Thursday, September 16, 2004

No blood for oil. Or genocide. Or for anything else for that matter 

Kofi Annan tells it like he sees it:

"The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter."
"Never again!" I hear you shout, and the Sec-Gen agrees:

"Mr Annan said that 'painful lessons' had been learnt since the war in Iraq. 'Lessons for the US, the UN and other member states. I think in the end everybody's concluded it's best to work together with our allies and through the UN,' he said in an interview with the BBC World Service. 'I hope we do not see another Iraq-type operation for a long time - without UN approval and much broader support from the international community'."
No need to fear - Mr Annan, meet Darfur.

Annan also said that there could be no "credible elections [in Iraq] if the security conditions continue as they are now". Which would contrast nicely with all the credible elections conducted in Iraq on the UN's watch from 1991 onwards. But never mind; as the head of the British army General Sir Mike Jackson (the Brits, unlike the UN are actually on the ground in Iraq, trying to make it happen) said a few days ago:

"People are pretty confident that they can take place if everybody puts in the required effort and arrangements into it.

"If, for any reason, 300,000 people cannot vote because terrorists decide so - and this is imposing a very big if - then frankly 300,000 people is not going to alter 25 million people voting.

"There are problems, yes. But to the point that we can't conduct an election? I don't think so."
As a friend of mine commented, "Why are we in the UN, again?" I'm sure the answer's somewhere there in the UN Charter.


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