Is Ban Ki Moon the world's most dangerous Korean?
At least Jacob Heilbrunn of Foreign Policy magazine thinks so. According to him…
Even in this unimpressive company, though, Ban Ki-moon appears to have set the standard for failure. It’s not that Ban has committed any particularly egregious mistakes in his 2½ years on the job. But at a time when global leadership is urgently needed, when climate change and international terrorism and the biggest financial crisis in 60 years might seem to require some—any!—response, the former South Korean foreign minister has instead been trotting the globe collecting honorary degrees, issuing utterly forgettable statements, and generally frittering away any influence he might command. He has become a kind of accidental tourist, a dilettante on the international stage.
As secretary-general, Ban’s soporific effect has never left him. One U.N. watcher told me that Ban is like the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no one around to witness its crash—if you don’t hear him, does he really exist? Aside from his role as a subsidiary of South Korea, Inc.—lining his office walls with Samsung televisions and hiring his South Korean buddies as senior advisors—his imprint has been negligible. Even Ban seems aware of what a nonentity he is: Last August, speaking to senior U.N. officials in Turin, he described his management style as elevating teamwork over intellectual attainment. But he went on to bemoan his difficulty overcoming bureaucratic inertia, ending with a gnomic admission of general defeat: “I tried to lead by example. Nobody followed.”
Read the full rant here. Also Read Vijay Nambiar’s defence of Ban ki Moon in page 3 and of Mark Leon Goldberg’s defence in page 4.