Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Want to ignore him. Can't.

Warning: Today's previous post was more whimsical (sort of) and less sarcastic (a little).

In today's WSJ, Kofi Annan has posted his response to the deserved U.N. bashing that's been making the rounds. Registration required, I believe.


In it, not only does he have the nerve to brag about the U.N.'s dismally late and inadequate response to the tsunami, but also takes credit for Sergio Vieria de Mello's meaningful contributions to the democratization of Iraq while failing to mention how completely the U.N. pulled up its tentstakes and hightailed it out of town after de Mello's tragic murder. So much for the noble cause.

After this larded, revisionist list of accomplishments, Kofi writes, "I could go on." So could I, buddy.

He admits that Oil-For-Food is a legitimate gripe while calling the allegations "overblown" and "hyperbolic." It's only the biggest financial fraud in world history. Certainly, enlightened thinkers can rise above the rhetoric, can't we?

He also admits that the sexual explotation allegations are "shocking" and that attention's overdue, but he's working on it, okay?

But here's where, to my feeble mind, he hoisted himself on his verbal petard:

In my eight years as secretary-general, I had already done a lot--with the support of member states, often led by the U.S.--to make the U.N. more coherent and efficient. Now we need to make it more transparent and accountable--not only to diplomats representing member governments, but also directly to the public.

With this, he reveals that he perceives the most recent years of financial, sexual, and administrative abuse are confluent with the U.N.'s improvement under his leadership! I can't argue that the graft has become more efficient, positively institutionalized, and the U.N.'s practice of ignoring sexual misconduct within domestic and international operations is nothing if not coherent.

Kofi's been suffering under overblown hyperbole? How about this? Hitler's National Socialist Party was both lethally efficient and coherent. What they lacked was compassion, fairness, and shame.

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