THE SLIPPERY EEL SHOWS HIS SLIDE. During his career as South Korea�s foreign minister, Ban Ki-moon earned a reputation among the Korean press corps for masterfully evading hard-hitting questions. For this, he gained the nickname �slippery eel,� which I�m told is more affectionate than critical.
During Ban�s speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies yesterday, those present saw precisely how he earned that diminutive.
This August, the United Nations Security Council authorized a major force -- more than 22,000 strong -- to deploy to Darfur. Under the Security Council's mandate, the U.N. troops would take over Darfur's defense from the undersized and ill-equipped African Union force, which has been unable to prevent attacks on civilian enclaves. Eventually, the United Nations Mission in Sudan was supposed to oversee a political settlement and establish order.
The Security Council resolution mandated that the transition to the U.N. force begin by October, and conclude no later than December 31. Darfuris, however, will have to place their hopes on hold. As of publication, not one blue helmet has set foot in Darfur. Indeed, the transition to a U.N. force has not even begun.
MORE ON THE KONY MEETING. Last night, Samflagged this Jeffrey Gittlemenpiece about the incredible meeting between Jan Egeland, the world�s top humanitarian official, and Joseph Kony, one of the worlds most wanted war criminals.
GUESS WHO�S BACK? So with President Bush begging for a new spirit of bi-partisanship in Washington, he re-nominates the next-most-divisive administration official after Rumsfeld: the recess-appointed ambassador to the UN John Bolton. One has to wonder what the president is thinking -- or what tricks he has up his sleeve.