Kofi Annan doesn’t speak

In the post below John refers to the culture of corruption among the Congressional proprietors of pork. Today’s New York Sun runs an eloquent editorial that captures the cultural corruption of the United Nations: “Annan is mum.” The editorial reads:

Secretary General Annan is refusing to comment to the press on the decision of the world body to give a platform to one of the world’s most repressive dictators, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, to compare President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to Hitler and Mussolini. Maybe Congress can get him to say something as it continues its probe as to why America is funding the world body. Let Congress ask about the applause that greeted Mr. Mugabe at the U.N. conference this week in Rome in connection with the 60th birthday of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Not only did Mr. Mugabe compare President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to Hitler and Mussolini but he called them “international terrorists.” It pumped the crowd.

It would be ironical, if it weren’t so offensive, that a U.N. body whose stated aim is to lead “international efforts to defeat hunger” invites a dictator responsible for turning a once prosperous country into an economic basket-case to address it. Mr. Mugabe’s Marxist land-reform policies have led to once productive farms being ruined. If there was racial injustice in Zimbabwe, as there was, this was clearly not the way to deal with it. Now more than 4 million Zimbabweans need aid. Poverty, disease, and starvation are rampant across the country.

When questioned on the suitability of inviting a despot like Mr. Mugabe to address the meeting, a spokesman for the FAO, Nicholas Parsons, told The New York Sun that all heads of member states were invited, and as Zimbabwe has been a “member in good standing” since the 1980s, it is “appropriate” that it, like all members, could attend. Only under the auspices of the United Nations could one of the world’s most repressive dictators be reelected to a Human Rights Commission – a feather Mr. Mugabe placed in his cap earlier this year despite a habit of rigging elections and beating opponents – before being cheered for denouncing two leaders who liberated a country from another repressive dictator. And now the head of the whole organization stands mum while asking for more money from the alleged Hitlers and Mussolinis.


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