WWW Opinion Times

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bill Clinton Aims at UN Secretary General Post

Well, I guess we could see this coming. Whenever this kind of story comes out about Bill Clinton, it is usually by design. And the means by which the word is coming out fits the Clinton "trial balloon" method as well.

"WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has set his sights on becoming U.N. secretary-general. A Clinton insider and a senior U.N. source have told United Press International the 56-year-old former president would like to be named leader of the world body when Kofi Annan's term ends early in 2006.

'He definitely wants to do it,' the Clinton insider said this week.

A Clinton candidacy is likely to receive overwhelming support from U.N. member states, particularly the Third World. Diplomats in Washington say Clinton would galvanize the United Nations and give an enormous boost to its prestige. But the former president's hopes hang on a crucial question that will not be addressed until after the presidential elections: can he get the support of the U.S. government -- a prerequisite for nomination?

The political wisdom is that a second George W. Bush presidency would cut him off at the pass. The notion of Clinton looming large in the international arena from 'the glass tower' in New York would be intolerable to the Bush White House. If Democratic candidate, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wins on Nov. 2 the prospect of Clinton as secretary-general won't exactly be welcome either, but Kerry would find it much harder -- if not impossible -- to go against it."

Bill Clinton turned a blind eye on Iraq (except for some "spare" cruise missles) and Rwanda during his presidency precisely because of his deference to the United Nations. Kosovo and Bosnia were disasters because he handed them over to UN workers (including the one who ordered the murder of Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994).

These are tell-tale signs of a work-in-progress by Clinton. He apparently is talking to UN officials about it as well. We'll keep our eyes out for further confirmation.

Here's the link to the story.


Confessions of a Political Junkie comments on this as at best a Clinton ruse to stir up political waves for Kerry and at worst an internet hoax. He has some good analysis in his article. I take this a bit more seriously. Whereas it is unlikely that Clinton can obtain the post due to his former position as President of the United States and the precedent of the UN to be lead by people of less prominent countries, the UN is also about to go through its worst crisis period yet. The Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal has yet to fully break out. And the emerging scandal surrounding the administration of the U.N.D.P. operations in Rwanda are likely to throw the organization into a shambles. There will likely be great pressure to reform an organization which is falling apart. That cannot be easily done without major support from the United States. And with a Congress determined to let it fall of its own weight, someone with Clinton's stature may be the only hope for keeping the UN alive since a French or German representative is unlikely to be allowed with the US being its major benefactor.

I think most people don't understand what is about to break out here. I think the UN is in major trouble and that more scandals will be breaking loose in the months to come.


I like Wes Roth's Comment.
From around the blogosphere: Bill Clinton is aiming for the UN Secretary-General position and the Opinion Times offers his, um, opinion