CHESTER HAS MOVED!: KOFI SKIES WHILE ASIA DROWNS

Monday, January 03, 2005

KOFI SKIES WHILE ASIA DROWNS

[Until these stories get further coverage in the mainstream press, the US/Coalition relief operations in SE Asia will be the main focus of The Adventures of Chester. There will be a handful of other topics as well though.] While the press criticized President Bush for not speaking about the tsunami for two days while finished his vacation, scant attention has been paid to the fact that Kofi Annan spent the next four days after the tsunami continuing his ski-trip in Jackson Hole, hobnobbing with the likes of James Wolfenson, head of the World Bank. From the Telegraph:
UN officials went to great lengths to conceal the whereabouts of Kofi Annan, the organisation's general secretary, who was on holiday when the tsunami struck and did not surface in New York until Thursday. In fact, it was revealled that, Mr Annan spent Christmas at the holiday home of James Wolfensohn, the president of the World Bank and a critic of the Bush administration, who owns a 160-acre ranch in the resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Only a handful of Mr Annan's most trusted advisers were allowed to know his location. One official said: "He did not want to be seen frolicking in the snow. It wouldn't look good." So anxious were UN staff that his first interview, which was with the CNN cable news channel almost three days after the tsunami struck, was conducted by telephone, via the UN's headquarters, and producers of the show were not told where Mr Annan was speaking from.
Newsmax also reported on this story, though the article has been pulled from their page:
"I think a lot of people are asking exactly why you waited three days on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before you decided to fly back to New York in the face of this extraordinary crisis," Hunt asked during a Thursday press conference in New York. "Could you give us a full explanation of your thinking on that?" Hunt continued. "Secondly, what kind of signal does that 72-hour delay send to the nations to which you are now appealing for greater help?" Obviously irked by the inquiry, Annan replied: "First of all, there was action. It wasn't inaction. We live in a world where you can operate from wherever you are. ... You don't have to be physically here to be dealing with the leaders and the governments I have been dealing with. You don't have to be physically here to be discussing with some of the agencies; that we have done." The angry secretary-general then barked: "I don't have to be sitting in my office to take action. I think the same goes for you in your profession."
Two thoughts: Wow! the Secretary-General sure does believe in leading from the front. What a prince! i will use this on my boss soon. "I can do my job just fine from the slopes thanks! No need for me to come in to the office." What a moron. First Oil-for-Kojo and now this. It just keeps on coming.
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