Joe Conason has some good commentary on the issue of Republicans taking advantage of the oil-for-food scandal as an opportunity to completely discredit the UN. I think that John McCain makes the point as concisely as it can be made, when asked about Senator Norm Coleman's demands for Annan's resignation:
Asked whether he believes that Mr. Annan should step down, the Arizona Republican and outspoken hawk replied, "No. I think that we should have a full and complete investigation and then make decisions like that. Am I disturbed when I hear that his son was on payroll? Of course I’m disturbed about it, and apparently Kofi Annan was [disturbed] also." He added, "I think Coleman is kind of a symptom of some dissatisfaction within Congress about the U.N.—but no, I think we need a full and complete investigation, and there’s plenty of time to decide whether people should keep their jobs or not."
The key phrase there is "a symptom of some dissatisfaction within Congress about the U.N.". I am very much in favor of investigating the oil-for-food scandal to its fullest, particularly regarding the alleged bribery payments from Iraq to French officials, but the Republican outrage is not a new one and it does not have its basis in the oil-for-food scandal; this is a decades-old manifestation of GOP anti-internationalism, which is why I made the comparison to John Birch below. The idea that Annan has been proven to have done something meriting his resignation is ridiculous and dishonest.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
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