Roger L. Simon

Holography for Democrats

When I read Rosett and Russell’s latest exposé of the most recent UN scandal (The Yakovlev Affair) all I could think about is how deeply reactionary the Democratic Party has become. (Liberalism as we knew it no longer exists. What we have now are holographs of liberalism in the form of spectres like Chris Dodd and Joseph Biden. Nothing is really there.) What else explains – in the face of the sickening corruption pervading the United Nations – why these Dems continue to oppose the Bolton nomination? Don’t they want to see this international crime syndicate reformed? Or do they want it to remain a money sewer for petty despots and creepy Eurocrats? You would think they actually hated the United Nations and wanted it to fail, considering how they’re acting. Or maybe they’re just suffering from ADD and can’t follow the arguments. (That seems to be the case with Senator Kennedy.)

Or perhaps, as Wretchard puts it, it’s all just The Big Sleaze.

MEANWHILE: The perspicacious Ms. Rosett writes in Friday’s NY Sun:

A new window has opened into the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, with the release by congressional investigators of formerly secret U.S. documents chronicling some of the efforts by the American and British missions to the United Nations to stop corruption in the program over the indifference or even the active cooperation with Saddam Hussein’s regime of Security Council members France, Russia, and China, and the U.N. Secretariat itself.

Among congressional exhibits, aired at a hearing held Tuesday by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is a series of cables raising questions involving oil-for-food dealings by the United Nations Development Program, a U.N. agency administered at the time by Secretary-General Annan’s new chief of staff, Mark Malloch Brown. Mr. Malloch Brown, who has run the UNDP since 1999, and still does, took on the additional staff duties this past January. He replaced Mr. Annan’s longtime chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, one of whose final acts on the job was to spend more than seven months shredding U.N. documents from a crucial period. Mr. Riza has remained on staff with a salary of $1 a year, which allows him to retain his U.N. privileges and immunities.

At least when the Medici were this corrupt, they sponsored great art.