Skip to comments.If the Oil for Food Scandal were a Country...
Posted on 12/08/2004 6:15:09 AM PST by jriemer
"A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money."
The above quote is attributed to Sen. Everet Dirkson; however, the UN has taken the concept to the absurd extreme.
Since the inception of the UN Oil for Food (OFF) in 1995(1), it has collected 100B USD (2) of Iraqi petrodollars for redistribution directly to the Iraqi people. At least that's how it was supposed to work on paper. To put that number in perspective, that's approximately 11.1B USB per year. The OFF program generated more money than the annual GDP of all but 87 nations. For example: the OFF program is a bigger economy than those of Iceland, Uruguay and Tasmania.(3).
With allegations that Saddam skimmed up to 20% or 2.2B USD per year from OFF, that amount is still bigger than the annual GDP of 43 nations. That list includes the economies of Aruba, Eritrea, and Mongolia.(4).
I am still investigating the UN "management fee". I have read uncorraborated fees ranging from 1-10%. Even so, the resulting amount would still be larger than some of the poorest country's annual GDP. I will post that info when I have a solid UN management fee number.
It's OK to have a corrupt Oil for Food program because they're dealing with the Iraqis. If the UN did the same thing and embezzle the same amount of money from the GDP of Iceland (we're talking about the same amount of money in each case), there would be a potential backlash.
The notion that it's OK that the Iraqi people shouldn't have 100% of their Oil for Food money is akin to the notion that they shouldn't live in freedom and in a democracy. If you are willing to rob a nation or people of their money, don't stop there - rob them of a freedom and a future too while you can.
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