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“Power Harnessed to Legitimacy”


Below you’ll find links to 100 percent of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s statements, in his official capacity as the UNSG, pertaining to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq for the 13-day period from the launching of the invasion on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 (U.S. dateline), through March 31, 2003.

There were five in all:

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES HOPE THAT SECURITY COUNCIL UNITY CAN BE REBUILT AROUND TASK OF RELIEVING IRAQI SUFFERING (SG/SM/8643-SC/7698, March 19, 2003)

MY THOUGHTS TODAY ARE WITH THE IRAQI PEOPLE’ SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, PLEDGING UN ASSISTANCE, SUPPORT AS THEY FACE ‘YET ANOTHER ORDEAL” (SG/SM/8644, March 20, 2003)

SECRETARY-GENERAL, CONDOLEEZZA RICE DISCUSS HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ (SG/SM/8649-IK/335, March 25, 2003)

SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES UN MEMBER COUNTRIES TO RESPOND ‘SWIFTLY AND GENEROUSLY’ TO APPEAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AID TO IRAQI PEOPLE (SG/SM/8650-SC/7706-IK/336, March 26, 2003)

DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR ‘SWIFT AND GENEROUS’ RESPONSE TO APPEAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AID FOR IRAQI PEOPLE (DSG/SM/191-IHA/771-IK/338, March 28, 2003)

See for yourselves: The Secretary-General retained official silence with respect to the crime then being committed before his eyes, and the world’s—the crime of aggression. The American crime against the peace.

In his statement of March 20, 2003, for example, Annan used phrases such as “war has come to Iraq” and “let us not dwell on the divisions of the past.”

Quite appropriate for a Secretary-General who wants anything but to name the agent then bringing war to Iraq.

But Annan wasted not a single sentence strongly condemning the act of aggression—the “supreme international crime,” according to the principles spelled out at Nuremberg, warmly embraced by the Chief Prosecutor and American Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, “differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Finally, note the use of the phrase in the same March 20 statement: “power harnessed to legitimacy.” As in the Secretary-General’s assertion that “[The peoples of the world] have made clear that, in confronting uncertainty and danger, they want to see power harnessed to legitimacy.”

A truly frightening phrase, this one. If you think about it.

So: The American-led aggression over Iraq would have given the peoples of the world what they are looking for, legitimacy in the form of the UN Security Council’s imprimatur, had the Americans—and the British—Lord Butler, let’s not forget the British Labour Party’s contribution to this all—succeeded in gaining the Security Council’s blessings?

Too delicious for words. And too dangerous.

Advice on how best to get away with murder.

And from such eminence.

The man is a tool.

How America Gets Away With Murder: Illegal Wars, Collateral Damage and Crimes Against Humanity, by Michael Mandel (Pluto Press, 2004)

How America Gets Away With Murder, by Michael Mandel” (book review), Edward S. Herman, Z Magazine, July/August, 2004

“How America Gets Away With Murder” I, ZNet Blogs, August 25

“How America Gets Away With Murder” II, ZNet Blogs, September 1

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