Lone on How to Fix It
Salim Lone’s op-ed in the Toronto Globe and Mail gives an experienced UN hand’s view of the unfolding disaster in Iraq. He was communications director in Baghdad for Sergio Vieira de Mello before the bombing last summer.
His point is an interesting one, now that so many Democratic politicians in the US are urging that America turn to the UN to help resolve its Iraqi quagmire. He says that the UN itself has suffered an enormous fall in prestige in the Middle East because it is seen as a mere tool of the US. He is particularly critical of Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi for, he says, bowing to US pressure not to authorize May, 2004, direct elections in Iraq.
It does seem in retrospect that holding those elections would have resolved a lot of problems, and maybe even forestalled the recent blow-up.