January 28, 2004

On the Oil Take in Saddam's Iraq

The day is certain to be dominated by the housing numbers and the Fed's announcement...that interest rates are going to stay low. But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot going on geopolitically. For instance, you probably won't hear much about this...but Le Monde...the big French daily...republished a story from the Arab press about who Saddam Hussein was bribing with oil. You can find the whole article here. An excerpt below. Please note, this is a google translation of the story...so it isn't perfect...but it sure is revealing. "For France, not less than eleven names are published with the quantity of oil barrels which were allocated to them. Among them, written with a sometimes approximate orthography and including/understanding some uncertainties on the first names or headings of companies and associations, appear the company Adax, Patrick Maugein de Traficor or Travicor, Michel Grimard, the association of friendship arabo-Frenchwoman, Charles Pasqua, Elias El-Ferzeli or Ghazarli of Lebanese origin, Claude Kaspereit, Bernard Mérimée (former ambassador from France to Rome and UNO), Bernard Desmaret and De Souza. "12 million barrels would in particular have been allocated to Charles Pasqua, four other Mr. Kaspereit and three with Mr. Mérimée while Patrick Maugein would have profited from 25 million barrels. No other precision is given. The documents come from the SOMO (State Oil Marketing Organization), company of marketing of oil attached to the ministry for oil. A LETTER OF THE SOMO "George Gallaway, former Labour deputy with the Communes, appears in good place in the list. Its name is mentioned in six contracts and the newspaper publishes a letter of the SOMO on December 31, 1999, signed by Saddam Zbin, cousin of Saddam Hussein which managed this company and in which it asks for the ministry for oil of grant contracts to him. Apparently, this British member of Parliament was particularly well treated. But it is not only. "In this very long list appears also Khaled, the son of Egyptian president Nasser, the son of the Syrian Minister for defense, the son of the president of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, the girl of the president indonésien Sukarno, Megawati, today Prime Minister, the Russian orthodoxe church and the Russian Communist Party. "The Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Jirinovski, it, particularly are also well parcelled out (79,2 million barrels). Swiss companies, Italian nationals, Jordanian deputies, Egyptian politicians, the Popular Front of release of Palestine (FPLP), the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are quoted. The list is not exhaustive. "Among the quoted countries appear inter alia: South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahreïn, Bielorussia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Spain, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Yemen and Yugoslavia. "These disclosures caused in the close countries, either of the made indignant reactions, the ones calling upon slandering or the political plot, or of the justifications according to which they were legal businesses carried out in due form. As far as the knowledge can, the selected people received attributions for a certain volume of barrels which were then resold at companies. The interested parties touched in the passing a commission of which the percentage is not known.


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