Sunday, January 02, 2005

Double standards

Telegraph : "UN officials went to great lengths to conceal the whereabouts of Kofi Annan, the organisation's general secretary, who was on holiday when the tsunami struck and did not surface in New York until Thursday.

In fact, it was revealled that, Mr Annan spent Christmas at the holiday home of James Wolfensohn, the president of the World Bank and a critic of the Bush administration, who owns a 160-acre ranch in the resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Only a handful of Mr Annan's most trusted advisers were allowed to know his location. One official said: "He did not want to be seen frolicking in the snow. It wouldn't look good.""

So just to recap: The US is stingy, even though Americans are on-scene helping out while the UN sits around and takes the credit, but the UN which hasn't actually done anything is somehow wiser and more enlightened and relief efforts ought to be conducted under its aegis.

President Bush is insensitive because he merely sent the Navy to help and didn't bite his lip for the camera, and all the while Kofi Annan was at an undisclosed location: the ski slopes of Jackson Hole. The moral bankruptcy of the UN extends to those who uphold its pretensions to world governance despite its being so useless that even Colin Powell is now criticizing it (in his typically diplomatic way).

It would take blind partisanship of the worst sort to bash Bush and America while remaining silent about Annan and the UN. Yet this is what we see among the chattering classes and some who falsely claim the title "journalist".