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12.20.2004

Can we rightfully blame Annan for genocide during his tenure?

There is an excellent piece in the Opinion Journal for today laying the blame (at least partially) for genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda squarely at the feet of Kofi Annan. The column was written by Kenneth Cain, a former UN human rights officer and peacekeeper and self-described "liberal multi-lateralist". I know its cliche, but read the whole thing, it is dynamite.

There are several good takes on this out there on our side of the blogosphere. Blogs for Bush describes the UN as "corrupt, morally bankrupt organization, bereft of any claim to legitimacy from either democratically derived power or ethically guarded principles" and calls for Annan's resignation. Power Line states that "cowardice/genocide or corruption/oil, constitutes a sufficient basis for removing Annan." I'll agree on both counts. Glenn Reynolds thinks that "Perhaps we need another international organization that will actually work to benefit the world's people, and not simply their rulers". And finally Betsy simply wants you to read the article if you "are still under the delustion that the United Nations is a force for world peace".

Here is an excerpt that will give you a taste of the Annan's mishandling of the situation in Rwanda:
But it isn't just the stench of death I remember so vividly; the odor of betrayal also hung heavily in the Rwandan air. This was not a genocide in which the U.N. failed to intervene; most of the U.N.'s armed troops evacuated after the first two weeks of massacres, abandoning vulnerable civilians to their fate, which included, literally, the worst things in the world a human being can do to another human being.

It did not have to happen. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the U.N.'s force commander in Rwanda, sent Mr. Annan a series of desperate faxes including one warning that Hutu militias "could kill up to 1,000" Tutsis "in 20 minutes" and others pleading for authority to protect vulnerable civilians. But at the crucial moment, Mr. Annan ordered his general to stand down and to vigorously protect, not genocide victims, assembled in their numbers waiting to die, but the U.N.'s image of "impartiality."
That is absolutely shameful. If Mr. Annan were not an African himself and instead was from Western Europe or the US he would have most decidedly be derided as a racist, and would have been taken to task for it by the Left around the world. But he is not, and was not.

Now I am certainly not implying Mr. Annan is racist, I am telling you that he is inept and incompetent. Unfortunately that is a condition that seems to be running rampant at 46th and First Avenue in Manhattan.

The fact of the matter that Mr. Annan is a incopetent, ineffective leader leading an organization dedicated to obstuctionaism, corruption, and the status quo and not to its founding principles.

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