For our well-mannered and beautifully tailored secretary general, these are not the halcyon days. Kofi Annan is sitting atop the smelliest scandal in U.N. history. Son Kojo appears to be in it up to his eyeballs.
A female employee has charged a senior U.N. officer with sexual harassment, and Kofi pardoned the alleged groper. Peacekeepers in the Congo have allegedly assaulted women and girls. GOP Sen. Norm Coleman, no bomb-thrower, has, after seven months of investigating the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, called for Kofi’s resignation.
Coleman claims Saddam defrauded the oil-for-food program of $21 billion that was supposed to go for humanitarian aid.
“We have obtained evidence that Saddam doled out lucrative oil allotments to foreign officials, sympathetic journalists and even one senior U.N. official,” Coleman writes in The Wall Street Journal. “We are gathering evidence that Saddam gave hundreds of thousands — maybe even millions — of Oil-for-Food dollars to terrorists and terror organizations … under the supposedly vigilant eye of the U.N.”
The “senior U.N. official” is Benon Sevan, Kofi’s picked boss of oil-for-food, who says Coleman, “reportedly received bribes from Saddam.”
Virtually charging Kofi with a cover-up, Coleman adds, “As long as Mr. Annan remains in charge, the world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that took place under the U.N.’s collective nose.”
Coleman’s call for Kofi’s head has made him a media star at a time when the United Nations has managed to anger so broad a coalition of Americans it could lead to U.S. abandonment of the institution.
To conservatives who have long warned of a U.N. threat to national sovereignty may now be added a Jewish community enraged at the United Nations’ hostility toward Israel, Middle America’s belief the General Assembly is little more than an anti-American mob — a view uncontradicted by its voting record — and a White House that sees the Security Council as a barrier to Bush wars to disarm rogue regimes and democratize the world.
Not in my lifetime has the United Nations had fewer public champions. U.N.-bashing, once as outre as cock-fighting, is now a popular pastime of the TV talking heads.
To the rescue comes now an Annan-appointed panel to “reform” the United Nations. Among its luminaries, Yevgeny Primakov — ex-KGB master of spies — and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft.
Among the panel’s recommendations: expansion of the Security Council by six new permanent members: Japan, Germany, India, Brazil and two African states. The six would not be given veto power, which would be retained by today’s five permanent members: Russia, China, Britain, France and the United States.
In a bow to the Bush Doctrine, the United Nations would recognize that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists may justify, as a last resort, pre-emptive strikes and preventive wars. Other suggestions are for “golden parachutes” to retire longtime U.N. employees, for greater U.N. authority to intervene in nations where massacres are occurring and for reforming the Human Rights Commission, which has, with Libya as chair and such stalwart members as Cuba and Sudan, become a joke.
What should be done with the Scowcroft-Primakov reforms?
They should be deposited in the round file and forgotten. For the United Nations is not an institution to be reformed and newly empowered. It is a failed institution that ought to be downgraded or abandoned.
The fly in the ointment of any U.N. recognition of a national right of pre-emptive war is that the Security Council must first sanction it. Whether Bush was right or wrong to go into Iraq, the United States cannot give up its inherent right of self-defense.
As for adding six new members to the council, that is the first step en route to an inevitable demand for veto power for all six. Russia, Japan and India are already insisting upon it. When granted, and gridlock ensues with 11 nations having a veto, there will come a clamor for diluting or abolishing the veto power altogether.
For the hidden agenda of the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the WTO and the Kyoto Protocol is to curtail America’s freedom to act in its own interests and to midwife a world government erected on a one-man, one-nation, one-vote principle.
Under a global democracy, India and China, with 2.5 billion people, would be the dominant powers, and peoples of color, five-sixths of all mankind, would enter a claim for a more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth now held by that shrinking one-sixth of all mankind that is of European descent. Global democracy is the death of the West.
With the idea of global governance out of the closet, with the EU the model, with the U.N. the embryo, the real threat to America comes into view: a loss of sovereignty and eventually the loss of independence.
The enemy is not Kofi, who will become a Third World martyr if forced out in the absence of proof of personal corruption. Let him stay seated atop his compost heap until the aroma grows so great Americans demand it all be bulldozed into the East River as a public nuisance.