December 11, 2006

With A Straight Face Too

Kofi Annan had the gall to criticize the United States government for lacking "accountability" in the conduct of their affairs in his speech today. This after not one U.N. official has ever had so much as a reprimand, much less lost a job as a result of the largest fraud in the history of international aid, not to mention a panoply of other scandals including refugee rape and sexual exploitation by U.N. peacekeepers, and blatant and unrepentant nepotism involving his own family. (In today's news from Darfur, some of the U.N.'s peacekeepers are apparently having a bit of trouble sticking to the job description.)

Annan has done nothing to change the course of the United Nations from the impotent debating society he inherited. If anything, the U.N. he leaves behind is more infected with the disease of anti-Semitism than when he took the helm, difficult as that is to imagine. He has refused to insist on anything resembling enforcement of recent Security Council resolutions, proving once again how useless the organization is when action is required instead of words.

Here is some of what people are saying, starting with Ms. Rosett:

In a virtuoso display of the sleaze that has marked his tenure as UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan used his farewell speech today at the Truman library to blast the Bush administration, this performance accompanied by a Washington Post Op-ed this morning that boils down to — guess what? — blasting the Bush administration. At Captain’s Quarter’s Ed Morrissey writes, “Come on, WaPo — level with us. Claudia Rosett wrote this as a spoof, right?”

If only it were that benign. One has to wonder if there is more going on here than simply Annan’s trademark mix of hypocrisy and moral vertigo. Annan has been hinting at plans after he leaves office at the end of this month to launch his own foundation (this was the justification with which he tried to pocket $500,000 in personal prize money earlier this year, from the ruler of Dubai). Annan’s farewell slam of Bush amounts to an open invitation to any number of Annan’s favorite left-wing tycoons, such as George Soros and Ted Turner, to donate whopping sums of money to the post-UN ventures of the self-styled “chief diplomat of the world,” as Annan has described his job. Were there swift justice in the world, Annan would now stop his meddling in U.S. politics and retire to Ghana to nurse a nose grown longer than Pinnochio’s. Instead, brace yourself, we are witnessing the birth of Annan, elder statesman, the next Jimmy Carter of the international set.

Ed Morrissey on Annan's Post op-ed yesterday:

There's plenty more laughs in Annan's goodbye screed. He tries to use Hillary Clinton's outline for It Takes A Village by telling readers that we are all responsible for each other's security, and that we are all responsible for each other's welfare. I'm sure that the people dying in Darfur will take great comfort in those words, in which the outgoing UN chief invokes them alongside the word "genocide" but manages to avoid applying it directly to them. Rwanda's victims also would second Annan's words, if any of them remained alive.

He then goes on to mention the rule of law and the need for states to play by the rules. However, in his quest for accountability, he fails to mention what consequences should come from failures to do so. We wanted to hold Saddam accountable for twelve years of intransigence in relation to 16 UN Security Council resolutions -- and Annan opposed the effort. We want to hold Iran accountable for its defiance of the non-proliferation treaty -- and Annan has little to say about that as well.

Accountability. Annan. Not exactly two terms one would tie together in UN history.

Michelle Malkin on Annan's suggestion that the U.S. abandoned its principles in fighting the war on terror:

Like Kofi Annan knows anything about remaining true to principles? He leaves behind a feckless, corrupted, global bureaucracy incapable of policing the predators in its ranks, unwilling to stand up to evil, and useless in the struggle against terrorism--or any other global threat.

And it's all President Bush's and America's fault.

Good riddance to you and your wagging finger, Kofi Annan. You will not be missed.

Hot Air:

Rwanda, Kosovo, Darfur, Oil for Food, child-sex scandals, twelve years of unenforced resolutions against Saddam, paralysis in the face of an accelerating Iranian nuclear program, a North Korean bomb test this summer, and an antagonism towards Israel so relentless as to border on the persecutional.

That’s the global test. We’ve failed it.

David Frum

Is it possible that Kofi Annan was once seen as a UN reformer? His exit from the world body has been as graceless as his tenure was shameless. In his parting address at the Truman Library, he nodded to the unpleasantness in Darfur. Beyond that, he had barely a word of criticism for the behavior of the 95% of the world's population that lives outside the United States. Instead, he condemned the Bush administration for failing to submit more entirely to the judgments of his organization. Indeed, he described the UN as a forum for "global democracy" - that being the process in which 100 dictators can outvote 99 governments elected by their people. He will not be missed, and if remembered at all, will be remembered only for the continuing disgrace of his institution and the financial scandals in which his own family played so large and murky a role.
Posted by dan at December 11, 2006 11:06 PM