Back with the Norks

Austin Bay:

"Saddam Hussein’s regime thrived on the UN’s corrupted Oil For Food program. A tour of Saddam’s Baghdad digs led former CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks to quip the scam amounted to little more than 'oil for palaces.' The UN hasn’t begun to account for the stolen billions pumped into Baathist bank accounts and the toney coffers of European luxury goods suppliers. Oil For Food kept Saddam and his killers living like Hollywood stars while Shia children starved.

"A similar evil game of elite ritz amidst mass starvation continues in east Asia, except a wag might call North Korea’s shakedown 'Food For Fallout.' While Kim Jong Il’s strange little Stalinist clique trumpets the development of nuclear weapons, 2.7 million of its citizens face imminent starvation. Last week the World Food Program cut food aid to North Korea because of a lack of foreign donations.


"Nuclear weapons, of course, are Kim’s big stick. The scam goes like this: Pay us off and we won't make bombs. That was the deal Pyongyang offered the Clinton administration in 1994. The United States hoped that meeting North Korea's basic energy and food requirements would ultimately reduce belligerency. However, North Korea made bombs anyway. North Korea calls its latest negotiating gambit 'the order of simultaneous action.' Pyongyang will 'renounce nuclear intentions' if Washington resumes food aid. The US must also provide 'written security assurances.' This is still 'pay us, then we behave.' "


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