Kofi Annan, the Razor Artist (with an Aside About Building Schools in Iraq):
Oh, sure, there's different ways to cut people. You can go with the thunderously obtuse machete or chainsaw, hacking off limbs and appendages. It makes a statement. Or you can go with the knife, stabbing or slashing, leaving the person bloody and punctured. But the real artists, the ones who want the slicing to hurt, but want to be subtle, even delicate in their work, are the people who use razors to open wounds. A good razor artist can cut you and you don't know what happened until you're looking at your viscera poking out of the slit in your gut.

At his final press conference on Tuesday, outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan wielded a razor and went to town on the Bush administration. First, when asked about his worst moments as SG, he said, "I think the worst moment, of course, was the Iraq war, which, as an organization, we couldn’t stop. I really did everything I can to try to see if we can stop it." And then came the arm slash. When he was asked about what's needed to help Afghanistan, Annan answered, "I think the question you posed is an important one, and it’s not only relevant to Afghanistan. It’s relevant in other theatres. Reconstruction can only take place where there is a reasonably secure environment. Where there is serious fighting, it is extremely difficult to proceed with reconstruction." Annan's saying who gives a fuck about schools being built if you can get blown up or cut in two by bullets walking to the brand new school.

(An aside here: Laura Bush mentioned the whole "schools are being built" as good news in Iraq again last week on her MSNBC tear against the media. Seriously, how many fuckin' schools do they need over there? 'Cause we've been told about all the goddamn splendiferous new schools for over three years now. Bush mentioned it in 2003 in his speech to the U.N. The raped corpse of Colin Powell talked about it in an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox "news" in March 2004. Powell, like a good prison punk, talked about those schools again in a talk at Georgetown University in October 2004. The vile visage of Donald Rumsfeld spat it out in December 2005 speech at Johns Hopkins. It's been a talking point for every right-wing spoogebag that regularly takes the administration's chowder. Don't they have enough fuckin' schools there? What's the school to student ratio? Is that all that we do? We blow up someone's house, wiping out their kids, and then we build a school? Do we name it after the dead kids? Fuck, saying that school-building is good news in Iraq is like saying that it's cool that a fraternity gang raped that drunk co-ed because the frat guys hosted a blood drive.)

And on the issue of the uses of the Security Council, Annan said, "I hope that, when, next time, one is dealing with a broader threat to the international community, one will wait and seek the approval of the Security Council. As I have said, a country has the right to defend itself; but, when it’s an issue of broader threat to the international community, it’s only the Security Council that has that legitimacy to authorize action on that basis."

Goddamn, what an unpragmatic dreamer that Annan was.