Saturday, February 12, 2005


Annan Spins

How to Move Iraq Forward ( "The success of the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq has created an exciting moment of opportunity. It matters greatly that Iraq's transition is a success. I am determined to make certain that the United Nations will play its full part in helping the Iraqi people achieve that end.
But it also matters that the international community, which has been angrily divided over Iraq, now recognizes that we all share a common agenda: to move Iraq from the starting point -- its successfully completed elections -- to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future. "

While on the one hand, Annan, in this WaPo editorial, is talking about bringing the world community back together to try to further Iraqi democracy, he is clearly also trying to sell anxious Americans on the legitimacy of UN work in these matters. With the spotlight on the abuses of Oil-for-Food, he has no choice but to remind people of what they do well. Annan also cites the U.N.'s credibility because it opposed the war with those in Iraq that are still deciding whether they have a place in this democratic process. That is spin. I believe that we need to clean up the U.N., and not abandon it altogether (because doing so, as I understand it, would be to take away all of the funding it needs to survive). I also, feel, however, that their lack of support throughout the past year and a half gives it little credibility to anyone that matters or could be any help in this new democracy. Annan was wise to write this piece in order to continue to sell the U.N. after the recent headlines, but he does himself little good when he spins his anti-war status as assistance in bringing Iraqi's to the table.

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