In his latest fallback position on Iraq, President Bush used last Friday’s debate to justify attacking Iraq because of problems with the United Nation’s Oil for Food program. The President intimated that Saddam Hussein was a threat because he was subverting the U.N.’s rules of containment for his own profit.
What the President doesn’t say is who was in collusion with the dictator. In an article published today, the NYTimes reported that the largest importer of oil under the Oil for Food program was the United States. Apparently, at the same time President Bush was fanning the winds of war, American oil companies were surreptitiously purchasing Iraqi oil through foreign intermediaries, including firms in Russia, Cyprus, Sudan and Pakistan. According to the article, companies such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Valero Energy and Koch Petroleum were importing an average of 560,000 barrels per day from Iraq through the first seven months of 2002.
(The image above is a painting by artist Kayti Didriksen called: ‘Man of Leisure, King George.’ In the painting, Dick Cheney is presenting Bush with a crown sporting a fitting icon. The painting was set to hang at the City Museum of Washington until the museum abruptly cancelled the show.)