Kofi's Parting Shot

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Outgoing UN secretary general Kofi Annan made his swansong in the U.S. yesterday, throwing Harry Truman at George Bush.

From Truman's presidential library in Independence, Missouri, the UN leader said straight up that the world is in a sorry state, and that the UN needed American support.

"As President Truman said," quoted Annan, "The responsibility of the great states is to serve and not dominate the peoples of the world." He believed security must be collective and indivisible, said Annan.

Harry Truman presided over the birth of the UN. George W. Bush has deeply challenged it, some say abandoned it, on Kofi Annan's watch.

This hour On Point: the U.S., the UN, and Kofi Annan's last appeal.


James Traub, contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, author of "The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power"

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst, senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly

Lee Feinstein, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations.

This program aired on December 12, 2006.


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