Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Kofi Annan has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal.
Among the jucier quotes:

  • "...a strong U.N. is of vital importance to humanity."
  • "All [the countries and donors] recognize that the U.N. is the right body to lead, because it is in no one's pocket."
Well, if you don't count Iraq and Cotecna...
"The U.N. can be useful because it is seen as independent and impartial."
Interesting...anyone else agree to that one?
"I could go on. I could speak also about the 18 peace operations we have in war-torn countries around the world, and the tens of millions of homeless and hungry people, over and above those affected by the tsunami, to whom we are bringing relief. Indeed, when ill-informed critics try to cut the U.N. off at the knees, the people they hurt most are not diplomats or bureaucrats but innocent people caught in war or poverty, in desperate need of the world's help."
Yes, but unfortunately the only way to get through to diplomats of repressive or tyrannical regimes is by enforcing sanctions that affect the "innocent people." It might be to inspire an uprising to overthrow the ruler or it may be to starve the regime of funds but it's a far better option than just assassinating the tyrant or launching airstrikes on the nation's military installations.

And closes thusly:

"This September, we have a real opportunity to make the U.N. more useful to all its members. Leaders from all over the world are coming to a U.N. summit in New York. I shall put before them an agenda of bold but achievable proposals for making the U.N. work better, and the world fairer and safer.

I know that Americans want to do that as much as any people on earth. More than any other people, they have the power to do it--if they listen to and work with others, and take the lead in a concerted effort. I believe that they will give us that lead. I look forward to September with hope and excitement."

Maybe my calendar is wrong, but it's only February! Is he going on vacation until the General Assembly meets again in September? I don't get it.
And, Mr. Secretary General, nice try to drop the "I believe that they will give us that lead." For my sake I hope we don't!

(In case the link doesn't work [you have to be registered] just post a comment and I'll post the entire article for your reading pleasure.)


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