April 14, 2005


Healthy Former US President Takes on UN Envoy Role (Peter Heinlein, 13 April 2005, VOA News)

Former President Bill Clinton has pledged to devote whatever time and energy it takes to do his job as special United Nations envoy to countries hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami. Mr. Clinton declared himself in good health as he came to U.N. headquarters to take up his new assignment.

The former president showed no signs of his recent illness as he bantered with reporters about his new role as Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy for tsunami-affected countries.

Mr. Clinton said he plans to spend a significant amount of time on the job, including a trip to the region in the next few weeks. "My health is restored, my doctors specifically said … that I'm now free to engage in any activity that I feel strong enough to undertake, but that I should expect it to take two to four to five weeks before my entire stamina has returned, so I'm gonna spend whatever time it takes," he said.

He'll be an ideal Secretary-General.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 14, 2005 8:00 PM

Thinking of Joe Kennedy and the SEC?

Posted by: Rick T. at April 14, 2005 8:12 PM

Ideal as in archtypal?

Posted by: David Cohen at April 14, 2005 8:38 PM

No, ideal as in he'd do a good job and he'd serve our interests.

Posted by: oj at April 14, 2005 8:41 PM

its not like he could do a worse job than koffi. its interesting to work the pieces of the puzzle with clinton/bush relationship, the u.n. in a bind, etc. i think gwb is trying to fill that inside straight :)

Posted by: cjm at April 14, 2005 9:04 PM

How would anyone know if any UN Secy-General was doing a 'good' job?

Short of arresting Mladic and Karadzic, or ordering the blue helmets to shoot-to-kill, of course.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 14, 2005 9:43 PM

Given all the crap that goes on around the various U.N. agencies, I think Hillary would shoot Bill if he was offered and accepted the Secretaty General's role any time before 2009. That would leave the former president either to clean up Kofi's mess, angering those who would see Bill as now being a puppet of the Bush Administration in pushing American hegimony over the world, or he could try to maintain the corrupt status quo while brining the Clinton spin/slime machine in to convince people everything is going great.

The latter would probably work with the big media in the short-term -- at least until the next child sex scandal rolls around -- but having to spin for both the U.N.'s actions and for Hillary's presidential ambitions during an election year might make the vaunted machine feel like one of those ultimate oomputers Kirk and Spock were always causing to logically self-distruct on the old Star Trek episodes.

Posted by: John at April 14, 2005 9:49 PM

He'd be a competent Sec General, which would be a major upgrade.

Back in 2000, a friend who actually in Clinton's admin as a low level appointee told me he expected Clinton to go after the UN job and Hilary to run for President.

I shuddered because I did not think either Clinton took the national interest to heart and thought they felt they transcended American identity.

Now find myself agreeing with OJ that we could do worse. Clinton was undisciplined and unserious about important issues, but compared to the 2000 version of Gore and Hanoi John, he's tolerable and Hilary has distinguished herself from almost every other national dem by not demagouging every setback in Iraq and in the war on terror. Smart politics, but these people probably learned something from being 'in the arena' and dealing with world leaders. I now think Clinton actually has a patriotic bone in his body, even if he did not in 1992. Kerry I'm not so sure of.

BTW, my friend supported Bush in 2004 for the same reasons I did. We both agree that the next president will have little choice but to continue Bush's foreign policy strategy regardless of party.

Posted by: JAB at April 14, 2005 9:53 PM

Bill Clinton is the archetype of what was said about Estes Kefauver,'He'd be a Chinese Communist if it would get him elected.'

As Secretary General of the UN, he would happily be an impediment to anything any American President would want to do. This would ingratiate him with the Third World and the Euros and as Secretary General that would be his constituency. The notion that if a principle came up to Clinton and bit him on the derriere that he could run home and tell the Hildebeest what bit him strains credulity. And once he were Secretary General, the MSM would give him all manner of air time.

The UN needs to be obliterated and the land used for a stadium for the Jets or for condos or for a toxic waste dump, all of which would be of infinitely more value than its current use.

Posted by: bart at April 14, 2005 10:28 PM


He'd have supported the war.

Posted by: oj at April 14, 2005 10:40 PM

As Secretary General, there is no way that Clinton would have supported the war. The Euros would have told him not to, sent over a few call girls, a case of Chateau Margaux, and his support for Chirac's position would have been secured.

Mladic and Karadzic were doing the Lord's work.

Posted by: bart at April 14, 2005 10:51 PM

I understand, but as you have written about the State Dept., the S-G is going to serve his clients, and that means the Europeans and the petty thugs. Not the US. It would have been very interesting with Bill Clinton as S-G during the run-up to the war. His own words (about Saddam and regime change) would have hung around his neck, but he would have probably twisted away somehow. But, if he ever did get the job, he wouldn't be able to suck up to the French or any of the butchers - that legacy thing, you know.

Bart: Regarding the Serbs - an easy, cheap, and very revealing thing to say.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 14, 2005 11:14 PM

Good cop/bad cop routine with Bolton?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 14, 2005 11:32 PM

First, there's no way an American, even the first foreign president, will be elected Secretary-General.

Second, the only good to come out of it would be to prove that Americans can be as corrupt as third-worlders, given the same chances. Saying to Bill Clinton, "Here's a cookie jar. Please don't open it," has always been a sucker's bet.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 14, 2005 11:40 PM

Considering his background with Arkansas politics and how much of that attitude permeated his administration, the question is whether he'd use his superpowers (of how corruption works) for good or evil. It might a good thing for the UN to have a guy at the top who knows how all the scams work, from intimate personal experience, if his goal is to clean the place up.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 14, 2005 11:59 PM

This book contract scam beats the heck out of land deals.

Posted by: oj at April 15, 2005 12:33 AM


You can either live in the real world or in Cloud-Cuckoo-Land. I choose to live in the real world.

The Clash of Civilizations is ongoing, even if you want to wimp out.

Posted by: at April 15, 2005 9:57 PM


When Orwell wrote that people sleep soundly in their beds at night because rough men stood by ready to do violence on their behalf, he wasn't talking about Radko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 15, 2005 11:03 PM

Clash? It's a walkover.

Posted by: oj at April 15, 2005 11:54 PM

Hey Bart - are you now defending death camps?

Posted by: ratbert at April 16, 2005 12:08 AM


Rounding up and killing Muslim terrorists and those who support them is not a 'death camp.'


If you don't understand that everything the Serbs did was a completely understandable reaction to centuries of Muslim oppression, up to and including enslavement, as well as revenge for Muslim collaboration with the Nazis, then you really should read a few decent books on the region before commenting. It is a tribal war, not altogether very different from the Tutsi and Hutu, and one side of that war is getting aid and arms from Muslim terror states like Saudi Arabia and is the home of thousands of Muslim terrorists. The other side is trying desperately to throw off the yoke of Ottoman oppression followed by Communist oppression and join the West. It is disgraceful that so many Americans have fallen for pro-terrorist propaganda that they would rightly reject were it about Judea and Samaria or Ulster. Much of that is caused by the pro-Tito propaganda in the West for about 6 decades. Much is also the result of Croatian Catholic propaganda and agitation in the West as well. America, Canada and Germany have significant Croatian populations and virtually no Serbs, so it is no surprise the Serbs get short shrift.

Posted by: bart at April 16, 2005 9:40 AM

One of the many problems here, Bart, is that by "those who support them" you seem to mean every Muslim in the world, and George HW Bush.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 16, 2005 12:06 PM

What happened in Srebernica was not a hoe-down.

And if you think the Serbs have been persecuted since WWII (or WWI, or God knows when), think again. In the three-way struggle between the Croats, the Serbs, and the Muslims, it wasn't the Serbs on the bottom rail. Not since probably 1500.

Posted by: ratbert at April 16, 2005 5:14 PM

Tito was a Croat and he saw keeping Serbs down as essential to keeping Yugoslavia together.

ratbert, Serbia was ruled by the Turks until the late 19th century.


Do I really have to make another list of all the places in the world where Muslims are butchering non-Muslims? You really should try living in the real world instead of the ivory tower some time.

Posted by: at April 17, 2005 9:23 AM


No, just do a body count. How many Christians they killed this millenium and how many Muslims have we Christians and Jews killed?

Posted by: oj at April 17, 2005 9:29 AM

Americans killed by Islamic fundamentalists is, what, less than 6000, giving them the benefits of a couple of doubts. Muslims killed by Americans is, well no one really knows, but at least 100,000 and maybe 200,000. I don't think we have to the ones who are nervous about the clash of civilizations.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 17, 2005 10:53 PM