When people predicted Kofi would take credit for the vote in Iraq, I remember thinking to myself, “Man not even I’m that cynical.” That was until I read today’s Washington Post. Lesson Learned:
By Kofi A. Annan
Saturday, February 12, 2005; Page A19
The success of the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq has created an exciting moment of opportunity. It matters greatly that Iraq’s transition is a success. I am determined to make certain that the United Nations will play its full part in helping the Iraqi people achieve that end. …
[Ed– Welcome to the party Mr. Annan]
Even the scars left by past differences can be turned into opportunities. Precisely because the United Nations did not agree on some earlier actions in Iraq, it now has much-needed credibility with and access to Iraqi groups that must agree to join in the new political process if peace is to prevail. Now is the time for us to draw on that capital.
[Ed– We sat on our asses and did nothing to help liberate the people of Iraq and that is the exact reason we have credibility now. -OY! What tortured logic.]
No one can fail to have been moved by the Iraqis’ display of courage at the polls. The United Nations is proud of the assistance it was able to give them, both in developing the political base for elections and in the technical preparations. We helped to draft the electoral law and to form the Independent Electoral Commission, which ran the elections. A U.N. electoral team of more than 50 staff members in Baghdad, Amman and New York supported the commission. The United Nations trained the commission’s members and several hundred other electoral workers, who in turn trained thousands more, and we have advised and supported them throughout the process.
[Ed– See, it was not the US and the coalition of the willing, it was 50 UN bureaucrats who did it all.]
We can also give technical assistance to the new ministries. Many people seem to think that because, for security reasons, we have only 200 international staff members in Iraq (three-quarters of whom are guards), the United Nations is not present and active there. This is wrong, first because the United Nations has many Iraqi staffers and second because much of our work — training, advice, coordination, acting as a conduit for funds — can be done from outside the country.
[Ed– We have magic democracy building remote controls – so there! 50 people working in a country of 25 million is plenty enough to take credit for the vote!]
Let’s not pretend that it will be easy. Iraq is in a complicated region of the world, and has had a tortured recent history. It also has a diverse society, and some groups are determined to prevent a democratic outcome on any terms. But I believe that with international help, such a society can use democratic institutions to build itself a stable and prosperous future.
[Ed– I’m a Neo-con, I’m a Neo-con, I’m a Neo-con. Honest! We’ve been saying all along that democracy should come to the Iraqi people. It was all our idea.]
We have a mandate from the Security Council to take the lead in bringing that support together, and we intend to do it.
I really should have given you a keyboard alert for that last line.
This column is so bad, I’d believe that Scott Ott of Scrappleface.com wrote it. He takes credit for Iraq like it was his idea all along. Then he says the UN should lead the way. — Apparently not realizing the humor in that statement.
Note to Mr. Annan: Quit patting yourself on the back for what the United States has done and get your ass to work. There’s plenty enough heavy lifting to be done before you go taking credit for the whole thing. Actions speak louder than words.
We all appreciate your “Little Red Hen” impersonation. Now get something done and we’ll be more impressed. Until then, can you at least try to stay out the damn way?