Kofi Annan — a view from the left

Jack Kelly has a good piece in the Washington Times (apparently not available online) about Kofi Annan’s pathetic legacy. I was struck by this quotation from Kenneth Cain who served in U.N. peacekeeping operations in Rwanda, Haiti and Liberia:

Liberal multilateralists on the left, like me, are often skittish about offering too pungent a critique of Mr. Annan, because it offers aid and comfort to the “enemy” on the conservative unilateralist right. But if anyone’s values have been betrayed at the U.N. over the past decade, it is those of us who believe most deeply in the organization’s ideals.

Compare that quotation to this one from the perennially clueless Sen. Chuck Hagel who, introducing Annan for his “valedictory” address at the Truman library, said:

Kofi Annan served as secretary-general during 10 of the most difficult, complicated and dangerous years of the U.N.’s history. He did it with grace, humor, determination and always doing what he felt was in the interests of mankind.

UPDATE: Kelly also has a piece in which he offers his ideas on how to win in Anbar province. Kelly bases his advice on the work of Captain Travis Patriquin, who was serving in the First Armored Division when he was killed in Ramadi this month. The problem in Anbar, according to Capt. Patriquin, is that Americans in this area (populated almost entirely by Sunni Arabs) can’t tell “the good Iraqis from the bad Iraqis.” Moreover, Iraqi army units (composed almost entirely of Shias and Kurds from outside the area) have the same problem. Thus, the solution is to work with tribal sheikhs who oppose al Qaeda and their militias. Specifically, Capt. Patirquin recommended that we give the sheikhs respect and government contracts, and recruit their militias into the local police.


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