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Bill O'Reilly Says Bush Wants Kofi Annan Ousted

Reported by Marie Therese - December 5, 2004

If I hear one more story bashing Kofi Annan and the U.N. Oil for Food Program I think I'm going to be sick. After months of Kofi-bashing, I'm beginning to think the right wing needs a collective lay-down on a psychiatrist's couch! There's something seriously wrong with their mental processes! To listen to the likes of John Gibson, Bill O'Reilly and every other FOX News host, one would think the U. N. Secretary-General was Lucifer incarnate, come to lay waste to humanity.

Yet again on The O'Reilly Factor that aired December 3, 2004, Bill O'Reilly launched into impassioned denunciations of Mr. Annan, while interviewing Tim Wirth, former Senator from Colorado and current President of the U. N. Foundation & Better World Fund. On a personal level Mr. Wirth was thoughtful, well-spoken, clearly well-versed in the art of civil discourse. Little good it did him. O'Reilly ran over him like a bulldozer.

Wirth defended Secretary-General Annan by saying that "the Secretary-General has been one of the two or three most successful and most effective Secretary Generals. He's got very, very broad support around the world, as you can see from the support that's come now from our best allies around the world, from Argentina to Mexico to Spain to the UK, saying the Secretary-General ought to stay there." Wirth then noted that all of this angst seemed like a tempest in a teapot, since the report of the U. N.'s own investigation - headed up by former Fed Chair Paul Volcker - is due out in January.

When Wirth said "We should withhold our judgments on this and given him the benefit of the doubt" that was Mr. O's turn to retort that he was not willing to give him that benefit because Annan allowed the massacre in Rwanda to happen on his watch, implying that 800,000 Rwandans are dead because of Kofi Annan. Wirth attempted to defend Annan, but O'Reilly was on a roll and segued from Rwanda to Mr. Annan's recent statement that the invasion of Fallujah was a "mistake."

O'Reilly ranted "Now that we've been in there and we know that was where ALL the torture was taking place, ALL of the bombings, they were making the car bombs there. Don't you hold Annan responsible? If we hadn't gone in there, that would still be goin' on." Wirth said "I wouldn't hold Annan responsible for the car bombs....He was speaking for a lot on constituencies around the world and for the best judgment of the political affairs department of the U.N..." Wirth went on to say that everyone makes bad judgment calls, in essence agreeing with O'Reilly's premise that criticizing the Fallujah operation was a mistake on Annan's part.

Until this point, Wirth and O'Reilly were on a par. Wirth had held his own and defended the Secretary-General quite effectively. But, when he AGREED with O'Reilly and admitted that Annan had made mistake, the power shifted to O'Reilly, because the King of Scream was now at liberty to raise his voice and say: "How many bad judgments are ya' gonna give this guy!!! ... Give me one! ... Let's be fair. I think the guy's incompetent - I'm not gonna say corrupt - but I'm gonna say incompetent. Gimme his best thing in the last two years!"

Wirth obliged citing Annan's "organizing the international AIDS effort...getting the world to focus on global poverty through the millennium development goal ... [and] his high level panel on U. N. reform." With the next comment Wirth regained some of his advantage. Reforming the U.N., he noted, "is not dissimilar from trying to change the Committee structure of the Congress ... that's a very, very hard thing to do."

O'Reilly backed off slightly, allowing that "as a humanitarian with AIDS and all that, alright, I'll give ya' that," but he went on to say "I don't think he's what they call in the Godfather a wartime consigliere. And we are in a war of terror here and he's sittin' over there on his hands." He then abruptly changed the topic, asking "Do you think this is a right-wing jihad to remove [Annan]?"

Wirth responded diplomatically, but clearly indicated that there is "a lot of unhappiness with the Secretary-General and the U. N. following the election. I think there was the perception by many which I think is untrue - that the U.N. got involved in the election or was trying to support Senator Kerry and I think that there are those who are doing it [a jihad]. But I don't think - Norm Coleman's not that kind of a guy."

O'Reilly: "No, he's not...There's a lot of Americans who want [Annan] out, a lot of very powerful people."

WIRTH: But you saw the Secretary of State come out ... with a good, strong statement of support. The President's kind of withheld his fire on this in any way, shape or form."

O'Reilly: "...Trust me. Bush, Bush wants him out!"

WIRTH: "I'm not sure that's true."

O'Reilly: "I've talked to any number of people in and out of the Security Council ...

O'Reilly then justified his statements about Bush by citing Donald Rumsfeld's silence when he, O'Reilly, asked him if the U.N. was a "corrupt, ineffective organization."

O'Reilly: "Rumsfeld believes it's corrupt ... Believe me, the Bush people don't like him. The last word on Kofi is ..."

Wirth reiterated that Annan should stay put and that Volcker and Coleman should work in parallel on the Oil for Food investigation.

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