October 27, 2005

KOFI'S SECOND CHANCE:

Opportunity Knocks In Syria's Unraveling (Jim Hoagland, October 27, 2005, Washington Post)

Bashar seems to have learned or inherited little from his austere, shrewd father. Chirac was ready to take the son under his wing when Assad came to power in 2000. But that avuncular sentiment quickly turned to disappointment as the new government in Damascus floundered. Annan also was reportedly taken aback by the Syrian's inexperience and opacity.

Larger principles are involved for Chirac -- who is intent on upholding Lebanon's sovereignty and historical ties to France -- and for Annan, who has offered unprecedented support by a secretary general for the investigation and incrimination of the leaders of a U.N. member state. Annan's appointee, investigator Detlev Mehlis, seems to have pulled no punches in his report to Annan.

There are heartening echoes in this of the principled stance Annan took six years ago by telling the General Assembly that nations could no longer hide behind sovereignty to torture, kill and otherwise abuse their citizens.


The principle being vindicated, and the new standard of sovereignty, is: liberal democratic legitimacy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2005 8:11 AM
Comments

Larger principles are involved for Chirac -- who is intent on upholding Lebanon's sovereignty and historical ties to France -- and for Annan, who has offered unprecedented support by a secretary general for the investigation and incrimination of the leaders of a U.N. member state.

More likely: the larger principle animating Chirac is the lack of payola from Baby Assad; for Annan, it's a chance to deflect attention from the OFP investigation. Oh well, if they do the right thing for the wrong reasons, they're still doing the right thing.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 27, 2005 10:06 AM

"Annan's appointee, investigator Detlev Mehlis, seems to have pulled no punches in his report to Annan."

Only if you assume he sent out the edited version with the tracking still embedded deliberately.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 27, 2005 1:53 PM
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