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.
In a farewell speech on U.S. soil today, retiring United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan plans to deliver a tough critique of President Bush’s policies. He will accuse the administration of trying to secure the United States from terrorism in part by dominating other nations through force, committing what he termed human rights abuses and taking military action without broad international support…
In the 61-year history of the U.N., no secretary-general has ended his tenure by criticizing U.S. policies so sharply, said Stanley Meisler, a historian of the United Nations and author of a new biography of Annan…
In his speech, Annan refers to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. When “military force is used, the world at large will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose … in accordance with broadly accepted norms.”
When he’s right, he’s right. Arab self-rule doesn’t accord with broadly accepted norms.
He’ll deliver the speech at the Truman presidential library in Missouri, just to make things overtly partisan. He knows who his audience is; why not play to them? I do like the irony of having the head of the UN criticize America from the porch of the president who first recognized Israel, though. It lends a nice vaudeville atmosphere to the occasion.
Kofi’s got an op-ed out in WaPo today too in which he shares the lessons he’s learned from standing idly by while genocide occurs in various places around the globe. The takeaway lesson, per Captain Ed? Accountability.