Monday, December 11, 2006


NPR Hearts Kofi

National Public Radio (NPR) just “hearts” departing United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. The why should be obvious. That Annan has consistently resisted any effort to promote democracy or freedom, or prevent genocide, so long as that initiative is backed or promoted by the current US President, makes him the poster child for everything NPR loves about all those who hate the US, our power and influence in the world.

Think I exaggerate? Kofi Annan blasts the US as his parting gesture, and NPR looks to do a piece evaluating his stint at the UN on Morning Edition. Who do they reach for to conduct their interview? Why, James Traub, author of completely authorized and ridiculously laudatory biography of Annan.

I just about spit my coffee all over the dashboard as Traub astonishingly dismisses the rampant corruption at the UN as “unfair” or not to be believed, because after all, Kofi Annan is a superlative diplomat with the “best intentions.” He goes on to gush about how wildly successful Annan was, when working with equally admired by NPR Bill Clinton. Only when that nasty George Bush became President, that the UN suffered setbacks that unfairly diminish Annan’s stature as the greatest of all UN Secretary Generals. (Perhaps I exaggerate Traub’s tone, but if so, only ever so slightly.)

Of course, the recess appointment of John Bolton as US Ambassador to the UN is viewed by Traub as direct effrontery to his revered Annan. Any such talk of corruption or rot at the UN, whether in the notorious Oil for Food, or UN run sex rings, or UN peacekeeper brutalities against “protected” populations, why those are spiteful and completely unfounded criticisms, beneath the dignity of this quiet and graceful international Man of PeaceTM. Someone should warn Claudia Rosett that she’s after the wrong kleptocrat.

Why do I even bother to listen to NPR? Sure, it’s the only daytime news on radio. But one might have thought that the NPR apparatchiks might have felt some compulsion to seek a somewhat balanced view of Annan and his tenure, rather than air a big fat sloppy kiss of a caress piece.

Glenn Reynolds links to Ed Morrissey, who notes Kofi Annan’s op-ed column in today's Washington Post, about which Morrisey remarks:
If his rule hadn't resulted in such worldwide misery and despair, it would be one of the funniest pieces of opinion journalism so far this year.
Read it, if you can stomach it, and chase it with Ed’s dissection.

Being lectured about accountability by Kofi Annan is like being lectured by Saddam Hussein on democracy and justice. Come to think on it, the two worked in tandem for many years. It’s no small wonder they share such a rich sense of irony.

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