The Rosett Report

What Part of "Unconditional" Does Kofi Not Understand?

Or, for that matter, whatever happened in Annan’s lexicon to the UN member state known as Lebanon?

The New York Times is reporting that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan now plans to appoint a secret UN representative to mediate talks over prisoner release between Israel and — no, I’m not kidding — a party Annan is reportedly referring to as “Lebanon-Hezbollah.”

Come again? UN Security Council Resolution 1701, passed unanimously August 11, calls clearly in the third paragraph of its preamble for the “unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers” — who were kidnapped July 12 without provocation, from inside Israel’s borders. Repeat (italics mine): “unconditional release.” So what, exactly, does Annan propose to have the UN mediate?

And why is Annan, while tasked by the Security Council to help shore up Lebanese sovereignty, instead undermining it by talking about “Lebanon-Hezbollah” – ? What’s next? Should we expect placards at this month’s 61st opening of the UN General Assembly to reflect, nouveau Kofi-style, not simply the 192 member states, but their assorted terrorist infestations? Philippines-Abu Sayyaf? Pakistan-Al Qaeda?

Reuters is quoting an unnamed Israeli government official as saying that under Resolution 1701 “a mediator is not needed,” and that the UN Secretary-General is not supposed to “mediate” the return of the kidnapped soldiers, but to “assist.” Good luck. With help like this …