Friday, July 22, 2005

FCNL/War/Iraq/Smith, Daniel

US accountability in Iraq is worse than UN's

Topeka Capital Journal/Topeka/KS/USA/21-Jul-05

.. All this hanky panky occurred over the space of 11 months. Yet some U.S. politicians prefer to castigate the "mismanagement" if not "corruption" in the seven-year U.N. oil-for-food program. But the U.S. Government Accountability Office, in a June 2004 report, concluded that Saddam had been able to reap no more than $4.4 billion in illegal revenue from the program.

This is not to excuse the United Nation's failures. It is simply to add the perspective that oil-for-food represented uncharted territory for the United Nations and a test for member states' willingness to abide by the rules set by the Security Council. From this perspective, the United Nations as an organization actually was better than its sovereign members and much better than the CPA -- ironically an abbreviation that stands for Coalition Provisional Authority but not, it seems, what the CPA really needed: Certified Public Accountants.

Colonel Daniel M. Smith (Ret.), a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran is the Senior Fellow for Military Affairs at the Friend Committee on National Legislation. FCNL is a Quaker-based public interest lobby founded in 1943. FCNL is headquartered in Washington D.C.


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