November 22, 2004
The rise and fall of AnnanistanBy Ed Lasky
Recent history has seen the emergence on the world stage of two transnational groups which have committed, aided and abetted terror worldwide: Osama Bin Laden's al Qaeda and Kofi Annan's United Nations. Because the UN has been cloaked with an aura of legitimacy it should not enjoy, it has been granted or greedily assumed powers it should never possess.
The United Nations has been so completely been shaped by the failures of its presiding leader Kofi Annan that this octopus—like amalgamation should be characterized as Annanistan. A requirement of world peace is that Annanistan be not just contained, but that Annan himself be ousted. Annan has clearly shown an unwillingness or inability to correct his mistakes or deal with the corruption that has perverted the purpose of the UN.
The most important issue facing the world today is terror. Yet Annan has always been weak—kneed when confronting one of the most severe manifestations of terror, genocide. Indeed, he won't confront it at all, except perhaps when forced to. But even then he acts in the most perfunctory and ineffectual ways.
In 1995, Annan was the head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. During this time, the commander in Rwanda notified Annan by letter that the ruling Hutu regime in Rwanda was planning on committing genocide against the minority Tutsi population. This genocide did occur while the UN sat on its hands. Investigations subsequently revealed that not only was this warning ignored by Annan, but also the letter to him was in fact deliberately suppressed.
When confronted with his complicity in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, Annan refused to answer questions regarding, in his words, an 'old story.' True to the practice of uinaccountable international organizations which reward failures upward, he became Secretary General of the United Nations in 1996. Apparently, he learned or felt nothing from his mistakes in Rwanda, because he has virtually ignored actions that could have been taken to stop other genocidal actions in the former Yugoslavia and the serial genocidal wars that Sudan has launched against its minority Christian and black Muslim populations.
Annan does not see terror because he refuses to define the word. The UN has repeatedly failed to define terror because to do so would be one of the steps that could lead to actions to stop it. Indeed, Annan oversees an organization that cynically appoints serial human rights violators Libya and Sudan to honored positions within the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The UN Conference Against Racism (unfortunately, this became an Orwellian title) was anything but, as it became a disgraceful forum for the stoking of anti—Americanism and anti—Semitism. Some compared the demonstrations during its infamous Durban meeting to Nazi rallies of the 1930s.
Annan has also broken UN rules when he agreed to General Assembly demands to refer Israel's security fence (so successful in reducing terror) to the biased International Court of Justice, which clearly lacked jurisdiction to hear the issue.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is the only UN refugee agency set up to help a single identified group of refugees (the Palestinians). Under the aegis of Annanistan, it has been protected while it cooperates with terrorists, by permitting them to hide in UNWRA offices, use its ambulances to transport terrorists and weapons, become a forum for biased and inaccurate anti—Israel bashing (the infamous 'Jenin massacre' canard, for example), and admittedly keeps Hamas members on its payroll. We are, via our UN dues, in effect paying terrorists.
Annan also broke UN precedent and rules when he lowered UN flags to half—staff when Yasser Arafat died. This is an honor reserved for heads of state. Arafat was not the head of any state, but was instead the godfather of terrorism worldwide, who pioneered the horrific tactics inflicting the world today. Yet Annan saw fit to honor him.
Perhaps the most visible and risible of Annan's sins of commission has been his role in presiding over the Oil—For—Food scandal. This was a program designed to starve Saddam Hussein of funds without hurting the Iraqi people. Under its administration by the minions of Annanistan, it became the exact opposite, hurting the Iraqi people and immeasurably helping its murderous dictator. Upwards of $21 billion dollars was defrauded from the program and used by Hussein to buy luxuries and weapons, to buy off journalists, and to bribe leading government officials around the world, likely including Security Council members France, Russia and China.
This bribery was designed to subvert previous sanctions and Resolutions against Saddam Hussein, and to derail efforts by America and its allies to hold Hussein accountable for his actions. Apparently, money was also funneled from the fraud to support terrorism worldwide, including the paying of homicide bombers who have killed and maimed thousands of innocent Israelis.
This money has also funded the terror attacks that continue in Iraq against civilians, US led peacekeeping and nation—building forces, and irony of ironies, UN and other humanitarian workers. Kofi Annan's good friend Benon Savan was appointed to head this program despite having run a similar program in Afghanistan that was marked by fraud, waste and abuse. That was just a warm—up for perpetrating the greatest financial fraud in world history. Savan was apparently the recipient of over a million dollars in bribes from Hussein.
The scale of the financial fraud alone dwarfs the amount of the Enron fraud which animated so much media attention in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the BBC and other mainstream media. Beyond that, the money raised went to killers and to subvert the founding principles of the United Nations. Yet, the media seems to be little preturbed by this scandal, sad commentary on their journalistic standards.
What does Annan do to defend Annanistan when confronted with these allegations? He exercises his autocratic attitude by stonewalling, hiding behind the undeserved cloak of innocence automatically accorded by elites to most international organizations. When the evidence became overwhelming he was forced to hire Paul Volker to run an internal inquiry regarding the unfolding scandal.
So far, this investigation seems to plod along with no evidence of efficiency. Fortunately, the US Congress has stepped up to the plate and Senate and House Committees have begun investigations. These Congressmen have blasted the UN and Annan for refusing to cooperate and for ordering other organizations with ties to the UN not to cooperate with the American government.
Annan and his friends are wily street fighters however. They may have learned their skills from their terror masters, for they have engaged in a campaign not only of deception and stonewalling, but have also attempted to defeat their nemesis George Bush through means fair and foul (but mostly foul).
Before the US Presidential election Annan grossly overstepped his bounds and his competence in declaring the US—lead war against Hussein an 'illegal war.' No legal body has declared it to be so. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei (another Annan friend), with the seeming cooperation of Annan, deliberately leaked days ahead of the election a false report involving the removal of explosives from a cache supposedly under the control of US forces. This information was leaked to two notorious Bush—hating outlets, CBS News and the New York Times, in a bid to help defeat Bush. These reports were meant to run shortly before the election but the media being the media, the Times could not restrain itself and jumped the gun, giving the government and the new media sufficient time to prove the allegations false. This attempt to influence the US election is a direct violation of the UN principle not to interfere with democratic elections in member nations.
There is hope that Annan can be defeated and that Annanistan could fall. There is a spreading dissatisfaction within the UN staff concerning Anna's pardoning of a UN employee deeply involved in a sex and favoritism scandal, Dileep Nair, head of the Office of Internal Oversight Services. Despite massive evidence of his wrongdoing, Annan has remained true to form and prevented his friend from suffering any punishment.
The staff has had a vote of no confidence, an unprecedented rebuke of UN leadership. This is but a comparatively minor problem for Annan, however. It is only symbolic, since the Secretary General is almost entirely unaccountable, organizationally.
His true problem lies in the US Congress. Annan's friends in the international liberal media and among the dictators and thieves of the world have met their match in Norm Coleman and Henry Hyde (along with Tom Lantos and other stalwarts), who are spearheading the charge within Congress to hold Annan accountable for his actions. Their efforts could result in a cut of American funding for the United Nations. This sort of pressure has worked before. During the Reagan presidency, Jesse Helms objected to various acts of the UN and withheld funding until his problems were addressed (which they were).