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When Kofi Annan penned a column for the Washington Post yesterday in advance of his valediction at Turtle Bay, I wrote that his article read like a parody written by Claudia Rosett. Instead, the tireless researcher and critic of the United Nations and Annan rewrote Annan's speech for the pages of National Review. Rosett tries something that Annan avoided -- the truth:
Thank you for that generous introduction. I don’t deserve it. Please hold your applause until you hear what I have to say. This is not false modesty. I am quite serious — I don’t deserve the honor of speaking here today. At least once in every life there comes a moment of honesty, and for reasons I cannot fathom — perhaps the shock of looking back at just what a self-serving failure I have been — this is mine.
During my decade as secretary-general, and indeed for some time before that, I have indulged in more than my share of half-truths, quarter-truths, cover-ups, immoral inanities and staggering hypocrisies. I have shuffled paperwork while ignoring genocides, I have rushed to shake hands with tyrants while deriding democrats; I have suffered from memory gaps while adroitly recalling just enough to know what needs covering up. I took office promising to reform the U.N., and instead produced a record that deserves to be summed up by such phrases as peacekeeper rape, procurement bribery, and Oil-for-Food.
I have praised a “reformed” Human Rights Council that functions as a complete farce. I have demanded “peace” deals and pushed for a brand of morally blind diplomacy that has paved the way for a terrorist takeover of Lebanon, worsening turmoil in the Middle East, and a nuclear-armed Iran. In contradiction of the U.N. charter, which describes my role as the U.N.’s “chief administrative officer,” I have styled myself, in my own phrase, as “chief diplomat of the world,” setting up a vast array of opaque trusts, projects, partnerships, and programs which have massively expanded the U.N. beyond any provisions for oversight, while providing me with opportunities for patronage, and places to park my cronies. At the same time, while entrusted with a budget of billions, and a world stage, I have shirked all responsibility for my own failures, shifting blame especially to the United States.
Readers will get less laughs from this one, and a greater sense of what was lost during the Annan era. If global justice exists, this should serve as the epitaph to the outgoing Secretary-General's term in office. With any luck, it will serve as a warning to the incoming leader, Ban Ki Moon, as to how to proceed. (via CQ reader Charles R)Sphere It View blog reactions
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See previous: Kofi: I Learned Projection, Kofi: Translated from the original BullshitThe Rosett RewriteEd Morrissey When Kofi Annan penned a column for the Washington Post yesterday in advance of his valediction at Turtle Bay, I wrote that his article ... [Read More]
Tracked on December 12, 2006 10:36 PM
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