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Keep the U.N. out of Iraq

By Henry Lamb
web posted May 3, 2004

John Kerry continues to insist that the U.N. take charge of reorganizing and rebuilding Iraq, while the U.S. continues to provide security, and the bulk of the money for reconstruction. He claims that this would give "legitimacy" to the new government in the eyes of the world.

George Bush appears to be less interested in the eyes of the world than in defeating terrorism and helping the Iraqi people discover the benefits of freedom through representative government.

It would, no doubt, be much easier, and politically expedient, to bow to the U.N., France, Russia, and certain European countries. This solution might quiet some of the uproar temporarily, but it would only embolden the terrorists, and postpone the day when the source of terrorism must be confronted.

Kerry's most ardent cheerleaders include the terrorists who are the targets of Bush policy. President Bush seems to understand that terrorists respect nothing as much as deadly force. He seems to understand that the ultimate solution to the problem lies in providing opportunities for people to govern themselves, and to become economically self-sufficient. He has charted a course to accomplish both.

The U.N. has consistently demonstrated that it is, at best, indifferent toward terrorism, and at worst, is impotent to respond in the face of rampant terrorism. The U.N. failed to respond to the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda. It failed to act in the Balkans. And for a decade, it turned a blind eye to Iraq while Saddam Hussein filled mass graves with people who dared to speak against him.

While ignoring the slaughter of innocent Iraqis, the U.N. administered the oil-for-food program, which generated more than $100 billion dollars, supposedly for the people of Iraq. We have known for years that the oil money did not go to the people, but to palaces for Saddam and his cronies. We are now learning that his cronies were not all in Iraq.

We are also gaining some insight as to why the U.N. Security Council failed to enforce resolution after resolution against Iraq. Both France and Russia, leading opponents to President Bush's efforts to enforce U.N. Resolution 1441, were deeply involved in commerce with Hussein, and, it now appears, were also up to their ears in corrupt transactions through the oil-for-food program.

Russia received more than 2.5 billion barrels of Saddam's oil, and France got 165 million barrels. The Communist Party got 137 million barrels, and 90 million went to the Russian Presidential Cabinet. The French Minister of the Interior got 12 million barrels, and Jacques Chirac's close friend and financial supporter, Patrick Maugein, got 36 million barrels.

More than a year ago, WorldNetDaily reported that Kofi Annan's son, Kojo, was involved with a company charged with overseeing the oil for food program. Even then, evidence of gross corruption was mounting. Now, with trailer loads of documentation taken from Saddam's former government, the magnitude of the corruption is reaching the highest levels of the U.N. and other governments.

The U.N. cannot be trusted to handle the billions required to rebuild Iraq, nor can it be trusted to protect U.S. interests in Iraq, or anywhere else in the world. The U.N., and our so-called major allies on the Security Council, France and Russia, have demonstrated that their first concern is their own pocketbook.

If there is to be peace in the world, terrorism must be defeated. Governments, organizations, and individuals that support terrorists, must be eliminated. This war is costly, and will take years to win. But this is only the first step.

If there is to be lasting peace in the world, people must have hope of achieving economic self-sufficiency, and freedom from the whims of dictators, warlords, and tyrants. These principles seem to underlie President Bush's policies in Iraq.

If these policies succeed in Iraq, it will shake the towers of power throughout the Middle East. Those whose wealth comes from corruption - as in the oil-for-food program - despise the President's policies. Those whose power comes from the slaughter of innocent people - the tactics of terror - hate a President who is determined to root them out and kill them.

If there is to be peace in the world, it will not come from the hands of the United Nations. The best, if not the only hope for peace in the world, is freedom. Freedom is the target of terrorism. When people are free to pursue their own dreams, and provide for themselves and their families, they are no longer available as recruits for the terrorists' bomb squads.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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