My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Why is Kofi Annan popular?

A good op-ed in the Washington Times on Kofi Annan. He is still very popular amongst liberal elites. The question is why, given some of his incredible failings:
• Rwandan genocide. In 1994 in Rwanda, Mr. Annan failed to act upon receiving warning from Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire, the commander of U.N. peacekeeping forces there, that Hutu radicals were planning to massacre members of the rival Tutsi tribe. Gen. Dallaire said he requested permission to seize an arms cache that Hutus aligned with the Rwandan government were planning to use as part of their impending ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Tutsis. Mr. Annan rejected the request to seize the arms cache, helping pave the way for the ensuing massacres, in which 800,000 people were killed. An independent report concluded that Mr. Annan and aides in his peacekeeping headquarters encouraged the Security Council's indifference on the matter.

• Other peacekeeping failures. In July 1995, U.N. peacekeepers who worked for Mr. Annan broke their promise to protect Bosnian Muslims in a "safe area" at Srebrenica. As a result, Serbian troops and militiamen executed 7,000 Muslim men and boys -- one of the worst massacres in Europe since World War II.

In Congo, the Office of Internal Oversight Services, a U.N. watchdog, issued a report in November documenting a pattern of sexual abuse by U.N. peacekeepers who are supposed to be protecting local residents. Some of the victims were girls as young as 13.

• The oil-for-food scandal. In March 2000, when Saddam Hussein was systematically diverting assistance intended for the Iraqi people to his cronies, Mr. Annan was telling the Security Council about all he had done to reform the program to make it more transparent. After coalition troops ousted Saddam, investigators found Iraqi Oil Ministry records that say Benon Sevan -- the man Mr. Annan picked to run the program -- received vouchers for millions of barrels of oil from Saddam. Only when he came under political pressure did Mr. Annan cooperate with congressional investigatations of the scandal by releasing internal U.N. audits of the program. Mr. Annan's chief of staff, S. Iqbal Riza, authorized his secretary to shred several years worth of documents relevant to the investigation.

• Iraq. In addition to oil for food, Mr. Annan has come under fire for appeasing Saddam during the 1990s. In February 1998, for example, when the Iraqi dictator provoked a crisis by blocking weapons inspectors, Mr. Annan traveled to Baghdad in order to cut a deal with Saddam that weakened weapons inspections. He heaped praise on Saddam for his courage and asserted that the Iraqi ruler had been misunderstood. Mr. Annan was feted at a state dinner in Paris by French President Jacques Chirac and was given a hero's welcome by U.N. staff when he returned to New York.
Isn't it time for someone else to lead the UN?