Claudia Rosett, Kofi Annan’s worst nightmare, continues her two-year- long (or roughly) deconstruction of Secretary-General-Speak in today’s WSJ. Here she takes on Kofi’s curiously-timed reform package:
From there, Mr. Annan forges on to propose nothing less than reforming the entire known universe, via the U.N., while he bangs the drum for a budget to match. He wants to expand his own staff, change the world’s climate, end organized crime, eliminate all private weapons, and double U.N.-directed development aid to the tune of at least $100 billion a year, “front-loaded,” for his detailed plan to end world poverty. This comes from a U.N. that only three months ago was finally strong-armed by Congress into coughing up the secret internal Oil for Food audits confirming that under Mr. Annan’s stewardship the U.N. was not even adequately auditing its own staff operations.
After a year in which scandals have been erupting from every vent in the U.N.’s traditionally cloistered corridors, assorted members of Congress have been wondering whether Mr. Annan deserves even the budget he’s got already. Some, such as Sen. Norm Coleman, have called for Mr. Annan to resign. Now, in much the same way that despots faced with popular unrest like to announce giant patriotic dam-building projects involving the pouring of huge amounts of cement, Mr. Annan is presenting his new improved save-the-world reform plan, conveniently timed to serve as a distraction from the oil-for-fraud, sex-for-food, theft, waste, abuse and incompetence stories that for the past two years have bubbling up around the same U.N. he already reformed for us back in 1997.
Some people think Ms. Rosett’s the UN’s worst enemy, but actually I think she’s its best friend.
UPDATE: According to the NY Sun, the UN–which had previously denied doing it–is paying for kleptocratic Oil-for-Food director Benan Sevan’s legal expenses. (Did the US Gov’t pay for, say, Spiro Agnew’s legal defense?) Of course, this isn’t new for the international organization. They are using Oil-for-Food money to pay for the investigation into, yes, Oil-for-Food — hence stealing from the Iraqi people twice. Does anyone really want to listen to reforms from Kofi Annan?