Robert Baker comes from a Midwestern farm family. He love books and enjoys the pursuit of knowledge. He likes to make his family laugh. Bob embraces what Russell Kirk called the "permanent things."
"I value my faith above riches and my word is my bond. Of course I am a technophile. If it hums, glows, or blinks I want it, especially if it computes."
Just My Take,
by Robert Baker
April 1, 2003
DATELINE: APRIL 1, 2003; UNITED NATIONS HQ, NEW YORK CITY
BANNER: SECRETARY GENERAL OF UN TO CHANGE NAME
Today in a surprising press conference the Sec-Gen of the UN has announced his intention to change his name effective immediately. In a week when Middle East war news has dominated the political landscape the Sec-Gen formerly known as Kofi Annan has dropped his own bomb. Speaking from his office hard by the East River the hastily called press conference was the latest maneuver by the UN in response to the Azores Alliance's Sunday announcement of its intention to cut the UN out of the diplomatic herd.
The Sec-Gen made a brief statement before taking questions from the press. His statement appears in full below. Sec-Gen delivered his comments in French instead of English.
(Translation by Hudson Language Institute, Poetown,Ohio.)
S-G: Before taking your questions I would like to make a brief statement. The member states of the United Nations have been disturbed by developments in recent days. We, as an institution devoted to diplomacy and peaceful resolution, have been stung by the criticism directed at us by some of our members, particularly the U.S. in whose great country we meet. I have taken the criticism to heart and have called this press conference to announce my intention to change my name. No longer should you refer to me as Kofi Annan. My new name is Koffee Anywan. It is my hope that by changing my name to a more caring service-oriented name that the world will also make the connection that the UN is also a caring service-oriented organization. I have time for a few questions.
R: Sir, could you spell that for us?
S-G: Yes. K O F F E E A N Y W A N.
R: Mr. Secretary, how did you choose that name?
S-G: I wanted the name to have symbolic power. When you say my name it is almost like you are asking to be helpful. Try it.
R: Koffee Anywan?
S-G: Why yes. With sugar and cream. Ha Ha. See what I mean? But seriously, we at the UN want you see the UN, particularly you Americans, as your UN. We are standing side by side with you.
R: Sir, why are you speaking French?
S-G: Please, from now on call me Koffee. French is the international language of diplomacy. We want to stress that we continue to support France even after they got us in this mess.
R: How do you respond to the statement by the Azores Alliance earlier this week?
S-G: The US now has the support of three countries to exercise their big stick policy. At last count I had over 150 countries on my side, er.. on the UN side. We here prefer the carrot instead of the stick. You might say we prefer coffee.. instead of bullys, bullets, and bombs. Ha Ha.
R: Koffee, why did you choose that name?
S-G: Several reasons actually. First I wanted a name that would be on everyone's lips. We wanted Americans to think of us as an integral part of their social fabric. You know, mom, apple pie, Chevrolet, and the UN. By the way, Chevrolet is French you know. Second every morning the UN will be on everyone's lips. Every junior executive will be reminded every time he sends his secretary to get coffee. Get it. Get coffee. Ha Ha. Finally, I won't have to replace the monograms on all my shirts. My friends will still be able to call me KA KA.
R: Koffee, what is your view of the conduct of the Iraq war?
S-G: Substantial differences remain between the US and your UN. However we look forward to the opportunity to debate the issues with the Azores Alliance. The Security Council is now in the early stages of drafting a resolution to censor the Azores Alliance for ignoring the opportunity to obtain UN cooperation. We will of course invite the new Iraqi regime to join us at the table of nations. Last question.
R: Sir, RBN news. Why did the UN continue to tolerate the madman of Baghdad for all these years?
S-G: Please, call me Koffee. The UN is the parent of the world. We prefer to discipline a wayward child in nonviolent ways. First we ground them. If that doesn't get the desired behavior we make them go to their room without dinner. If these extreme measures do not correct the problem we consider escalating our response to loss of allowance. If the US had not short-circuited the process we were on the verge of raising our voice. Thank you.
R: But sir, Hussein is a monster. How could you ignore him?
S-G: (walking away) You say monster. I say monsieur. It is like coffee. Some like sugar some like cream. The UN is not about judging people. It's not about flying first class, bypassing customs and no traffic tickets. The UN is not about changing the world. It's about keeping it the same. When will you Americans learn?
© 2003 Tocqevillian Magazine