Monday, April 21, 2003
No War for Oil: The Feckless French and the Recalcitrant Russians, who for years have supported the lifting of the U.N. embargo on Iraq, have seen the light now that the United States is in Baghdad. With the United States determined to eradicate all chem/bio/nuke weapons in Iraq, the French and Russians now demand proof before they forswear use of their veto to lift the sanctions.
What's changed? Well, when Saddam was in control, he made lucrative contracts with French and Russian oil firms for the development, export and sale of Iraqi oil when the U.N. sanctions were finally lifted. With Saddam gone, those agreements hang in the balance, and a United States that shed the blood of its young men and women to rid Iraq of WMDs and free the Iraqi people without France and Russian help, is understandably reluctant to reward their perfidy.
Who cares more about the plight of the Iraqi people? Well, it's not France, Russia or the anti-war protesters here at home who still harangue the United States and applaud "old Europe." The international opposition to this war, at least the international leadership, was opposed to war for primarily economic reasons. (The remaining reason was good, old-fashioned anti-Americanism.)
The United States should ignore the Franco-Russian blackmail threats and present a resolution to the U.N. Security Council lifting the sanctions for the benefit of the Iraqi people. Let France and Russia veto it. Prove once again that the U.N. is irrelevant.
Then watch the rush of countries to ignore the U.N. sanctions and do business in Iraq, with the encouragement of the United States and Britain. The Iraqi people will know freedom and economic development, irrespective of France, Russia and Germany.