Kofi Annan gives Bush-slap in farewell

In his farewell speech as Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan delivered a series of "lessons" which could be read as rebukes to the Bush/Cheney doctrine. Given at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, Annan's speech invokes Truman throughout, while conspicuously using Bush's name exactly zero times. The lessons:


First, we are all responsible for each other's security.
Second, we can and must give everyone the chance to benefit from global prosperity.
Third, both security and prosperity depend on human rights and the rule of law.
Fourth, states must be accountable to each other, and to a broad range of non-state actors, in their international conduct.
My fifth and final lesson derives inescapably from those other four. We can only do all these things by working together through a multilateral system, and by making the best possible use of the unique instrument bequeathed to us by Harry Truman and his contemporaries, namely the United Nations.
Again and again, Annan's words were obvious, if not explicit, digs at the Bush/Cheney Administration:
In short, human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity. As Truman said, "We must, once and for all, prove by our acts conclusively that Right Has Might." That's why this country has historically been in the vanguard of the global human rights movement. But that lead can only be maintained if America remains true to its principles, including in the struggle against terrorism. When it appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.
And states need to play by the rules towards each other, as well as towards their own citizens. That can sometimes be inconvenient, but ultimately what matters is not convenience. It is doing the right thing. No state can make its own actions legitimate in the eyes of others. When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose -- for broadly shared aims -- in accordance with broadly accepted norms.
Read the whole speech HERE.
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