Kofi Annan Bullies Reporter

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by OnceUGoMac, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #1
    It looks that the U.N. Secretary General doesn't like questions being asked that he doesn't agree with. It's a shame.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1673307,00.html

     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    Evidently the reporter in question has a record of atttacking Mr. Annan. Not unlike the reporter from emperor murdoch's paper in the UK that keeps attacking Livingston. Let's face it, reporters are a@@holes, sometimes they need to be and sometimes they do it just because they're jerks. Sometimes the person they're harassing is going to get upset, there's nothing new here and nothing that hasn't been gone over again and again.

    There are plenty of American companies as well as UK companies that are also guilty of profiteering from oil for food programs. Why did you think this was newsworthy?
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #3
    Enraged? I don't know, he didn't sound "enraged" to me. Maybe it was all the times he said "please" and "cheeky".
     
  4. Airforce macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

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    #4
    Exactly what I was thinking! :p
     
  5. OnceUGoMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #5
    Perhaps, because the head of the international community is trying to silence reporters raising concern over his and his son's illicit activity. :rolleyes: So what if the reporter consistantly asks Annan questions about his and his son's involvement in scandals. Maybe Annan should have answerd the questions the first time.
     
  6. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    People don't usually blow up at other people unless there's some history. It's hard to make any judgements without knowing the questions asked and their past run-ins.

    That said, yeah, Kofi Annan should lose his job over the Iraqi Oil for food program - it happened on his watch, and its destroyed the credibility of the UN as administrator of anything important.
     
  7. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #7
    Are you referring to the same Oil for Food program that was under the oversight of and designed by the Security Council, and flouted by US, German, Belgian, French, British and Russian companies? That one?
     
  8. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    No corruption or fraud on this scale is possible without complicity, and there's plenty of blame to go around. But ultimately, it was Kofi Annan's job to provide that management oversight. His failure to provide that oversight is not only grounds for dismissal, but, if he was the head of a company or large charity rather than the UN, would be also grounds for civil or criminal prosecution. (Think Bernie Ebbers/Ken Lay).
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    (Think George Bush/Dick Cheney/Donald Rumsfeld): after all, they're the ones with the actual power to have sorted it out.
     
  10. OnceUGoMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #10
    Perhaps, you should research the U.N., the Oil for Food Program, and the scandal that resulted. What does Bush Jr., Cheney, or Rumsfeld have to do with the program, the scandal, or the running of the U.N.? That's right, nothing.:rolleyes:
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #11
    Does anyone actually understand the scandal here? I meant the Oil For Food thing, not this. I could see if he punched the guy, or called him a bad name, or cursed at him... but I don't see anything wrong with what Anan said. Seems like someone is just trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    But really, I've read up on the Oil For Food scandal, and can't really see where he did anything wrong.
     
  12. OnceUGoMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #12
    You missed this, then?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil-for-Food_Programme#Potential_Annan_link
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #13
    Yes I did. I still don't get it. As for Kofi, I don't feel strongly either way. Even if he's guilty of this, it still doesn't seem like he was enraged. It seems the corruption part is more of a story than this.

    I don't suppose you have any better info on what exactly is wrong with the whole thing, because all I can find is propaganda both ways, and nothing really explaining who did what that was so wrong.
     
  14. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #14
    So is this better or worse than a sitting Vice President telling a sitting US Senator to 'go **** yourself'? How about a President giving the finger to a reporter? Was that as big a deal?
     
  15. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #15
    Off-topic. The reporter in question there, Oliver Finegold, writes for the London Evening Standard, which is part of the Associated Newspapers chain, owned by The Daily Mail General Trust. Nothing to do with Murdoch - he owns News Corporation.
    I can't blame Annan for snapping - it must be a right royal pain in the a***.
    Like you I can't see anything he's done wrong.
     
  16. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    But then where does the buck stop? The Oil-for-food program is one of the UN's biggest and most high-profile programs. A failure in that program damages the credibility of the organization. Wasn't it Kofi Annan's job to keep an eye on that program and provide some management oversight?
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    No, it wasn't. The UNSC was supposed to be overseeing it.
     
  18. OnceUGoMac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #18
    Not really. The UNSC authorized the program, but it was managed by the Executive Director of the Office of the Iraq Programme. In total, there are nine agenicies and organizations involved with the program.

    http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/background/index.html
     
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #19
    Well if the UN works the same way the Bush administration does, it's everyone's fault BUT Annan's! :p
     
  20. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #20
    ...and he only found out about it when he read it in the paper.
     
  21. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #21
    Seriously, who did what wrong!?! I know all about the Oil-For-Food program, and who Kofi Annan is, but I can't find anything on the actual scandal part other than allegations that some of the money was skimmed to buy influence and some of the food expired, all of which comes from a report from a US investigator. Annan himself appointed council to see if there was any corruption, and they didn't find anything in preliminary reports. Though they did think it would cost more than would be worth it to continue investigations, there are hundreds of people who oversee the program and they continued with audits that found no such problems. With the exception of the food unfit for consumption, but that seemed to be more mistakes and time due to all the red tape, not corruption. The only person who was actually accused of corruption, Benon Sevan, was already suspended.

    Not saying there weren't any people giving contracts to their friends, happens all the time in WA, and Iraq favored other countries over the US and UK, but it doesn't seem like it has anything to Annan either. I still don't see what the problem is other than allegation by the same people who already don't like the UN. Pardon me if I want proof of him actually doing something wrong and find it hard to trust the sources.
     
  22. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #22
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #23
    Ok, I've skimmed that. There are allegations of ethical violations, even some that do violate UN rules (some actually do not). But like I said, people like Sevan have already lost their positions. I see nothing in there or anywhere else about Annan himself. I get he's supposed to be in charge, but I understood he attempted to get people to look into it, but was unable to fully address the issue due to funding and red tape.

    I don't mean to say there isn't a story here somewhere, because there does seem to be some impropriety that may not have been addressed. I just think it's being overblown by some for political reasons. And I don't see how it has anything to do with Annan himself, other than it may have continued under his watch, as it had everyone else's.
     
  24. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    Did you read about the widespread corruption - that at least half of the 3,700 companies in the program were making kickbacks to Saddam? Some paying the regime as much as ten billion dollars?

    That leads to one of two conclusions - Kofi Annan was either incapable or unwilling to provide the necessary oversight that a program like that needed, and the credibility of the UN has been damaged as a result. If he was incapable, he should give up his job to someone who is capable. If he was unwilling, then he should be prosecuted for fraud and misappropriation of funds, especially given the fact that his own son benefited financially.

    So you can see that I'm actually giving him the benefit of the doubt by calling him incapable and recommending that he lose his job.
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    The UN is composed of the sum total of its members. It is the members, and especially the SC, who decide whether to support or reject proposals, and even then, their public position is often at variance with their behind-the-scenes machinations. Just look at how the US and UK distorted and concealed the evidence and their motives, and tried to bribe, cajole and blackmail their way to a second resolution before the Iraq invasion. Look at Sudanese membership of the UN Human Rights commission: it's absurd, and an insult to the intelligence. The UN is clearly in need of considerable reform to meet the needs of a world which has changed a lot since 1945.

    But the Oil-for-Food program was designed as a way to persuade members, many of whom were equivocal, to support a sanctions regime. Many of them supported it publicly knowing full well that they were not going to be adhering to the policy. The Security Council proposed the scheme, designed it, and were charged by the resolution with overseeing it. All of the permanent members had companies or nationals involved both in breaking the sanctions and corrupting the Oil-for-Food program. In such an environment, what is Annan supposed to do? He is the nominal head of UN operations, yes, but his authority and resources are circumscribed by those he may have to criticise. It's a no-win situation, and it's caused by a design fault. I rather doubt that John Bolton will improve things in this respect, either. In fact he seems to have practically disappeared from view.

    It's up to the membership, and especially the SC, to improve the credibility: only they have the resources - and, in the case of the US, have spent years underfunding and witholding resources. If the US wants to prove repeatedly that SC resolutions are only binding if the US feels inclined to be bound, and that they are enforced unevenly for political and commercial reasons, then other members will feel, justifiably enough, that the UN will not be guaranteed to act fairly or in the true interests of the world community. This breeds a certain cynicism and lack of credibility.
    Strange argument: because his son benefitted, he should be prosecuted? I've heard of parental responsibility, but this is going too far.

    No you're not.
     

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