As some readers may recall, my nephew Isaac Schwartz graduated today from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Kofi Annan was the commencement speaker. Isaac’s father, attorney Richard Schwartz, was naturally in attendance. He emailed the following to me from his Blackberry as the speech unfolded. Annan has since concluded to a standing ovation.
Sitting here listening to Kofi.
>Missed the first minute or so. Doubt it was controversial.
>Praising FDR, the victory over tyranny in WW2 leading to establishment of the UN.
>The work of the UN in helping to fight poverty, illness, and supporting the rule of law.
>Assisting the transition in Iraq, promoting peace in the occupied Palestinian territories, doing the work that no one wants to do.
>Need US $.
>UN needs to move with the times and overhaul/reform. Member states will decide.
>Your grandparents sacrificed for you.
Well, there you have it. Live from Philadelphia.
MEANWHILE: The WaPo has an interesting article on Russian involvement in OFF. (reg required)
Top Kremlin operatives and a flamboyant Russian politician reaped millions of dollars in profits under the U.N. oil-for-food program by selling oil that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein allowed them to buy at a deep discount, a Senate investigation has concluded.
BTW, some anonymous poster on here has been complaining that I do not pay enough attention to sources of corruption in Iraq other than OFF. Naturally, I completely condemn them. (Who wouldn’t?) But OFF is different in quality because this corruption may have affected fascist-enabling votes on the Security Council, a level of perfidy of a higher order to anyone with a moral compass.