Thursday, December 22, 2005

"He would still be torturing us"

The New York Sun reports a telling interchange between the UN Secretary General and an Iraqi diplomat:
Mr. Annan yesterday said the greatest misgiving he had in his tenure as secretary-general was that he wished the United Nations had "done everything that we could have done to avoid the war in Iraq" and its effects on Turtle Bay.

The comment did not sit well with Iraqi officials. "If the United States and its allies had not removed Saddam Hussein, he would still be torturing us" rather than standing accused on trial, Iraq's deputy U.N. ambassador, Feisal Amin al-Istrabadi, said when told by The New York Sun of Mr. Annan's words.
Also, Mediacrity and American Thinker's Ed Lasky were unimpressed with Mr. Annan's performance yesterday. Apparently Annan attacked a reporter instead of answering his question.

Update: Claudia Rosett writes in National Review Online,
The Blow-Up: Annan insults and distracts

In a telling moment at a United Nations press conference Wednesday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan lost his temper — hurling insults at a widely respected senior member of the U.N. press corps. Beyond the who-what-when-where-how of this episode, the big question is: Why?

The broad answer is that the U.N. Secretariat, despite all the recent talk of reform, evidently remains a place of secrecy and privilege, run by high officials who don’t mind talking about their global goals and grand legacies, but find it highly irritating to be held to normal standards of good governance or subjected to anything resembling the workings of a free press. And in this particular case, given the ferocity of Annan’s reaction, one has to wonder if there is even more to it.