Can Kofi Annan Broker Mideast Peace?

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With so much bad news in the world, it's always a pleasure to report good news. And now comes the good news that Kofi Annan may help negotiate the release of the Israeli soldiers, whose snatching by Hezbollah in July sparked the war in Lebanon.

Now I really don't want to be a crab. I'm an optimist by nature. But I can't help wondering what Hezbollah and its paymasters in Syria and Iran get in return.

Maybe it's just Kofi Annan's past that's got me on edge. I can't help remembering that it was Annan who said Saddam Hussein was someone he could do business with. And business is just what Mr. Annan's buddies at the U.N. got from Saddam, in the form of bribes through the Oil-for-Food scandal.

Then on Friday came a BBC headline that forced me to do a double take: "Syria to enforce arms embargo in Lebanon." The BBC went on to report: "U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he won a pledge from Syria to increase border security with Lebanon and take steps to stop the flow of arms."

Was this a joke? Syria, the country that was secretly supplying arms to Hezbollah is now going to enforce an arms embargo against Hezbollah? Was this one of those parody Web sites made to look like the real thing? I double-checked and the story was all too real.

Look, I hope and pray the soldiers are returned and peace breaks out. If that happens, Kofi Annan deserves credit — maybe even the Nobel Peace Prize. But he's been played like a fiddle by so many dictators, that I can't help wondering if once again the world may pay a price for one of Kofi Annan's well-intentioned blunders.

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David Asman is the host of "Forbes on FOX" which airs on the FOX News Channel, Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET.