More than ever before, the Wall Street Journal appears as a weapon at the service of neo-cons to put pressure on Kofi Annan so that the latter fully assumes their plan to “renovate” the UN, of which he still rejects some details. Week after week, editorialist Claudia Rosett oozes personal accusations in her columns against the Secretary General of the Organization and his son. Whenever Mr. Annan ventures to make use of his right to reply in the daily columns, Mrs. Rosett finds in it a new argument for the U.S. to stop financing the UN: the Secretary General’s defense would be written by his communication team, partly paid by the U.S. contribution to the organization.
However, Kofi Annan’s efforts to take on his functions while justifying himself are growing pathetic. In each speech, the General Secretary makes new concessions gradually accepting the claims of the neo-cons hounding him. Annan masks his retreat by recalling that the UN must also take care of the struggle against poverty and some other ideals that have become heartless. The basic principles have gone to the loss and profit account. Mr. Annan has accepted that the states are neither equal nor sovereign anymore, that the General Assembly should be stripped of its main powers, and that the Human Rights Commission should be taken up by “experts”.
In this context, there are some who can’t put up with the ill-meant arguments handled by the neo-cons. For example, journalist Alain Gresh stresses in the Gulf News that the corruption case connected with the Oil for Foods program hides even worse scandals, beginning with that of the embargo itself.
Whatever the consequences, in the face of this pseudo modernization that is being announced, each and everyone in the international community is trying to withdraw in time. So, ambassador Henrik Schmiegelow calls the readers of Asahi Shimbun to support the entrance of his country and those of theirs in the Security Council, even though they will have no right of veto, because that’s better than nothing.

In the French press, Gaullists are still facing each other. On one side are the national independence supporters and on the other side the atlantists. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin rests on the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty (of which he was, however, an official advocate) to pretend he is lending a hand to Tony Blair by suggesting the reduction of the political Union to five states: Germany, Great Britain (in his taste he’d rather use this name than the too imperialist one of the United Kingdom), Spain, Italy and France. This is all in Le Monde without any questioning made about the usual rhetoric of the “common values” and avoiding to mention the divergence of interests.
In Le Figaro, atlantist representative Pierre Lellouche deplored the scandalous divorce of Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair, and tried to reconcile this improbable couple emphasizing that France and the UK are carrying out significant industrial projects and cannot break up without causing each other’s weakness. Even worse, he insisted, France would be the most affected since its currency - the Euro - would become too disturbed while the English pound would endure it. Nevertheless, this argument has not been tested by time, and underlines, in contrast, that London is better anchored in the Commonwealth than it is in Europe.