James Traub is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has written extensively about international relations, and has been covering the U.N. for over a decade. He is the author of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the U.N. in the Era of American World Power. His most recent book is The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Promote Democracy (Just Not The Way George Bush Did).

Hedi Annabi, the U.N. special representative killed in the earthquake, may not have been known to the public, but his mission stabilized a lawless Haiti—and his peacekeepers are leading the effort to save Haitians trapped in the rubble today.