Since President Bush — despite Vice President Cheney’s warnings — seems unpersuaded by the clear signs that the endless diplomatic efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear bomb program are not working and something more must be done…Since Washington seems unbothered on this score by the serious concerns of the Israelis, the French, and even to a notable extent the UN’s own ostrich-headed International Atomic Energy Agency … Since nothing in the way of words, deeds and evidence emanating from Iran seems likely to galvanize any effective response before it is far too late…
…Let’s listen for a moment to none other than former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who returned to his old UN haunts in New York this week to accept yet another prize and offer his views on global politics as — what was his phrase again? — oh yes, the former “chief diplomat of the world.”
Whatever his failings, Annan has at least racked up a record as a superb counter-indicator of good sense in defending the interests of the free world. If he feels moved to opine strongly, there is an excellent chance that the very opposite is true. This is the man who as head of UN peacekeeping in 1994 declined to act upon warnings of the imminent genocide in Rwanda. This is the man who as Secretary-General announced in 1998 that he could “do business” with Saddam — just before Saddam then kicked UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq for the next four years (to be fair, the UN under Annan did a lot of business with Saddam, but not exactly as advertised). This is the man who according to the UN’s own Volcker inquiry sat on in-house information about Oil-for-Food corruption while the program was underway — but who praised the program when it ended in 2003, and insisted in 2004, as the scandal began to erupt, that he had seen no evidence of wrong-doing by anyone on his staff.
This is the man who in 2000 posed for photos with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, while assuring us peace was on the way. This was the man who promised in 2006 that two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah would be extricated with the help of an Annan-picked mystery “facilitator”; the identity of that facilitator remains a mystery to this day, and so does the exact fate and whereabouts of those kidnapped Israeli soldiers. This is the man who in 2006, while Iran was violating UN Security Council demands to stop uranium enrichment, rushed to Tehran to shake hands hands with Mushroom-Cloud-in-Chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, telling him (by Ahmadinejad’s own account) not to worry too much about the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
One could go on and on in this vein. But let’s hit the punch line. Now, as Iran scoffs at one UN resolution after another, we have Kofi Annan clambering back onstage in New York to deliver himself of the statement that military action to stop Iran would be “a real disaster.”
Note to President Bush: The World’s Counter-Indicator-in-Chief has spoken (with apologies to Jimmy Carter, who has worked at least as hard for this title). Go for it.