November 11, 2010

HOW COULD HE HELP BUT DISDAIN THE INSTITUTION?:

Ban Ki who? (Colum Lynch, November 10, 2010, Foreign Policy)

[I]n his memoir, Decision Points, the U.N.'s principal players barely merit a citation.

Kofi Annan, the former U.N. Secretary General who famously declared the U.S. invasion of Iraq illegal, is mentioned only once in the book: He appears with Bush and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at a White House photo op organized to announce U.S. financial support for the struggle against infectious diseases.

Ban Ki Moon, the former South Korean diplomat Bush backed to succeed Annan as the U.N.'s leader, doesn't merit any mention at all. Nor does Lakhdar Brahimi, the Algerian diplomat who helped the Bush administration cobble together an Afghan government after U.S. troops defeated the Taliban; nor Sergio Vieira de Mello, the Brazilian diplomat who died trying to help a U.S.-led coalition forge a new Iraqi government. Even John Bolton, Bush's combative U.N. envoy, is nowhere to be seen.

The lapse perhaps reflects the lack of interest in the details of U.N. diplomacy or in the role key U.N. figures played in the political drama surrounding Iraq. Bush is blunt about his disdain for U.N. diplomacy, noting that he never believed he required a U.N. imprimatur for his invasion of Iraq, and that he had only agreed to seek U.N. authorization as a favor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair.


In his September 12, 2002 speech to the UN he offered the member states a chance to live up to their ideals and enforce their own resolutions against Iraq or we'd do it for them. They didn't. We did.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2010 6:18 AM
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