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Save The UN!

I'm all for rescuing the UN, but it's hard to see how a secret meeting with American Democrats is going to accomplish that. It seems obvious that changing anything would require the participation of other countries and, dare one say it, the political party that actually holds all the power in the United States. Steve Clemons hints at the existence of "grown-up Republicans" who would have liked to join in the fun. Of course the flipside is that the grownups could break with tradition and, you know, actually do something instead of just waiting for things to happen.

January 3, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

I imagine the Dems were playing the role of "honest broker" or some such... after all, would Kofi really listen to a Republican? Doubtful.

Posted by: Al | Jan 3, 2005 1:21:04 PM

What a completely nauseating story.

Kofi needs to make up with Bush?

Why do we have democrats going to the U.N. and stating the obvious: the U.N. has to be an insturment of U.S. foreign policy or die.?

What is the purpose of this?

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 1:29:21 PM

A secret meeting should remain secret. Whoever was so self important as to leak this has likely discredited any sincere moves that the UN may have made.

(hmmmm I wonder who might have something to gain? let's see......)

Posted by: def | Jan 3, 2005 1:31:01 PM

I've come 180 on this.

I hope the UN does fall apart, the more I read about that meeting the more mad I get. Same goes for the democrats.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 1:37:12 PM

"The mission, in the words of one participant, was clear: "to save Kofi and rescue the U.N."

Um, and if these goals are incompatable, because Kofi is a corrupt kleptocrat?

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Jan 3, 2005 1:39:35 PM

Yer right.

Kofi is a corrupt kleptocrat who was responsible for the oil for food program which was forced on the UN by the US and UK and enforced by the US Navy. Kofi is THAT damn powerful, your worst fears are realized, he has control over the U.S. Navy and can tell captains to stand down while Saddam shipped oil.

It's worse than I thought! One world government is here!

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 1:49:59 PM

Hey Brett?

Does this mean that when the U.S. signed off on all kickbacks at the 661 committee Kofi had our delegates in his pocket or what? Did he maybe have to have Bush in his pocket? This is getting scarier and scarier!

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 1:58:50 PM

No, I don't think he's responsible for the food for oil program, as such, though it does appear that he played a part in it's corruption.

You don't have to found a bank, to commit embezzlement, after all.

My point is simply that the facts may be such that saving Kofi, and saving the UN, are mutually incompatable goals. They better make up their minds which is more important...

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Jan 3, 2005 1:59:47 PM

How did he do this?

How did he get the U.S to block humanitarian aid and sign off on obviously inflated oil contracts?

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 2:01:09 PM

Actually, the problem is that Kofi is not adequately corrupt. He replaced Boutros Boutros-Ghali (who was insufficiently pro-US) because he looked like he will play ball. He had for a while, but playing with the Bushies would require a level of corruption that's very difficult to master.

Posted by: abb1 | Jan 3, 2005 2:01:57 PM

I see; The possiblity of Kofi being part of the problem, not the solution, is simply unthinkable. LOL

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Jan 3, 2005 2:06:18 PM

You would have to provide one iota of evidence that he was in any way responsible for OFF and not the members of the security council.

I know you don't need any to believe this nonsense but I'd need like...something.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 2:09:56 PM

does appear that he played a part in it's corruption

Only on Fox News and various AM radio stations.

For pete's sake, the "evidence" against Annan specifically, provided by sooth sayer Chalabi, went "poof" on both the INC's computers in London and Baghdad at the exact same time. And conveniently enough, *no one* ever saw it.

This has been an attempt by allies of the White House to twist a scandal into a new justification for the Iraq debacle. "It must be the UN's fault!" There is really no other way to slice it.

Posted by: def | Jan 3, 2005 2:10:07 PM

As long as other countries have a say in this, no amount of UN "reform" is going to go anywhere with the current crop of conservatives running the show. Dissolving and/or eliminating the entire institution is all they care about, otherwise they don't think about it at all.

The reform talk offers them a convenient angle by which to indefintely stall on doing anything while deligitimizing UN involvement.

Posted by: Harold Babar | Jan 3, 2005 2:11:14 PM

..and Kofi makes a nice target for stalling ("until he is gone, the whole institution and and any reform effort is worthless") and payback for pointing out that our Iraq invasion was both illegal and a scam.

Posted by: Harold Babar | Jan 3, 2005 2:17:54 PM

As far as the so-called 'oil-for-food scandal' - where's the scandal? The Iraqi government that owned that oil in the first place and had no WMD (which was the reason for sanctions in the first place) managed to get 10% of the money paid for their own oil. Who is the victim here? Some scandal.

Posted by: abb1 | Jan 3, 2005 2:20:55 PM

You have to hand it to them, the 661 committee responsible for the sanction is scandalous, not Kofi's behavior (I still don't understand what role he could have played in it at all) but not the UN's behavior but the U.S. behavior.

Most of the things we put holds on were for electricity, medicine and food and the AEI can howl to it's blue in the face about how the near genocidal effects of the sanctions were really Saddam's fault but obviously Iraq isn't an agricultural paradise and obviously you aren't building a nuke with fruits and vegetables and it was rather obviously malicious.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 2:22:40 PM

What evidence is there that Annan had anything to do with the oil-for-food scandal?

Posted by: Walt Pohl | Jan 3, 2005 2:31:34 PM

Not only is there not any evidence, it's not even possible.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 2:33:03 PM

I heard that Kojo and Uday took a bath together in a mixture of oil, dinars, and gravy they stole from the Iraqi people.

Posted by: praktike | Jan 3, 2005 3:00:00 PM

I hope they keep friggin around with this.

When you get to the bottom of who gave Saddam the most money it was Jordan and Turkey, two of our largest foreign aid clients and everyone knew it, everyone knew damn well when the kickbacks came in on everything and everyone including the U.S. didn't care.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 3:05:49 PM

"What evidence is there that Annan had anything to do with the oil-for-food scandal?"


This is the crux of saving the UN. If Annan claims no responsibility for the success or failure of UN imposed sanctions, no responsibility for UN troops on the ground in the Balkans using their weapons to stop murders going on in their faces, and ditto Rwanda, then at least regarding security that organization appears to offer no useful function.

For all practical purposes the Secretariat is unaccountable. IMO, that is the source of the problem.

Posted by: abdul abulbul amir | Jan 3, 2005 3:09:29 PM

The UN redflagged many, many, transactions that were obviously overinflated and the security council signed off on them anyway.

Are you seriously suggesting that the answer to this is ceding more power to the Secretary General at the expense of the U.S.?

If that's the solution, yeah, to hell with Kofi, let's get someone in there with real authority but I don't think that's what the people who are after him have in mind.

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 3:14:06 PM


"The UN redflagged many, many, transactions that were obviously overinflated and the security council signed off on them anyway."


In other words NO PRACTICAL ACCOUNTABILITY. Thats the way the place organized. With veto capable security council members benefiting from this overinflation, Annan had only the bully pulpit. Perhaps his son having a laughable no-compete contract stayed his sermon.

Posted by: abdul abulbul amir | Jan 3, 2005 3:41:47 PM

Right, but..

Are you saying he should have some sort of ability to override the SC?

Posted by: absynthe | Jan 3, 2005 3:45:15 PM

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