Kathryn Lopez

When Kofi Annan steps down as U.N. secretary-general later this year, Tony Blair should replace him.

It won't happen, mind you. He's not on anyone's list of diplomatic names in the running. But he's just the kind of voice the world body could use right now. During his exit speech at the recent U.K. Labour party conference, the British prime minister fought back directly against those who call him George W. Bush's "poodle" because of his support for the war on terror. He said, "This terrorism is not our fault, we didn't cause it. ... It's not the consequence of foreign policy, it's an attack on our way of life." Blair believes that those who would attack innocent Londoners on their way to work are certainly evildoers -- and is not afraid to say so.

The job of U.N. secretary-general has been described as that of "a global conscience." I know I want my global conscience to really understand what's going on in the world today and to not be content to let tyrants and anti-Semites drive the U.N. agenda, as has happened so often in the Annan years. I'll be honest. I'm forever making dramatic suggestions to the United Nations, ones they aren't ever likely to consider, ridiculous things like: You should mean what you say. You should not put flagrant human-rights violators in human-rights watchdog positions. Your secretary-general should be held accountable for corruption and abuse on his watch. (A few years ago, I even suggested that George W. Bush, post-presidency, should become secretary-general.)

But outlandishness is my point. The United Nations needs something dramatic. Along these lines, another great choice for secretary-general would be the former prime minister of Spain Jose Mara Aznar. When Muslims reacted violently to recent remarks of Pope Benedict XVI, Aznar was clear: "We are living in a time of war. ... It's them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us."


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.