solving common global problems. Who's "we" is not that important and it does not mean control of the strong over the weak. Lets think of something similar to the EU. The democratic free nations whether poor or rich, strong or weak should gather and form a mass governed by a set of rules that can get a consensus from all the involved parties. The tyrannical regimes should be kept outside, isolated until they meet a certain requirements set by the new organization.


So when dealing with a problem in Japan for example, the organization can send a convoy to Japan to seek facts from there combined with talks with Japanese representatives in the organization. While when dealing with a problem in Libya for example, a dictatorship that actually refuses to join the global organization of democratic countries (by its actions) but might present a danger to one or all of its members, the organization do not send anyone, or it can send a convoy but once its job is hindered it should be withdrawn immediately with no possibility of a return. It asks the Libyan government to clarify the situation, prove its innocence in that particular problem and without offering it a seat inside the organization. If the Libyan government fails to do so then the organization would take actions based on its members interests and consensus and according to how serious the threat is.


Such system should not be looked at as isolating poor or "developing countries" or that such an attitude means taking the side of the strong parties. First, because the organization would include all democratic countries, not just advanced countries. Besides, we should be more worried about the UN or similar organizations taking the wrong side than them taking the strong side. And also what's most important is that such system would only weaken the regimes not the people.


Can anyone tell me what good the UN was for the Iraqi people? What did I gain from that seat that was given to one of Saddam's thugs to sit and babble like he's the equal of those sitting next to him; men and women who truly represented their nations? I'll tell you what I gained from that. More years for Saddam and his gang in power, more years of torture and fear, more years of death to my friends and relatives, more years of desperation and miserable life. All this while those elegant respectable figures in the UN were filling their stomachs with the Iraqi people's flesh and blood. Do we need to repeat that?


People won't lose that seat but dictators will, as it was never a seat for the people. I'd say that on the contrary, people living in authoritarian states would gain from such a 'loss', as it would isolate their rulers politically, will take their legitimacy away and would weaken them with time until they find themselves either forced to make the reforms (as the free world is concerned and entitled to look after the human rights everywhere) that allows them to get the legitimacy or face the united free world. Just an idea.





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Guest moron99

The UN security council should be marginalized with the formation of a human-rights council. Membership should not be limited and the requirement should be clearly defined by how a government treats citizens under their sphere of authority. One of the great problems in international relations is that dictators abuse the rules to maintain power and oppress their subjects - but whenever there is an attempt to use different rules then they use state media to tell their subjects that their nation is being persecuted (and further cement their grip). Formation of a council with clear rules for membership would help to break this catch-22.


Remember the great American debate "why do they hate us?" If you examine the details .. "they" are citizens living in countries run by dictators. "They" hate us because if we use the same rules with a dictator that we use with Germany or Japan, then the dictator is made stronger and "they" blame us for making their lives miserable. If we use a different set of rules, then the dictator feeds the state run media with examples of how we hate "them" and make up special rules for the sole purpose of making "them" miserable. After two+ decades of emergency law "they" still think it is "us" making "them" miserable. Enough is enough.

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