Those who care about the U.N. and want it to survive might compare the records of President Bush and Mr. Annan. After 9/11, President Bush sought U.N. authorization for the war in Afghanistan and then made a major effort to get the Security Council to act on its own resolutions on Iraq. With Saddam overthrown, U.S. policy has focused on helping Iraq regain its sovereign legitimacy as a member of the U.N. and has gained Security Council resolutions supporting that effort.
Now President Bush has made a commitment to repair multilateral institutions and enable them to act effectively. In contrast, Mr. Annan has continued to declare that only the U.N. can authorize action even as it refuses to act. Under his stewardship, the Oil-for-Food program became the most grandiose scandal in U.N. history. And even as the Security Council sought to shore up U.N. credibility, after the strains of the Iraq war, Mr. Annan declared the war "illegal."
The panel report stresses the U.N.'s central role in collective security, a concept that came to the fore after World War I as a replacement for the "balance of power" concept. But as practiced by the U.N., which does not mention "democracy" in its Charter, and which has posed no obstacle to the presence of rogues and despots in its membership, collective security has been a flop. The U.N. is not dead yet. A final opportunity to save it exists. But perhaps it would be wise to start thinking about a new world organization, one with a membership that is committed to democracy.
After reading this, I can reach only one conclusion: In 2009, George W. Bush for Secretary-General of the UN.