Friday, April 22, 2005

Premature Congratulation


It seems I was premature in my comment yesterday: "It’s a good thing Canada didn’t have any involvement in the UN oil-for-food program. If they had, Saddam would have long since annexed Quebec in exchange for political contributions."

The Canada Free Press picks up on a Claudia Rosett story in the New York Sun, indicating that a Canadian and a Korean will be indicted next as a result of oil-for-food investigations, and that Canada's Prime Minister, Paul Martin, was owner of a company in which Saddam Hussein invested a million dollars in seed money.

It is good to see that "Canada Free Press" is not yet an oxymoron. From their article:
The Canadian company that Saddam Hussein invested a million dollars in belonged to the Prime Minister of Canada, canadafreepress.com has discovered.

Cordex Petroleum Inc., launched with Saddam’s million by Prime Minister Paul Martin’s mentor Maurice Strong’s son Fred Strong, is listed among Martin’s assets to the Federal Ethics committee on November 4, 2003.
Perhaps Saddam was merely hedging his oil bets by trying to get into the Alberta tar sands project. Perhaps not.

Perhaps the Ethics committee was "packed". Perhaps they were so anti-American they thought Saddam's investment in their PM's business was a good thing. Who can tell in a country where ruling party Members of Parliament stomp on dolls of the leader of a powerful ally at the direction of television producers?

If the Liberal corruption stories had come out while Carolyn Parrish was running against Paul Martin for Leader of the Liberal Party, she could now be Prime Minister. Go figure.

The story does not mention whether Saddam contributed a million $US or
a million $CDN.

This matters only to the extent that when Mr. Martin calls for another delay in having an election, this time while he investigates his own finances, he would cite it as a mitigating factor if Saddam's investment were only a million $CDN.

To the recent Soap Opera flavor of Canadian politics Claudia Rosett adds that Maurice Strong, a long time Martin mentor, is connected in several interesting ways. He is a:
...longtime United Nations undersecretary general, ... special adviser to the secretary-general since 1999 and currently Mr. Annan's personal envoy to the Korean Peninsula...
There is a strong Korean connection in this boondoggle as well, but you'll have to read the articles for that bit.

Rosett continues:
Mr. Strong is a Canadian tycoon with extensive experience at the United Nations, where he has served as secretary-general of the 1992 Earth Summit, as chief architect of the Kyoto Treaty, and as the world body's guru of governance in the 1990s.
Emphasis mine. This might explain a very great deal about the Governance of both the UN and of Canada.

Rosett:
Mr. Strong could not be reached for comment on the indictment, but the Sun spoke with his U.N. assistant, who said Mr. Strong plans to issue a statement today, saying he had no involvement with the oil-for-food program.

In that event, it might also be useful for Mr. Strong to address publicly his former business association with the son of the secretary-general, Kojo Annan. The younger Annan has figured prominently in the oil-for-food investigations because over the period between 1999 and 2004 he received large payments from a Switzerland-based company, Cotecna Inspections S.A., hired by the United Nations to monitor oil-for-food relief imports into Iraq between 1999 and 2003.

During part of that period, Kojo Annan and Mr. Strong both held seats on the board of another company, the now defunct Air Harbour Technologies, registered at the Isle of Man. Air Harbour's corporate registry documents list both the younger Annan and Mr. Strong as having joined the board of directors on the same day, December 28, 1999. Mr. Strong resigned just over half a year later, on July 5, 2000. Registry documents also show that Kojo Annan remained on the board for another year, resigning on July 5, 2001.
Mr. Strong's avid interest in the environment is obvious from his Kyoto involvement, but there is no word on whether he will recycle parts of Benon Sevan's encyclopedic denials of oil-for-food entanglement, or come up with his own version.

Mr. Martin could not be reached for comment. He is said to be either planning for an early election or checking on the state of extradition treaties world-wide.

Where is Lester Pearson when he's needed? He knew how to deal with Banana Republics.

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