December 12, 2006

Parting Shot


From CNN: Annan chides U.S. in farewell speech.

Kofi Annan had some strong words Monday for the United States in his farewell speech as secretary-general of the United Nations. ...

"When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose, for broadly shared aims, in accordance with broadly accepted norms."

There are few greater compliments for America then being chided by Annan for not kow-towing to world opinion. Annan went on to say:

As things stand, accountability between states is highly skewed. Poor and weak states are easily held to account, because they need foreign assistance. But large and powerful states, whose actions have the greatest impact on others, can be constrained only by their own people, working through their domestic institutions.

That gives the people and institutions of such powerful states a special responsibility to take account of global views and interests, as well as national ones. ...

In fact, it is only through multilateral institutions that states can hold each other to account. And that makes it very important to organize those institutions in a fair and democratic way, giving the poor and the weak some influence over the actions of the rich and the strong.

Allow me to translate: By "some influence over the actions of the rich and the strong" Annan means "the legal force to counteract the sovereignty of America." Good riddance to Annan. Too bad the U.N. itself won't follow him.

Jules Crittenden does a lot more translating.

UPDATE -- Dec. 13: Iowahawk goest dumpster diving again and finds a first draft of Kofi's talk. (via LGF)

My fourth lesson, therefore, is that governments must be accountable for their actions, in the international as well as the domestic arena. Every state owes some account to other states, much like the popular “Monopoly” board game by Parker Brothers. Poor and weak states, in impoverished regions like Baltic Avenue, are easily held to account by large and powerful colonial states with vast railroad and utility holdings and multiple hotels on Boardwalk.

But who holds such players in account? This is why we need multilateral institutions like the United Nations to act as the independent “banker” in this complicated international board game. Our role is to act as a bulwark against unilateral players who threaten to run roughshod around the board in their monocles and spats. We keep a close eye on the money tray and extend credit to weaker nations who are struggling to pass “GO.” We also manage “FREE PARKING” and “COMMUNITY CHEST,” and pass “GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL” resolutions against the rogue Zionist entity occupying Marvin Gardens.

Also see Day by Day.

Posted by Forkum at December 12, 2006 06:04 PM