I’ll have a hit of whatever Bill Safire is smoking:
The U.N., at last given its long-sought “central role” in Iraq’s politics, is becoming less afflicted with hubris.
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, the Berber who sought cheap popularity among anti-Americans in Iraq by calling Israel “poison” and the U.S. support of Gaza withdrawal “thoughtless,” was reported by Secretary General Kofi Annan to wish he had not said that.
Annan went on to assure NBC’s Tim Russert that any U.N. employee who refused to cooperate with the independent investigation into the oil-for-food scandal would be fired.
Annan still called corruption charges a “smear.” He passed the failed-supervision buck to the Security Council’s 661 committee, then lamely professed little knowledge of a cover-up letter sent only two weeks ago in the name of his chief aide, hinting that it might not have been his aide’s doing.
But the secretary general seemed aware of the damage done to the U.N. by the $5 billion kickback scheme. Hoping to recoup its reputation in Iraq, he must realize that this is no time to join French and Russian profiteers in multilateralist triumphalism.
Let me see if I have this right.
Annan, by Safire’s own admission, is still in Deep Denial Mode over the whole Oil-for-Food scandal — which, it looks like, his own son (appointed by his own hand, and perhaps to his own profit) took part in.
This same Annan will, by the scandal he seems to have aided and abetted, be shamed shamed into better behavior in Iraq.
That’s some good shit, man.
*And a pox on Jeff Goldstein, for reminding me of the damn song.