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La République Des Bananes?

Claudia Rosett [1] comments at the WSJ this morning, about Kofi anan’s reaction to revelations of graft on the UN SECURITY COUNCIL.

She finds Anan’s claims of innocence amusing but unavailing.

maybe he just hasn’t had time to read the lists of oil vouchers handed out liberally by Saddam to assorted French former officials and Russian politicians and state entities–alleged bribes now presumably under investigation by the U.N.’s own “independent inquiry” led by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. Earlier this year, an aggrieved Mr. Annan warned critics of the Oil for Food program to shut up and wait for Mr. Volcker to wend his way toward a final report. Apparently, when it comes to Saddam’s biggest clients, Mr. Annan sees no problem with his own policy of pre-emptive exoneration.

In dealing with Saddam, Mr. Annan no doubt had a lot to keep track of. There are many questions yet to be answered about Oil for Food before final blame is parceled out. But if the idea is to save the U.N. itself from becoming the world’s biggest banana institution, there are serious and important questions to be asked about why Secretary-General Kofi Annan finds it “inconceivable” that in the U.N.’s core debates, rampant graft might matter.