Kofi Annan falsely proclaimed to the world that Israel was guilty of “apparently deliberate targeting” of a UN observation post, killing four observers on July 25th. As Mark Twain so astutely observed, “[A] lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Annan’s big lie appeared on the front page of the mainstream press, which the Islamic-fascist terrorists have exploited to further inflame passions in the Middle East and recruit more killers for their jihad.
The truth is that, in the fog of war, a terrible accident happened as the Israelis were aiming for the Hezbollah terrorists who were firing from positions the terrorists had deliberately established in the immediate vicinity of the UN observer stations. Just one day before the tragedy, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (“UNIF”) had reported that one of its observers was seriously wounded by Hezbollah small arms fire during combat with the Israeli Defense Force. Israeli bombardments were also reported in the immediate vicinity, but UNIF made no mention of any deliberate Israeli effort to target the UN observers. Indeed, it was the Israelis who tried to save observers’ lives when they could. They took the observer who had been shot by Hezbollah to a hospital in Haifa for treatment of his wounds. Yet Kofi Annan rashly condemned only Israel for what he called “deliberate” targeting of the UN observers.
It has since come to light that one of the UN observers killed in the Israeli Defense Force attack, Canadian officer Maj. Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, had sent e-mails to his former commander in the Canadian army, retired Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, indicating that the Hezbollah terrorists had positioned themselves all around his UN observation post. Though this drew Israeli bombardments in close proximity to Kruedener’s post, he wrote that this “has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity." MacKenzie, who had served in a UN peacekeeping operation himself, explained to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. the meaning of Kruedener’s prophetic report from the ground – that Hezbollah was drawing fire on the UNIFIL post, which ultimately led to his own death and that of three other UN observers. What Kruedener was telling us, MacKenzie said, was that “Hezbollah soldiers were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them. And that’s a favorite trick by people who don’t have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can’t be punished for it."
One has to ask why Kofi Annan had not pulled the UN’s unarmed observers out of harm’s way days earlier. He must have known of their precarious position from their own reports but did nothing about it until the fatal attack gave him the opportunity to scapegoat Israel. Only then were the observers ordered to leave the danger zone.
UNIF is a case study in how flawed UN peacekeeping missions have become. Indeed, they have usually ended up serving the enemies of peace. Kofi Annan praised Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah’s peaceful intentions at the time that Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000. Annan and Nasrallah even posed together for pictures while shaking hands, giving Nasrallah an aura of legitimacy as a world leader that all of Iran’s oil money could not buy him, as seen in this photo in this link. And, as the saying goes, if a picture is worth a thousand words, the picture of the UN and Hezbollah flags flying side by side says it all.
By placing homicidal terrorists on the same moral plane as a democratic country like Israel that has sought only to protect its innocent civilian from attack, the UN only encourages more aggression from the terrorists. That is exactly what happened, as the UNIF stood by for years while Hezbollah launched rocket attacks into Israeli territory. The UN observers, whose assignment was to monitor the border between Israel and Lebanon, turned away as Hezbollah grew ever more powerful under their very noses. They did zilch to enforce the Security Council resolution that required the government of Lebanon to assume control over southern Lebanon and to disarm the Hezbollah militia. Israel suffered numerous unprovoked attacks from Hezbollah and countered with only the mildest of reprisals. Israel warned repeatedly that its patience would eventually wear thin if the international community did not respond forcefully to Hezbollah’s continued acts of aggression. The warnings fell on deaf ears. When Israel finally said ‘enough’ and began delivering a punishing blow after Hezbollah’s kidnapping and slaying of Israeli soldiers on Israeli territory, Kofi Annan and his human rights ‘experts’ forgot all about the unheeded Israeli warnings and lumped Israel’s response to Hezbollah aggression with Hezbollah’s aggression itself.
This repeats a long pattern of UN appeasement of aggressors and mass murderers. One of the most telling examples occurred outside of the Middle East while Kofi Annan served as Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations in charge of the UN’s peacekeeping force in Rwanda. He did not step forward when he had a chance to head off the horrible slaughter there back in 1994. He allowed his confidante Iqbal Riza (the same man accused years later of shredding papers at the UN relating to the scandalous oil-for-food program) on his own authority to override a life-saving recommendation of the UN’s commander on the ground in Rwanda, Maj. Gen. Romeo Dallaire. Maj. Gen. Dallaire had relayed a fax to UN headquarters in New York containing credible intelligence that extremists in the Rwandan government planned to exterminate minority Tutsis imminently. The commander recommended a pre-emptive raid by UN peacekeepers to seize a large cache of illegal weapons before they could be used against helpless civilians. Riza, with the knowledge of Annan, directed the commander to stand down and do nothing to prevent the carnage. The commander turned out to be right and Riza was grievously wrong.
Kofi Annan’s response was to protect the UN organization at all cost. According to the Associated Press, Annan blocked probes to determine who saw the fax that ordered Maj. Gen. Dallaire to give up his plan to intercede. Annan also reportedly refused to allow the commander to testify before a Belgian panel investigating the events in Rwanda because he did not believe it was "in the interest of the organization."
In Bosnia, the UN let the Serb killers alone in return for Serbian promises not to harm the UN peacekeepers themselves as the Serbians proceeded to commit horrible atrocities against the Bosnians. And just recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN peacekeeping force stationed there participated with Congolese troops in a massacre of civilians they were supposed to protect. According to an eyewitness account written by Aidan Hartley, a reporter who has covered African wars for years, one UN official explained “that the violence being perpetrated against civilians across the region was a ‘temporary phenomenon’ that would cease when security was restored.” The UN is supposedly investigating what happened, but has kept the whole matter quiet. (Source “Congo’s Election, the U.N.’s Massacre” by Aidan Hartley, New York Times op-ed, July 28, 2006). Yet Kofi has the gall to demand a full-blown joint investigation of his bogus charges against Israel!
No matter what the circumstances, UN leaders always push for an immediate ceasefire and then seek to be an impartial referee in many of the flashpoints where it has engaged with peacekeeping forces to supposedly keep the warring parties apart (except, of course, for its Israel-bashing whenever its officials have the opportunity). They act like the school monitor in the playground who breaks up a noisy quarrel between two kids and warns both to behave themselves. But the world today is no school playground. It is populated by homicidal megalomaniacs who think nothing of slaughtering millions of innocent people. The UN establishment pretends that it can enforce ceasefires by simply being there as a neutral buffer. But that is impossible as long as it fails to distinguish between the aggressors and the victims. Such neutrality will always favor the aggressors, who exploit the UN’s presence as human shields to serve their nefarious objectives. The victim is never allowed to do what is necessary to put the aggressor out of business permanently. The United Nations can serve no useful role when it has not even been able to reach common definitions of "aggression" and "terrorism" sixty years after its founding, let alone deal with them effectively.
At best, then, UN peacekeepers serve as a fig leaf that covers up the underlying problems until the aggressor gets more emboldened and tries to change the status quo to its further advantage. Aggressors prey on ceasefires because they use them to prepare for their next push while hiding what they are doing under UN-provided cover.
Kofi Annan should publicly apologize to Israel for his rash accusations. Then he should focus the remainder of his term on cleaning up all the messes at the UN itself like the procurement, sex abuse and drug smuggling scandals besetting the world body. Perhaps that way he can restore a bit of his tarnished legacy.
It is way too late to erase the fact that, during Kofi Annan’s tenure, the UN has failed time and again to perform its original mission as a collective security organization. It is feckless at best and complicit with the aggressors at worst. Maybe the truth about the UN is finally “putting on its shoes” after all.
Click Here to support Frontpagemag.com.