American outrage over the diversion of U.N.-supervised Iraqi oil-for-food money seems to miss three salient points. First, no American funds were stolen. Second, no U.N. funds were stolen. Third, the oil-for-food program achieved its two objectives: providing food to the Iraqi people and preventing Saddam Hussein from rebuilding his military threat to the region — and in particular from reconstituting his programs for weapons of mass destruction.
Enron employees got their paychecks, too. Does that mean the shareholders should have kept investing money in the company?
I’d tell you to read the whole thing (a sad little WaPo op-ed piece by James Dobbins), but what would be the point?
UPDATE: Elsewhere on WaPo’s op-ed page, Krauthammer says that
“Afghanistan grows poppies” is the sun rising in the east. “Afghanistan inaugurates democratically elected president” is the sun rising in the west. Afghanistan has always grown poppies. What is President Bush supposed to do? Send 100,000 GIs to eradicate the crop and incite a popular rebellion?
Or maybe Bush should ask the UN to run an Oil-for-Poppies program. Then maybe we’d be able to get the UN enough kickbacks to support us in the Terror War.