Europe's Distorted View of the U.S.

Allow me to flog again a well-flogged horse...

This particular horse — all beat to hell already — is the issue of anti-Americanism among our Euro allies.

Since the re-election of George W. Bush (search), they have confined their seething about America to the occasional jabbed elbow (or muttering vicious things under their breath)... but it pops up in ways unexpected.

For instance, the Oil-for-Food scandal (search). Now this outrage is clearly to be laid at the feet of the United Nations officials (who put stacks of $1 million bills in their own pockets) and Saddam Hussein (search) (who used his ill-gotten gains to try to bribe the U.N. Security Council or at least members who were willing to vote against the U.S. on the Iraq resolutions.) In one case, there was even the threat of a veto, and that appears to be a payoff to Saddam for his generosity with oil vouchers.

Yet Tuesday — when a teeny story broke about an Iraqi- American who took some Saddam oil vouchers, then pleaded guilty and got marched off to jail — there was a big headline in the Brit press: 'American Guilty in Oil-for-Food'.

This while Kofi Annan (search) is walking away from the largest theft in human history because the U.N. managed to get off a load of relief aid to tsunami people. All is forgiven, Kofi... what a humanitarian.

Now there's another soon-to-be headline — a guy named Shakir al Khafaji (search)... also on the list of people who recieved oil vouchers.

Al Khafaji is the man who financed the documentary movie about Iraq "Shifting Sands," produced by ex-weapons inspector and sometime-Saddam defender Scott Ritter (search).

Ritter said Saddam didn't have WMD. He turned out to be right, as far as the weapons inspectors are concerned (even though there was some talk that Saddam trucked the WMD out to Syria.)

More on al Khafaji later, one supposes.

Meantime, Iraqi-American Samir Vincent (search) — beneficiary of saddam's oil riches — gets convicted, and he is the headline in the overseas press.

You see? Forget Kofi and his son Kojo, the one with the fat bank account. The real crook in Oil-for-Food is — wouldn't you know it? — an American.

That, my friends, is how the world twists the news.

That's My Word.

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