Mistakes with Iraqi oil

U.S. Vice-President Al Gore must have thought he was playing a humanitarian trump card this month when he proposed that the United Nations lift restrictions on oil production by Iraq. A year earlier, U.N. Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan, just before a visit to Baghdad, doubled the amount of money Iraq may raise for humanitarian purposes by producing oil under U.N. sanctions. Somebody needs to explain to the vice-president that the only restriction that means anything to the U.N.'s oil-for-food program is the price of oil. The market is in such wretched shape that Iraqi production at the limit of physical capacity comes nowhere close to reaching Annan's $5.2 billion/180-day generos...

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