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An expected apology
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-12-14 10:09:17
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UN General Secretary Mr. Kofi Annan gave his final and goodbye speech at the library of the late US president Harry Truman in Independence, Missouri, talking about the needs of the UN and often pointing at the US and their responsibilities. South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon succeeds Mr. Annan on the 1st of January as the new General Secretary and, except for the farewell, Mr. Annan’s speech was like a blueprint for what is to follow.

I read his speech twice to make sure that I understood everything. I made sure that I understood his hints at American foreign policy. I made sure I understood his points over the Security Council and I tried to see what was said between the lines, plus his advice to his successor. However, no matter how much I tried, I could not see one line in his speech apologizing for his failure; I’m very serious about it.

The question should be what Mr. Annan did to fulfill the job description of the world secretary, except being part of political games and political balances. Furthermore, how much he helped the UN to re-establish the role and the obligations the organization took nearly sixty years ago. The UN and the Security Council were founded after WWII based on the relics, literally, of the World of Nations with one and only target, never to allow it to happen again.

Unfortunately it did happen again and again and again! Instead of becoming the defender and the ambassador for better, a force that would protect human rights, it often became the menace itself with examples in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Instead of stopping wars, it stood in the corner fearing a superpower that coincidentally is a permanent member of the Security Council. They stood by while the US bullies the world, starts wars on weak accusations and is currently leading a country into civil war - the UN did nothing except complain like a little kid.

When Lebanon was imploding and kids were dying, Mr. Kofi Annan limited himself to waiting. It took him five days to hit his fist on the table before something started to move. Five whole days, what happened in the meantime? More kids died! What happens this minute in Sudan, in Somalia, in DF Congo is far wilder than any sick imagination could conjure. How do you identify genocide? When one dies or when a million die. Those whole areas in Sudan are permanently dead; does that count as an accident, conclusion of a local war or genocide? Who is to blame for the loss of life of only one human being?

Mr. Annan was awarded a Nobel Prize for what? For doing his job! No, for doing one small part of his job because for the most of it he failed. George W. Bush was a bad president and history will judge him, but what did Mr. Annan do to stop him. The American administration is now counting more deaths of American soldiers than Vietnam and the numbers are still increasing daily.

Nobody said that the UN should support an unfair invasion and an unexcused occupation, but what is he waiting for before stepping inside and saving the country from the blood swamp that is deepening? Is he expecting George W. Bush to apologize and grovel on his knees? It will never happen, but the United Nations secretary should never have waited for that. His fist should have immediately hit the table and sent a UN Peacekeeping force to Iraq to help the government. Every day, every minute the American army spends in Iraq it makes them look more like the enemy than the ally that has come to help; there is only one ally for these people and that’s the UN, but the General Secretary has ignored them.

What about Cyprus? This is a place the General Secretary managed to do something that everybody else failed. He managed to make the rapist equal with the victim. How come the General Secretary allowed Cyprus, the only legal country and representative of the island, to be seated at the same table as the ones that invaded the country; the ones that maintain an occupation army and destroy any meaning of legitimacy? Did he do anything in Nepal? He just left India and Pakistan threatening each other with nuclear weapons and he failed with North Korea pointing out that it is the responsibility of the USA. Right, too much for a peacekeeper.

Mr. Kofi Annan said in his speech that now there is a priceless opportunity that awaits his successor for international peace. Actually, Mr. Annan lost this opportunity because now things are much worst and his successor will probably spend the next five years of his time trying to correct what happened over the last twenty. We should never forget that Mr. Annan is not the only one responsible for the pauperization of the UN, he is one in a chain starting with Kurt Waldhein, the former Nazi officer and responsible for hundreds of deaths in Yugoslavia, who became General Secretary of the UN. Do we expect the next one to be any different? I presume no, he will just continue the tradition of failures.

When we are all writing articles about UN we don’t do it for Mr. Annan, we are doing it to express our support to an institution that has the obligation to bring international peace and prosperity. This organization will always have our full support, but somehow I would expect Mr. Annan to apologize for his failure to do anything of the above.

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