My french may be a bit rusty, but I can’t help but think that the outrage in this Martin Peretz post is a bit misplaced. At issue is a Ban Ki-moon interview in Le Monde in which Mr Ban says (roughly) that the United Nations should be more responsive to the needs of its member states.

Any casual UN observer knows that this is a wholly uncontroversial statement. It is perhaps the equivalent of a new football coach saying he looks forward to working with his players.As a platform for promoting international peace and security, the United Nations is obviously more effective when member states are actively engaged. And it also goes without saying that Ban couldn’t get anything done without the support of the member states. Still, this innocous statement sets Peretz off on a rambling UN-bashing tirade. Apparently, Peretz – who owns the bi-weekly New Republic – has already decided not to like Ban Ki-moon.

For the record, Mr. Ban does not take office until New Year’s day.

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