Asha-Rose Migro is not a deputy secretary general. She is the deputy secretary general in the grammatically similar way that Dick Cheney is the Vice President. She deserves a definite article. The United Nations, in turn, deserves fair treatment from a Washington Post editorial board looking for a scapegoat in Zimbabwe.

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, boldly predicted that some action will be taken, despite the predictable resistance of China and South Africa. “If there is no response,” he asked, “what does that say about the council?” Answer: It would say that the United Nations is no more prepared than the African Union is to protect a suffering nation from a criminal government.

I don’t think it would say so at all. Rather, it would say that the country which sponsored the resolution did not make shepherding it through the Security Council enough of a diplomatic priority in its relations with other council members. Blaming the UN when a specific Security Council resolution fails to pass is just a convenient way to excuse countries from their own diplomatic failings.

(Tat tip, reader KP)

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