Kofi Annan Bashes U.S. in Farewell Speech

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: Dec 11, 2006 1:53 PM

All the world's problems? Not the fault of terrorists, rogue states, dictators, or ineffective and corrupt U.N. leadership. Nope.

It's America's fault, silly. Annan is such a sad, sad joke.

This is the U.N. that in recent years has incubated such scandals as oil-for-food, procurement bribery, and peacekeeper rape. This is the U.N. whose "reforms," in answer to these scandals, have consisted largely of demands for more money, and a revamped so-called Human Rights Council that has devoted itself entirely to condemning Israel. This is the U.N. system that still does not provide coherent accounts of how it spends about $20 billion per year, about one-quarter of that supplied by U.S. taxpayers.

Here's the full speech. I'll pull some quotes for you.

In short, human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity. As Truman said, “We must, once and for all, prove by our acts conclusively that Right Has Might.” That’s why this country has historically been in the vanguard of the global human-rights movement. But that lead can only be maintained if America remains true to its principles, including in the struggle against terrorism. When it appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.

Well, he is "troubled and confused." I'll give him that.

And states need to play by the rules towards each other, as well as towards their own citizens. That can sometimes be inconvenient, but ultimately what matters is not convenience. It is doing the right thing. No state can make its own actions legitimate in the eyes of others. When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose — for broadly shared aims — in accordance with broadly accepted norms...

Global test!

The U.S. has given the world an example of a democracy in which everyone, including the most powerful, is subject to legal restraint. Its current moment of world supremacy gives it a priceless opportunity to entrench the same principles at the global level. As Harry Truman said, “We all have to recognize, no matter how great our strength, that we must deny ourselves the license to do always as we please.”...

That’s why I have continued to press for Security Council reform. But reform involves two separate issues. One is that new members should be added, on a permanent or long-term basis, to give greater representation to parts of the world which have limited voice today. The other, perhaps even more important, is that all council members, and especially the major powers who are permanent members, must accept the special responsibility that comes with their privilege. The Security Council is not just another stage on which to act out national interests. It is the management committee, if you will, of our fledgling collective security system.

As President Truman said, “the responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world.” He showed what can be achieved when the U.S. assumes that responsibility. And still today, none of our global institutions can accomplish much when the U.S. remains aloof. But when it is fully engaged, the sky’s the limit.

Keep lecturing, Kofi. I can't believe this guy gets away with parading around as if he's the very pinnacle of moral rectitude. 

This seems like a good time to remember a guy who actually stood for something at the U.N. and spouted something more than platitudes. Friday's HamNation, in case you missed it, was a celebration of John Bolton's Top 10 Rockin'est Moments at the U.N.