Do as I SAY, not as I do

mactastic

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Linkin Log


The U.S. senator leading the investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the Iraq oil-for-food program is urging U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resign.

The "massive scope of this debacle demands nothing less," wrote Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, in an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal.
"The world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that occurred under the U.N.'s collective nose while Annan is in charge."

...

Coleman said he was not accusing Kofi Annan of anything "other than incompetence and mismanagement."
Coleman said the investigation cannot be completed with Annan at the helm of the world body.

"The bottom line is, one man was in charge and if we're going to get to the bottom of this, he's got to step back so that we can have trust and credibility and transparency in sorting out what happened," he said Wednesday in an interview on CNN's "American Morning."
Annan has appointed former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations. But Coleman, while calling Volcker a "good and honest man," said that the United Nations "simply cannot root out its own corruption while Mr. Annan is in charge."

"If we're to get to the bottom of this, if there's to be any credibility, the person that was at the helm during the course of this thing cannot be the guy that Paul Volcker reports to, cannot be the guy that we go asking for help and assistance in getting the people we need to talk to," Coleman told CNN. "He needs to step back, step down for the credibility of the organization itself."
Ok, so obviously Coleman supports Bush. But change 'Annan' to 'Bush and 'oil for food' to 'Halliburton' or 'Iraqi reconstruction funds' and couldn't this have been written by a Democrat as a call for Bush to step aside? And doesn't Coleman see the inherent irony of calling for Annan's resignation for these reasons?
 

Thomas Veil

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I was thinking along similar lines before I even got half-way through your post.

Of course, this administration never does anything wrong, so....
 

Desertrat

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Yeah, for sure no argument with "irony".

I don't know Coleman. Is he "feigning"? Even if so, is there disagreement, here in this forum, with his view?

And, what *should* be done at the UN?

To me, this UN thing is more serious in that the money was supposed to go for food and medicine. From 1991 through 2002 we've been told of all the starving women and children in Iraq.

'Rat
 

mactastic

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What should we do at the UN? How about the same thing we should have done here. The same thing any corporation would do. Fire the top guy.

And what are you saying this oil for food thing is more serious than? A bungled war on false pretenses? I hope that's not what you're saying.
 

gwuMACaddict

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pseudobrit said:
I love it when politicians feign righteous moral outrage.
i've met mr. coleman, and have had the chance to sit down with him and talk on more than one occasion. i have friends that have worked for him.

he is most certainly not feigning moral outrage, as you put it. he is an honest and decent man, and is upset about what looks to be a bit of a scandal. i don't blame him.
 

mactastic

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I'm curious why 'Rat would agree wholeheartedly that Annan should go for what Coleman calls 'nothing more than incompetence' while supporting Dubya while he's suspected of the same thing.

Is it really all about the guns?
 

mactastic

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gwuMACaddict said:
i've met mr. coleman, and have had the chance to sit down with him and talk on more than one occasion. i have friends that have worked for him.

he is most certainly not feigning moral outrage, as you put it. he is an honest and decent man, and is upset about what looks to be a bit of a scandal. i don't blame him.
I'd believe him more if he'd shown the same outrage about the mismanagement of Halliburton's contracts. Isn't an allegation of corruption what we're talking about here in both cases?
 

gwuMACaddict

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mactastic said:
I'd believe him more if he'd shown the same outrage about the mismanagement of Halliburton's contracts. Isn't an allegation of corruption what we're talking about here in both cases?
i cant speak for the man, but haliburton's contract bungle didn't cause innocent people to starve
 

mactastic

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gwuMACaddict said:
i cant speak for the man, but haliburton's contract bungle didn't cause innocent people to starve
Bush's bungle caused thousand of innocents to die and Coleman's not outraged about that.

Not to mention that by favoring American contractors over Iraqi ones, I'm sure a few families have starved.
 

stubeeef

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mactastic said:
I'd believe him more if he'd shown the same outrage about the mismanagement of Halliburton's contracts. Isn't an allegation of corruption what we're talking about here in both cases?
Could you provide the link for where he did or didn't not show outrage over other issues? I didn't read that in the link provided, it doesn't support your argument. I'm not disagreeing with you, just looking for the justification in your statement. Thank you.
 

mactastic

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stubeeef said:
Could you provide the link for where he did or didn't not show outrage over other issues? I didn't read that in the link provided, it doesn't support your argument. I'm not disagreeing with you, just looking for the justification in your statement. Thank you.

I'll see if I can find a news report reporting that as of yet Coleman hasn't expressed any outrage over anything the Bush administration has done. :p

How about instead of asking me to prove a negative (a theoretical impossibility), you go out there and prove me wrong with positive proof? Find an article stating Coleman did express outrage over Halliburton or Bush's Iraq war. I haven't seen any such article but I'll be happy to read it anyway.
 

Desertrat

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I earlier said, "To me, this UN thing is more serious in that the money was supposed to go for food and medicine. From 1991 through 2002 we've been told of all the starving women and children in Iraq."

Explain to me how that's in any way supportive of Bush. Explain to me how that's any call to fire Annan.

The comment about the Halliburton corruption causing deaths by starvation cannot be supported.

As far as the present war in Iraq: I cannot equate the large numbers of starvation-deaths which were deliberately allowed to happen by Hussein, to the relatively few deaths of non-combatants. We've killed fewer non-combatants than the so-called "insurgents".

'Rat
 

zimv20

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Desertrat said:
We've killed fewer non-combatants than the so-called "insurgents".
point of clarification. do you mean "we've killed more insurgents than we've killed civilians," or "the insurgents have killed more civilians than we have"?
 

blackfox

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Leaving possible comparisons to Bush aside, I am reminded of something.

I recently read a fascinating book about the Ethiopian famine of the mid-to-late 80's. It seems that the West's concern about the fate of so many starving Ethiopians and the subsequent influx of aid, had the end result of helping out the Tolitarian Regime which was using starvation as a tactic in it's war with the Tigrean and Eritrean separatists. This, of course, was a page out of Stalin's handbook from 1930's Ukraine.

The point raised, is that the West was damned either way, by manipulation of it's idealism on one side which led to a continuation of a war in which many may have perished unneccessarily and on the other side by the absolute need to do what it did in face of Western popular support for humanitarianism.

The degree that this may be applicable to the UN scandal is debateable, perhaps tenous at best. Nevertheless, to some degree the UN was forced to deal with unscrupulous people and compromise in order to meet it's objectives. That the process was in many ways a failure, mired as it was by corruption, is obvious. Still, is it not unfair to hold the UN's feet to the fire for not holding up to our Idealistic views of how things should run, rather than how they often really do?

Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating letting the UN off the hook here, I am just suggesting that there may be a fair amount of idealistic hypocrisy at work as well as ulterior motives in the prosecution of this situation.

BTW, I am not so much advocating a position as suggesting points that may add to the discussion. Take as you will.
 

mactastic

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Desertrat said:
I earlier said, "To me, this UN thing is more serious in that the money was supposed to go for food and medicine. From 1991 through 2002 we've been told of all the starving women and children in Iraq."

Explain to me how that's in any way supportive of Bush. Explain to me how that's any call to fire Annan.
I never said anything about that statement being supportive of Bush. I asked you what 'this UN thing' is 'more important than'. You said it was more important that something else, presumably the allegations of corruption and mismanagement leveled at the Bush administration over it's handling of Iraq which is the subject of this thread. So, is the Oil for Food scandal more important than the tens of thousands killed and injured?

The comment about the Halliburton corruption causing deaths by starvation cannot be supported.
But the one about sanctions can. You are right, I'm guessing about Halliburtons effects thus far as there has been no chance for a definitive answer. But there is no doubt that sanctions starved Iraqis as well. And while you have no problem condeming Annan for what is no more than incompetence and mismanagement, whenever anyone makes similar claims about the Bush administration you reply is always 'Dangfino' or 'It's how things work, I don't know how to solve it so I'm not going to get upset about it.'

As far as the present war in Iraq: I cannot equate the large numbers of starvation-deaths which were deliberately allowed to happen by Hussein, to the relatively few deaths of non-combatants. We've killed fewer non-combatants than the so-called "insurgents".

'Rat
That comment cannot be supported.

So, as you asked earlier... Is there anyone in the forums who doesn't think 'incompetence and corruption' should be grounds for termination?
 

Desertrat

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I've no problem with firing people for incompetence and corruption. Who defines the terms? I note that 51% of the popular vote said, "Don't fire Bush." That's a better percentage than a lot of winning presidents have had, including Clinton and Kennedy. WRT Bush, the voters have defined the terms and the Bush issue is thus moot.

Anthony Perkins' column, today, rather contradicted "...condemning Annan for what is no more than incompetence and mismanagement...", giving specific examples of direct involvement in the oil/food system and in the meeting with Hussein quite early on during the set-up. Annan's deputy is supposed to have received $3.5 million; where did knowledge of this come from, were it not factual?

And, given the benefits to many facets of German and French industry and government, it's no wonder they opposed any effort to remove Hussein. That hurt their billfolds...

As for who killed whom in Iraq, the press keeps giving the numbers of Iraqi bystanders who've been killed by the opposition, as well as their murders of such as the beheaded hostages and in their murders of Iraqi police. The military has done pretty well in their own head-counts of non-intended deaths--also reported in the press...Thus, the opposition has killed more non-combatants than has the US military.

'Rat
 

3rdpath

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Desertrat said:
As for who killed whom in Iraq, the press keeps giving the numbers of Iraqi bystanders who've been killed by the opposition, as well as their murders of such as the beheaded hostages and in their murders of Iraqi police. The military has done pretty well in their own head-counts of non-intended deaths--also reported in the press...Thus, the opposition has killed more non-combatants than has the US military.

'Rat
not even close: ( and these are old figures)

The Los Angeles Times did a survey of 27 hospitals in the Baghdad area after the U.S. invasion and found that at least 1,700 civilians died. In June 2003, the Associated Press canvassed 60 of Iraq's 124 hospitals and calculated that at least 3,420 civilians died in the first months of the war. AP described the count as "fragmentary" and said, "the complete toll -- if it is ever tallied -- is sure to be significantly higher."

Since then, other figures have been floated. Commentators for the Jordan Times and the Daily Star in Beirut, Lebanon, have cited an estimate of 30,000 deaths. That is the figure disseminated by the Iraqi Human Rights Organization, an independent group in Baghdad.

A more conservative figure comes from Iraqbodycount.net, a British Web site that compiles media reports on Iraqi civilian deaths. Based on such reporting, the site says there have been a minimum of 12,778 civilian deaths in Iraq and a maximum of 14,820.
ntm, the red cross has estimated that the number of deaths directly attributable to the sanctions at close to 500,000.

so:
1) we help affirm saddam's power and he kills innocent people
2) we sanction saddam which in turn kills innocent people
3) we invade which kills innocent people.

i think i see a pattern.
 

IJ Reilly

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Desertrat said:
I note that 51% of the popular vote said, "Don't fire Bush." That's a better percentage than a lot of winning presidents have had, including Clinton and Kennedy
Not true. Clinton was reelected in 1996 with 50.5% of the popular vote in a three-way election. Perot received 9% of the vote that year. All of which means that Clinton won his second term with a far greater margin than Bush.
 

mactastic

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So who defines the terms of Annan's incompetence? Coleman?

If over 50% of the world were to support Annan, would that change your view as to whether or not he should be held accountable for what happened on his watch? Somehow I doubt it. Yet you expect me to buy the argument that because 51% of the US supported Bush that we should ignore his. Is that a double standard?
 

skunk

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mactastic said:
So who defines the terms of Annan's incompetence? Coleman?

If over 50% of the world were to support Annan, would that change your view as to whether or not he should be held accountable for what happened on his watch? Somehow I doubt it. Yet you expect me to buy the argument that because 51% of the US supported Bush that we should ignore his. Is that a double standard?
Hang on a second, MacT: 'Rat has just posted a link in Annan's favour.