Kofi kicks Bush on his way out the door

STAN HONDA/AFP Kofi Annan slammed the Bush administration yesterday in his final speech as U.N. Secretary General. The setting: Harry S. Truman’s hometown of Independence, Missouri. Annan took a page from President Bush’s play book, wrapping himself in Truman’s tough-minded yet idealistic liberal internationalism. Annan blamed the Bush administration for abandoning these principles in favor ...

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605580_kofi25.jpg

STAN HONDA/AFP

Kofi Annan slammed the Bush administration yesterday in his final speech as U.N. Secretary General.

The setting: Harry S. Truman's hometown of Independence, Missouri.



STAN HONDA/AFP

Kofi Annan slammed the Bush administration yesterday in his final speech as U.N. Secretary General.

The setting: Harry S. Truman’s hometown of Independence, Missouri.

Annan took a page from President Bush’s play book, wrapping himself in Truman’s tough-minded yet idealistic liberal internationalism. Annan blamed the Bush administration for abandoning these principles in favor of unilateral action. “When [the United States] appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives,” he said, “its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.”

But is Kofi blameless for the sorry state of the world? In the new Washington Monthly, FP managing editor Will Dobson grapples with the outgoing Secretary’s mixed legacy in a review of James Traub’s new book on the Kofi era:

The remainder of his second term has offered little more than bitterness: the Oil-for-Food scandal and his son’s betrayal that personally landed him in the mess; a U.N. sex scandal in the Congo; intermittent calls for his resignation; the loss of friendship from the circle of longtime loyalists he slowly sheds; and, of course, his inability to prod the international community to take action in Darfur.

Kofi made one last plea yesterday on the crisis in western Sudan, but he leaves office with little to show for all of his efforts on that score. 

(hat tip: Kevin Drum)

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