Sunday, November 13, 2005

Who supplemented Saddam's bank account?

An ABC article today states the Australian Wheat Board contributed 290 million dollars to Saddam Hussein's regime during the Oil-for-food programme from 1996 to 2003.
A report yesterday claimed the Iraqi Government had stopped trade with Australia until grains exporter AWB made compensation for the hundreds of millions of dollars of its money used as kickbacks to prop up Saddam Hussein's regime.
Wheat Whether it was done knowingly or not is a point of contention, but regardless I feel a bit shocked. It was easy, in those first four years, to be spending a few hours of my day helping the wheat to grow up tall and harvest it to be sold to the AWB, blissfully unaware of how my tiny actions could be related to such corruption on the other side of the globe!

(Note: The Iraqi government denied it had stopped wheat trade with Australia, but the point has been made anyway)

It's just another little tiny example of how our lives are not independent from other people in the world. All of our actions are impacting on people living far away and in different circumstances. I think of many Aussie farmers who have shares in AWB as well as supplying it with wheat (and now other cereals). The AWB may not just be guilty of screwing farmers out of money but of something quite a bit worse and on quite a different scale.

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3 Comments:

Blogger a real life girl said...

One day I will make and launch my tshirt:
Fight the war against war.
Thanks for visiting :)

November 14, 2005 3:56 pm  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just a quick note that Barista also posted on this bit of news in a much more fun and scathing way than I!

November 15, 2005 10:45 am  
Blogger mick said...

There's some interesting reading in the available reports. It doesn't look good for the AWB. Surprisingly there is going to be a Royal Commision into it, though, it's terms of reference are fairly narrow. Apparently it is mainly tasked with investigating the AWB, and not the government officials who approved the payments...

November 16, 2005 5:45 am  

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