Saturday, January 15, 2005

Bush 41: An American Secretary General.

"Negotiation is an admission of finite power"

The Page Sixxies make a strong point when they say, today, of the possibility of Bill Clinton as Secretary General (and, further, a BC married to a possible President Hillary) scenario -- "Americans wouldn't like the idea that the U.N. would be calling the shots in the Oval Office."

Granted; The Corsair knows that he, for one, wouldn't want that chronically corrupt island of misfit toys determining the trajectory American foreign policy *The Corsair shudders*, with or without The Horny Governor at the helm. That very idea is out of Dali (French Hunting horns blast). Though, unfortunately, some mind-diseased liberals will make that argument even now, with a Republican President and both houses of Congress (Hounds loosed into the red-bronze sunset). But what about if we changed the diplomatic equation to suit American interests? And, in working on behalf of American interests -- the spread of democracy around the globe -- we would be encompassing the calculus of the neoconservative's grand objective, while, employing less abrasive means, thus thawing the icy Alpine relationship between much of the world's diplomatic corps and America.

What if a United States Secretary General were not to mean the U.N. would call the shots in Washington as Page Six suggests, but, rather, that an American Secretary General would mean that The Oval Office called the shots in Turtle Bay. As it is, the UN is a eunuch created by us at the end of World War 2.

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Of course, in October The Corsair supported Clinton, arguing:

"The Corsair has said in the past that we would prefer former Ambassador and President George Bush Senior as Secretary General, but Clinton is beloved in the Third World, despite his lack of credentials in comparison to Bush Pere. The only problem -- aside from the fact that a second Bush Administration would never appoint him --is that it is Asia's turn. In fact, Kofi Annan's second term should have gone to an Asian diplomat. Of course, some diplomacy and charm could save the day. Fuzzy Wuzzy Kofi's primary diplomatic duty nowadays, it seems, is to be "appalled, or, better, "concerned," about the state of their world. We feel your pain, Kofi!

With President Bush (43) in office and a hard right Republican Congress -- trigger fingers itching at the mention of "a Clinton anything" -- there is no way in the foreseeable future that Bill Clinton will get the nod, no matter how much he wants it, and he does. Let's suspend all discussion of Clinton as Secretary General for the moment.

So, how about George Bush Senior? Why not? '41' certainly has a great deal of political mileage left in him. Bush, more than Clinton, quite frankly, is qualified for the job, as a former Ambassador to China (1974-5), and, more nobly, the UN itself (1971-2), he has lots of friends among the diplo set at Turtle Bay and abroad, as my father, Louis Mwangaguhunga, Uganda's Ambassador to the United States (1975) and the United Nations (1976), has more than hinted after.

Having also served in the House of Representatives, as Vice President, also, as President and -- most important here -- as the current father of the President, as an informal advisor from time to time, there is no man alive better able, The Corsair believes, to lead the UN in the interests of the Unites States (note: International lawyers from the US and Britain wrote the UN charter consonant with Western democratic principles, principles that have been brushed aside as tyrannies have wielded the levers of power at the UN, levers that were never meant for their handling: why don't we, just a thought -- the last standing superpower and the UN's means of support -- just snatch those levers we've authored back under our authority? Why must we humiliate the UN when, with a little bit of diplomatic finesse, own it?)

Alas, Donald Rumsfeld does not understand Joseph Nye's concept, "soft power," as this article from a UN publication suggests:

"Nye's ideas about soft power have been steadily gaining currency among world leaders since he coined the phrase in the late 1980s. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired General Wesley Clark have cited it, as have the British foreign minister, the former archbishop of Canterbury, and political leaders, editorial writers, and academics around the world. Also notable are those leaders who are not familiar with Nye's theory. Nye recalls a 2003 conference in Washington at which he spoke in the morning about soft power, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke in the evening. An audience member asked Rumsfeld for his opinion on soft power. Rumsfeld replied, 'I don't know what it means.'"

So telling -- Rummy, the physical embodiment of war, via his curriculum vitae, is blind to soft power. But Bush 41 is not. President Bush would arouse some loud but minor suspicion (41 is 43s father), but we -- the US -- through our dues, pay the bills at the UN; in addition, mirabile dictu, the UN is on US soil, and -- the secret weapon argument -- the Unites States have NEVER (hard to imagine, really) had a US Secretary General (Averted Gaze), further exacerbating US-UN tensions, especially in the heartland, and, quite frankly, after the UN by and large sat on the sidelines during the Second Persian Gulf War, the Annan Oil for Food bullshit continues being investigated, the Rwandan Massacre was met with deafening silence, and the fragile, hasty Darfur's peace after genocide brokered by a lame duck Secretary of State, the Sex-for-Food-Scandal (need The Corsair continue?!), the UN had better fucking be ready to see it our way, or let the neoconservatives teach then a lesson.

Persuading Asia to skip their turn is doable (The Corsair lights up a Macanudo Robust Baron de Rothschild, savors the aroma); George Bush 41 would have the President's ear, his trust, the trust of a Republican Congress, and, 41 would make the UN and, ancillary to that, international institutions and laws relevant. And that, as Martha Stewart used to say, is a good thing.

Reason #7,532 why we love Page Six: How many Page Six posts have inspired conversation in the blogosphere?


Anonymous said...

A clarification: It wasn't "a UN publication" that mentioned Rumsfeld's lack of familiarity with Nye's concept of soft power. It was a "UU" publication: UU World, the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Philocrites -

Ron said...

--and a very important clarification at that. Thank you, Ron