Lott Says Annan Appears 'Bent on Appeasement'
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 25) -- Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott criticized U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan Wednesday, saying his remarks about his talks with Saddam Hussein "indicated someone bent on appeasement."
Lott also said it is not too late for the United States to reject the deal Annan negotiated with Iraq on weapons inspections.
Lott said the secretary general said he had tried to develop a human relationship with Hussein.
"The secretary general thinks he can trust the man who has invaded his neighbors, who has used chemical weapons 10 times, who has killed maliciously in his own country, and even tried to assassinate former President George Bush," Lott said. "This is folly. I cannot understand why the Clinton Administration would place trust in someone devoted to building a human relationship with a mass murder."
Lott said published reports indicated Annan had called UNSCOM weapons inspectors "cowboys who had thrown their weight around and behaved irresponsibly."
He also passed along a complaint that some of the more aggressive inspectors had attempted to hunt down Hussein so they could assassinate him, a complaint Lott said that the U.N. Special Commission had rejected as a "paranoid delusion."
"Now, when the secretary-general of the U.N. starts describing the inspectors as cowboys, when, as a matter of fact, I have the impression that it was universally agreed that they had been very professional ... why in the world would the secretary-general use this kind of word?" Lott asked. "And why would he pass along this ridiculous suggestion that they were being used to hunt down Saddam Hussein? These comments are outrageous. They reflect someone bent on appeasement, not someone determined to make the United Nations inspection regime work effectively.
"The secretary-general, I fear, has harmed the credibility of the United Nations by cutting what appears to be a special deal with the most flagrant violator of United Nations resolutions, probably in history," the Mississippi Republican said. "Instead of standing on principle, he sat with the unprincipled and gave him what he wanted.
"The United States has not yet formally announced its support for the deal negotiated by Secretary-General Annan. It is not too late to reject the deal if it leaves Saddam Hussein rejoicing and leaves UNSCOM out in the cold."