For those of you that are either not Australian or have been living under a rock, the Australian Wheat Board has been caught giving backhanders to Saddam's cronies. This happened back when it was worth being Saddam's crony in 2000 and the Australia government only recently found out about it. Well that's their story anyway, and by GOD they are sticking to it. I don't know which I'd prefer, having a government so corrupt it would turn a blind eye to kickbacks that funded weapons aimed at it's troops or one so stupid it didn't know that the trucking deal was corrupt. I mean requiring vendors to use a particular firm for transportation, storage etc. and getting a backhander from your friend who owns it, surely that's the oldest trick in the book? I mean the Babylonian government has been using that one since before the Code of Hammurabi.
You might remember than "Honest John" Howard backed the invasion with all his might, all the way with LBJ-style. I can't think of a good ryhme for GWB, so all you frustrated lefty lyricists start working on it. Well after the invasion the Yanks started looking into the oil-for-food thing, hoping to find corruption. In somewhere other than Halliburton I mean. Now at this point you have to wonder, what the hell was Johnny thinking? I mean he was warned 6 years before by the Canadians that the deal stunk, and we know that he believed them because he didn't try to find out if it was true. Mr. Howard has become rather good at not knowing things that his senior civil servants knew and thus not being blamed for it. So why didn't he have a quiet word with George and Dick and the gang, over a barbeque (not a hunting trip as he is very anti-gun) and tell them to call off the dogs a bit? I mean what's the point of having friends in high places if you can't give the nod to the investigating officer? I mean is this man an Australian at all? He's a disgrace to the traditions of the New South Wales colony.
Instead John actually starts an inquiry into what happened. Lord, love us and save us we know what happened. Saddam wanted wheat, the farmers (a powerful lobby but not much subsidised down under) wanted to sell him wheat through the "single desk" wheat monopoly and Saddam wanted a kickback for doing it. Blind freddy could have told you what happened, why start a bloody inquiry? I mean asking questions is fine for fun, in university halls, and internet chatrooms but it shouldn't be mixed with politics. If it is it can only lead to answers, and who wants that? One government spokesman said that the AWB had looked after the interests of Australian farmers well. Well yeah, that's the point, a little too well. The whole thing is so stressful that many of the AWB officers like Trevor Fluge, the Chairman and the Middle East Manager Mark Emons are suffering amnesia. This serious condition can affect their ability to earn income for years. I just hope they get a good golden handshake to make up for it.
So anyway the AWB looks like it might have to disolve, or not, it seems to change each week. The Iraqis are refusing to deal with them because they were once bent. Apparently being muslim Challabi, Allawi and Sistani haven't heard the story about throwing the first stone. I mean pot calling kettle, come in kettle.
In the meantime Kim Beazely, who was narrowly avoiding arrest for impersonating an opposition leader is doing well complaining about someone doing exactly what he would have done at the time. It's sorta like the Democrats complaining about the NSA phone-tapping. You know they should but you can't imagine they're doing it honestly.
I mean after forcing the telcos to install stuff that let the government tap half a percent of all phone calls at once what did they think it would be used for? Oh well it's all part of life's rich tapestry.
Alternate meanings of AWB;
Amnesiacs With Booty.
Always With Bucks.
Australia's Wonderful Briefcases.