Outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will deliver an address in Independence, MO, today that offers “a blistering criticism of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.” The speech is previewed by Annan in a Washington Post op-ed. Conservative bloggers have already begun their attacks in response:
There’s plenty more laughs in Annan’s goodbye screed. … We wanted to hold Saddam accountable for twelve years of intransigence in relation to 16 UN Security Council resolutions — and Annan opposed the effort.
Good riddance to you and your wagging finger, Kofi Annan. You will not be missed.
The right wing’s hatred of Annan has been fueled in part by the fact that he was a loud and public dissenter in the lead-up to the Iraq war and has never embraced the U.S. involvement in Iraq. Here’s a sampling of what Annan said before the Bush administration launched the war:
Has that moment [for war] arrived? That is the decision that the members of the Security Council now face. It is a grave decision indeed. If they fail to agree on a common position, and some of them then take action without the council’s authority, the legitimacy of that action will be widely questioned, and it will not gain the political support needed to ensure its long-term success, after its military phase. [WSJ, 3/11/03]
“Anything seen as a flimsy, hasty excuse to go to war will create difficulties in the council,” he said. … “The U.S. does seem to have a lower threshold than the others may have” for what constitutes a breach, he said. “The key is that whatever we do must have broad support from allies and the public.” If there is a decision to go to war against Iraq, he said, “the reasons must be seen as reasonable, credible and not contrived.” [Washington Post, 11/14/02]
In an accountable world, President Bush would be hanging a medal around the neck of Kofi Annan, not George Tenet.