Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, October 22, 2004

Inspector Annan at Rick's

As Inspector Annan leads the raid into Rick's Cafe Internationale, delegates scramble as his investigators sweep up documents from the tables. Inspector Annan, not-too-inconspicuoulsy pocketing a few papers that might incriminate his son, approaches Rick: "I am shocked, shocked, to see self-interest going on here!"

What's Volker going to say and when's he going to say it? The early briefing yesterday was tantalizing in its timing. Why would the UN direct a partial report just two weeks before the election, since the report undermines Kerry's determination that a broader coalition could have been built under his leadership (leadership that's been lacking in the management of his campaign)? The Volker briefing showed, just as the Duelfer report did, that missing coalition partners Russia and France were major oil-for-food players. Voelker said the two nations were tied to oil-for-food to the tune of $27 billion.

On the heels of Iraqi criticism earlier this week that the U.N. has failed to support democratic elections, Annan's response seems shell-shocked: "If governments were to sell their votes because some of their companies ... were to do business with Iraq or elsewhere, I think it would be a very sad state for the Security Council and for the world. I do not believe it." Believe it, Kofi.