It’s George H.W. Bush, a k a 41. No one would make a better U.N. ambassador for Bush 43 than Bush 41.
Friedman's second choice is “42” -- Bill Clinton (who is apparently available since this opportunity didn’t pan out).
Friedman recommends Bush 41 since he “has a conservative pedigree [Bush 43] can trust . . . can readily build coalitions . . . knows the U.N. building and bureaucracy inside out . . . can work well with the State Department . . . [and] has the respect of America’s friends and foes alike.”
Friedman’s columns are always half serious, half cute. To understand how completely unserious this one is, one need only read Fouad Ajami’s fascinating article on
In 1990-91, in the context of a radically different international order, the world averted its gaze as
Syria destroyed the last vestiges of Lebanon's independence. That was the price willingly paid by President George H.W. Bush for enlisting Damascus in the first campaign against Saddam.
Those were good wages garnered by the Syrians.
Syria did little for the coalition but was accepted as the gendarmerie of a volatile Lebanese polity. Then the outside world forgot about Lebanon. . .
But more than a decade later,
U.S. power positioned itself in Iraq, directly on Syria's eastern border. . . [N]o one in Damascus could be certain that the U.S. drive to finish off Arab dictators would come to a halt in Iraq.
And there were
Washington's "neocons" -- a veritable obsession of the Arab intellectual and political class, in Damascus and beyond. Who knew what they had in mind? . . .
Gone, too, made obsolete by the rise of George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was the tortured U.S. diplomacy, that fabled "peace process," that had courted Damascus and catered to its sense of importance as a big player in the Fertile Crescent. . .
[F]ifteen years earlier, George H.W. Bush and Hafiz al-Assad had struck a deal that liquidated
Lebanon's independence; now their sons were bringing that deal to an end. . . .
Bush 43 is virtually the exact opposite of Bush 41 -- not just with respect to specific issues such as Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Arafat, but also with respect to the whole “vision” thing in foreign policy (and, on the domestic side, with respect to taxes).
Bush 41 is thus the last person a serious Bush 43 would send to the U.N. (it would be cute though). The last thing the
What the U.N. needs is what Bush 43 has recently done with respect to the infamous U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). Here is how Scott Johnson describes UNCHR in the current issue of the Weekly Standard:
The UNCHR is a cesspool of anti-Semitism -- of which
Israel is, of course, the primary focus. Anne Bayefsky's April 2004 National Review column provides a good summary of the UNCHR's business last year: "Business as usual."
Business as usual at the 60th session of the UNCHR included the adoption of five resolutions condemning
Israel and the carving of three hours out of the UNCHR schedule to mourn the death of Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin.
The current members of the UNCHR include
Boschwitz was born in
Berlin in 1930. When Hitler was made chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Boschwitz's father immediately declared that the family would leave the country. They emigrated from Germany and made their way to the United States two-and-a-half years later. Relatives who stayed behind perished in the Holocaust. . .
Boschwitz has been an ardent advocate of Jewish causes and of
America's alliance with Israel before, during, and since his tenure in the Senate. In 1991 President George H.W. Bush sent Boschwitz as the American emissary to Ethiopia in a mission which resulted in Operation Solomon, the rescue and dramatic airlift of the small black Jewish community in Ethiopia to Israel.
It is a nomination that makes a statement -- the same kind of statement that George W. Bush made about John Bolton at his press conference yesterday:
John Bolton is a blunt guy. Sometimes people say I'm a little too blunt. . . It seemed like to me it made sense to put somebody who's capable, smart, served our country for 20 years, been confirmed by the United States Senate four times and who isn't afraid to speak his mind in the post of the ambassador to the U.N.
See, the U.N. needs reform. If you're interested in reforming the U.N. like I'm interested in reforming the U.N., it makes sense to put somebody who's skilled and who's not afraid to speak his mind at the United Nations. . .
And I think it makes sense to have somebody representing the
United States who will -- who will be straightforward about the issues.
In 1975, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 3379, which branded "Zionism" as a form of "racism."
For an overwhelming majority of Americans, this resolution represented such a fundamental repudiation of the U.N.'s basic principles that
U.S. withdrawal became a viable alternative to being subject to endless, repetitive unthinking abuse.
Indeed, it took 16 years until, after much effort, the Bush administration in 1991 was able to obtain repeal of the repulsive language of Resolution 3379 in 1991.
In recent years, the “endless, repetitive unthinking abuse” of both the