In a speech enunciating the principles for which he has worked tirelessly, respect for human rights, and the rule of law, Kofi Annan bid farewell to the UN from Harry Truman’s presidential library in Independence Missouri. In his words, quoted in The Guardian:
“More than ever today Americans, like the rest of humanity, need a functioning global system through which the world’s peoples can face global challenges together,” he said. “And in order to function, the system still cries out for far-sighted American leadership in the Truman tradition.”
. . .
“As President Truman said, the responsibility of the great states is to serve, and not dominate, the peoples of the world,” Mr Annan said.
President Bush may be imagining himself as Harry Truman, and although Annan did not mention Bush, he made it abundantly clear that Bush has acted against the principles that have made the United States a symbol of freedom and justice. History will be far more harsh with Bush than it has been with Truman.
“When power, especially military force, is used, the world will consider it legitimate only when convinced that it is being used for the right purpose, for broadly shared aims, in accordance with broadly accepted norms.”
. . .
“When it [the US] appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused.”
And I would add that a majority of its friends and citizens here in the US are troubled and confused.