In a fisk of John Kerry a couple weeks ago, I wrote, “If we end up needing to bring in the UN as a bit of cover, to lend ‘legitimacy’ to our actions, then by all means, let’s do so.”
Sometimes, man, I really step in it. All the way up to my neck. Bill Safire reports that the UN’s man in Baghdad, Lakhdar Brahimi, is mouthing off so much that even Kofi Annan had to tell him (politely, in diplo-speak) to shut up:
[Brahimi’s] first mistake was to announce on French radio that “the great poison in the region is this Israeli policy of domination and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians,” as well as the “equally unjust support of the United States for this policy.”
That freelance condemnation was too much for even Kofi Annan, who sent out his official spokesman to explain that Brahimi was “a former foreign minister of Algeria” who was “expressing his personal views” and not necessarily those of the secretary general.
Then again, in certain circles, statements like Brahimi’s just reek of legitimacy.