December 17, 2006

Kofi’s stain: UN chief wronged U.S., coddled dictators and ignored corruption (NILE GARDINER, 12/17/06, NY Daiuly News)

[A]nnan has been no friend of the American people, or of the Iraqi people. At every opportunity, he has undermined U.S. global leadership, most recently making a habit of deriding America’s decision to remove Saddam from power as “illegal.” People of good will can debate whether that decision was right or wrong – but it was Saddam, not Bush, who thumbed his nose at a dozen UN resolutions and systematically oppressed the Iraqi people.

Annan has a long track record of cozying up to dictators. He has consistently failed to condemn African tyrants such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe or Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan. And aside from a few perfunctory criticisms, he has been noticeably quiet about the threats against Israel posed by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Annan gave only a low-key response to Iran’s state-sponsored Holocaust denial conference, which sparked international outrage this week. To his credit, incoming Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has already strongly denounced it.

As a result of this and more, the UN’s standing as a moral authority on the world stage – not exactly stellar at the start of Annan’s tenure – has plummeted during his 10-year reign. He was forced to disband the UN Commission on Human Rights after Western complaints over human-rights abusers (Cuba, Libya, et al.) running the show. Yet his “reform” solution, the much-vaunted Human Rights Council, is just as bad. It has been unwilling even to condemn the regime in Khartoum over the crisis in Darfur.

Even worse, amid a culture of weak and permissive leadership, UN peacekeepers entrusted with protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable people have raped and abused hundreds of refugees in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and other war zones. Before he became secretary general, Annan was in charge of UN peacekeeping operations during the Rwanda slaughter and the mass killing at Srebrenica, in Bosnia. Suffice to say, in that capacity, he did not earn the top job.

The free world should not shed a tear at Annan’s departure. Rather, let New York bid good riddance to the most weak-kneed secretary general in the history of the United Nations, a shameless appeaser of despotism and tyranny. He may well be remembered as the Neville Chamberlain of our time.



May 7, 2006

Sudan agrees to UN troops for Darfur as treaty signed (Mohamed Osman, 5/07/06, Sunday Herald)

A spokesman for the Sudanese government has confirmed that United Nations peacekeepers will now be welcome in Darfur after a peace agreement between Khartoum and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), the main rebel group involved in the conflict.

Bakri Mulah, secretary-general for external affairs in the information ministry, issued the invitation on behalf of the Khartoum government after the agreement was reached on Friday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

The Sudanese government initially rejected calls for UN peacekeepers to replace the thousands of African Union peacekeepers currently in Darfur.

“We heard the appeal of the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan [for UN peacekeepers to join those of the African Union] … Now there is no problem,” a spokesman said.

The government of Sudan and the main Darfur rebel faction expressed hopes that three years of fighting could now come to an end.

A nice illustration of how the UN can be useful, following our lead.


March 25, 2006

UN speeds up Darfur peace mission (BBC, 3/24/06)

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously to speed up preparations for UN peacekeepers to be deployed to Darfur in western Sudan.

The council is calling on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to come up with a range of options within one month. […]

“It’s a real step forward in building peace across the entire country,” Britain’s UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said in a statement.

In 2002 the President challenged the UN to be true to its principles and help enforce its own resolutions against Saddam. It failed. Nice to see it shamed into doing the right thing this time.


March 10, 2006


March 8, 2006

Annan urges overhaul of UN operations (EDITH M. LEDERER, 3/07/06, Associated Press)

United Nations — Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged U.N. member states Tuesday to approve a radical overhaul of the world body’s operations that would include a 2,500-member rapid reaction team to help millions facing hunger, violence and terrorism.

After decades of piecemeal reform, Mr. Annan told the 191 members a radical overhaul is needed because current United Nations rules and regulations “make it very hard for the organization to conduct its work efficiently or effectively.”

Since the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, he said, the United Nations has changed from an organization of conferences and meetings to a global body engaged in peacekeeping, humanitarian relief efforts, electoral assistance and human rights monitoring.

George W. Bush offered the old UN a last chance to rescue its credibility on 9/12/02 and then let Tony Blair and Colin Powell try to talk them around, before commencing regime change in Iraq without them. Now Mr. Annan has no choice but to reeform the UN enough so that it can at least be a partner, if a junior one, of the Axis of Good in humanitarian interventionism.


February 14, 2006

Larger Darfur Force Needed, Bush, Annan Say (Michael A. Fletcher, February 14, 2006, Washington Post)

President Bush and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed on the need for a bigger, more mobile peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region during a White House meeting yesterday, but Annan made no specific requests for U.S. military help.

Speaking to reporters after the Oval Office session, Annan said it is premature to ask for more than a general commitment from the United States until the United Nations determines what it needs for the planned peacekeeping force in Darfur.

“Once we’ve defined the requirements, then we will approach the governments to see specifically what each of them will do in terms of troops, in terms of equipment,” Annan said.

The United Nations is making plans to send as many as 20,000 troops to help stabilize the huge Darfur region, where about 7,000 peacekeepers from the African Union have been struggling to end the bloodshed being inflicted on civilians by government-backed militias.

Nice to be asked to intervene.


December 17, 2005

Annan tells Bush that Iraqi vote went well (Associated Press, Dec. 17, 2005)

UN Secretary-General Kofi ] Annan told Bush that violence in Iraq was low, voter turnout was high and that the Iraqi people had cleared another hurdle “on the road to democracy,” said Federick Jones, spokesman for the National Security Council.

Sure the Oil-for-Food scandal was a disgrace, but the beauty is we got our war anyway and now we own the Secretary-General.


November 12, 2005

UN chief in surprise Iraq visit (BBC, 11/12/05)

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has arrived in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on a surprise visit.

He is expected to meet Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and other members of the Iraqi government.

The oil-for-food scandal has made Mr. Annan pleasantly biddable, eh?


November 9, 2005

UN renews mandate for U.S.-led Iraq force (Warren Hoge, NOVEMBER 9, 2005, The New York Times)

The Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a one-year renewal of the United Nations mandate for the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq.

The resolution, sponsored by Britain, Denmark, Japan, Romania and the United States, extends the mandate until Dec. 31, 2006, but calls for a review of the decision by June 15, 2006, and allows for the termination of the mandate at any point if Iraq requests it.

The review clause was added as a compromise with the demands of France and Russia, which initially asked that the term be extended only six months, rather than a year.

The drawing-up of the measure was remarkably free of disputes on an issue that two years ago deeply divided the Security Council and threw relations between the United Nations and United States into turmoil.


October 29, 2005

UN turns screw on Syria over assassination riddle (Marie Colvin and Hugh Macleod, 10/30/05, The Sunday Times of London)

The story’s well worth reading, but you really want to pause for a moment and marvel at that headline.