The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
"Ahmed Shames" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > I am sorry, but did you actually read the article? > "Iraq asked foreign companies to give it cash on > top of the goods bought under the oil for food deal" It's probably not enough to merely _read_ an article. One would have to think about it and consider if the claims made are plausible. Or else one gives up on thinking and just believes blindly - what one wants to believe. But RT evidently has thought about it - and she clearly understands how OFF was run. So she has decided that the claims made by the Reuters' article are not plausible. And I agree with her. Ahmed Shames's reading of the article: The idea Ahmed so gleefully jumps on is a good one, I grant you that: The supplier delivers only a partial order and hands the rest in cash to the GOI. A great idea. But it's so obvious that any fool can think of it. Or are you suggesting that Washington was trying to benefit Iraq by such obvious loopholes? Here is a quick re-run on OFF procedures: Introduced in 1996, OFF was a tightening of the screws. The GOI lost complete control of it's finances and sovereignty. The US meant to deprive Iraq of even a cent of its own money. Called a 'humanitarian program', it was in fact another sanction on the sanctions. And that's how it worked (roughly): 1-- Buyers of oil (67% US) had to submit their orders to the OIP for approval. These buyers paid for their purchase into an escrow account in New York controlled by the UN (the Bank National de Paris). Iraq had no access to that account. Iraq didn't get a single dinar from its own money. A cash component was often debated but was derailed by USUK. How Iraq would run its public household was of no interest to the UN/USUK. For example, pay for the upkeep of schools, hospitals, roads, pay salaries, and so on. 2-- Suppliers too were paid out of that escrow account. But the procedures left no loopholes like the one suggested in the article. That's how it went: (a) The GOI was allowed to make a list of what it wanted to buy - in consultation with UN staff on the ground. Once completed the list was then submitted to the OIP in New York for approval. Once approved, the GOI was then free to submit the order to a supplier of its choice. (b) Once a supplier had received an order order from Iraq, they had to submit it again to the OIP for an export permission. (Here is where the Sanctions Committee came into play.) Upon receipt of the permission, the supplies could then fill the order. When the supplier had filled the order, they were requested to submit an itemized bill of lading to the OIP, so the arrival of the goods in Iraq could be monitored. (c) And to monitor the arrival of the goods in Iraq, the UN used the services of a Swiss firm, Cotecna Inspection S.A. Contecna employed about 50 personnel to check the arriving order for quantity and content - but not for quality. They made sure that the items on the bill of lading corresponded to the items listed on the bill of lading. (d) Once Cotecna had confirmed the correctness of the bill of lading, confirmation was sent to the OIP. The supplier was then paid out of the escrow account by a letter of credit which the GOI was permitted to issue. NB: The lack of quality check by Cotecna made possible for suppliers to send inferior or expired stuff. By the time the GOI discovered the faulty goods, the supplier had already been paid - so they had no recourse. (France and Russia were the main offenders in this cheating.) (This is all well documented - no lies will survive.) Back to Ahmed Shames assertion - according to Reuters: > "Iraq asked foreign companies to give it cash on > top of the goods bought under the oil for food deal" If you think about the procedures, you will see how implausible this is. To "give cash" in lieu of a reduced order, the supplier would have to send _less_ than was listed on the bill of lading. And Cotecna would have discovered the discrepancy upon arrival. You may of course suggest that Cotecna Inspection S.A. was in on the act. But I don't think they would like that suggestion. Incidentally, I have their address in Geneva and I can write to them, if you want me to. --- And now to Ahmed's second try: > Hassan knew that Saddam tried to get money illegally > from the oil for food deal: > "Iraq tried to make companies pay an extra 15 cents > per barrel outside the discount to provide the cash > it needed" First, Ahmed, you are putting words into Hassan's mouth. Second, you are quoting him only partially. If you don't care about Iraq, you might at least care about your intellectual integrity. Here is the full quote: "And so Iraq tried to make companies pay an extra 15 cents per barrel outside the discount to provide the cash it needed. The US soon forced companies to refuse paying the 15 cents extra per barrel, and Iraq had to give in." This was feasible. And _everyone_ knew about it, including the U.S. - that's why they put a stop to it. But it was Iraq's oil, so there was nothing "illegal" about it. What was "illegal" was the sanctions regime. And the "discount" was for the benefit of the purchasers, mostly US. The UN, ie, US dictated Iraq's low oil price so they could screw Iraq some more, while benefitting at the same time. > He also seems to have known where the money was > spent on. (I wonder how he managed to!!) > Was any money spent on building humble palaces > by any chance? Shame ony you, Ahmed! This is simply beneath contempt. To say nothing about CASI's reputation. --Elga ------------Original Message------------ From: "Ahmed Shames" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: [casi] This is where the oil for food money was going., Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 00:16:14 +0100 RT wrote: "Under the Oil For Food Program Iraq had no direct access and it's impossible they could have "stashed" any funds from it anywhere." I am sorry, but did you actually read the article? "Iraq asked foreign companies to give it cash on top of the goods bought under the oil for food deal" Hassan knew that Saddam tried to get money illegally from the oil for food deal: "Iraq tried to make companies pay an extra 15 cents per barrel outside the discount to provide the cash it needed" He also seems to have known where the money was spent on. (I wonder how he managed to!!) Was any money spent on building humble palaces by any chance? Ahmed _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk