Keeping U.N.'s Annan longer not a good idea

Posted: Monday, January 10, 2005

It's time for America to sever ties.

We aren't prepared to call U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan a crook. He may simply be an incompetent. But either way, Annan has no right to be given an additional two years in his prestigious position. ...

There was the U.N.'s oil-for-food scandal in Iraq. As Nile Gardiner of The Heritage Foundation noted in a recent column, it was ''the biggest scandal in the history of the United Nations and the biggest financial fraud of modern times.''

He wrote that the U.N. program was supposed to help the people of Iraq, but instead enriched their corrupt leaders.

Charles Duelfer, a United States weapons inspector, wrote that Annan's hand-picked director of the program supposedly received a voucher from Saddam Hussein for 13 million barrels of oil. Some humanitarian program that was!

Then there was the scandal in the Congo involving U.N. personnel and peacekeepers. Gardiner wrote that the U.N. is accused of human rights violations against refugees ''on a scale that dwarfs the Abu Ghraib scandal.'' Annan even accepted organizational responsibility for that debacle.

Those are only two examples of Annan's ''good work,'' or rather, failures, as head of the United Nations.

Should he be rewarded with two more years of opportunity to drag his organization deeper into the mud? We didn't even get into his anti-American-British stand on the war in Iraq and efforts to bring democracy to that country.

As the leading financial sponsor of U.N. operations, the United States should demand the immediate removal of Annan. If President Bush does not have the fortitude to do it, Congress should, by cutting off all U.S. payments to the U.N. ...

In recent years, the U.N. has become a forum for strong expressions of anti-American sentiment. It is time that the United States stopped paying for its own revilement.

Rather than securing world peace, it is likely that in coming months the U.N. will become an instrument of division, pitting the strengthening European Union against the United States and the Third World countries.

There may be no better time to separate ourselves from this failed organization.

— The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.,

Jan. 4

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