Zalmay Khalilzad to be Next US Ambassador to the United Nations

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khalilzad1.jpg
I do think that this is a good move.
Khalilzad, who has been both Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, may have signed a number of PNAC letters, but he is a realist. The situation has deteriorated around him in Iraq — but he knows how to deal in the region.
And a Muslim reprepesenting us at the United Nations is good — and long overdue given our current Middle East mess.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “Zalmay Khalilzad to be Next US Ambassador to the United Nations

  1. Robert Morrow says:

    Paul Wolfowitz … hey I have not heard any complaints about him lately on these pages. Why? Could it be because Steve and Wolfowitz have a lot more areas of commonality than differences? The only thing I like about Wolfie was the Iraq War and that is about it, no offense to anyone. As far as I can tell, Wolfie could work for Citizens for Global Solutions and he would fit in nicely.

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  2. TonyForesta says:

    Zalmay Khalilzad is a Bush government hack with tentacles way to deep into the fascist cabals klans and oil and energy oligarch of warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government to be trusted with such celebratory position. He is basically Bolton lite, with islamic flavor.
    All democrats, those Americans who can read, and everyone else who is truly concerned about the future of America, or peace on earth and good towards men must reject and renounce this pathetic parrot for the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.

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  3. AlanDownunder says:

    Neocon participation at any stage is profoudly disqualificationary. Unscupulous fantasists make poor public officials.

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  4. Leslie says:

    I don’t understand this administration. On the one hand they’re beholden to the Saudi’s and on the other Israeli (or Trotsky-like) neocons. Lending credence and/or (military) support to such extremely opposing ideologies creates a rather oxymoronic foreign policy does it not? As the US Ambassador, will Khalizad support US interests or focus on the Middle East in defense of Israel? Palestinians? Sunnis? Shiites? I don’t want to sound like an idiot — but what exactly is our agenda and what are we trying to achieve? If it really is all about petroleum and maintaining our only source of energy then we’re wasting our time and “energy” — because we’re killing human beings as well as poisoning our atmosphere by burning petrol products and depleting the earth’s core of fossil fuels, necessary for keeping our planet cool. Why would religious extremism or the economic impact of petroleum products and the oil industry’s collapse concern us without a plant capable of sustaining us? We’re extinct. Sorry for changing the subject and ranting… I just get tired of all these distractions when we really have but one priority; devise and implement solar energy throughout the nation ASAP. I think everything else will fall into place when terrorized Middle Easterners no longer terrorize the world in order to protect natural resources that nobody wants to steal.

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  5. p.lukasiak says:

    People commenting on Khalilzad display a complete lack of knowledge regarding his performance during his stint in Baghdad, which was realist and engaged and a huge improvement on U.S. policy up until his assumption of the role of Ambassador.
    Other than Khalilzad’s press releases, there is really nothing to back up that statement.
    Khalilzad was “effective” insofar as he managed to force through the creation and acceptance of the deeply flawed constitution that most knowledgeable people recognized was a blueprint for disaster in Iraq.
    And he was effective in keepting the first choice of the Shiite alliance (al-Jaafari) from the Prime Minister’s job, and installing the much less competent al-Maliki in that position. (Khalilzad praised al-Maliki for his being an Arab national with “independence of Iran”, and it is clear that the Khalilzad interfered in the selection of al-Jaafari because the Bush regime thought he was too close to Iran).
    In other words, Khalilzad was just another tool in the Bush regime’s idiotic agenda in Iraq — and in fulfilling that role he contributed to the current disasterous state of affairs.
    I’m really not sure where all this praise for Khalilzad’s diplomatic skills originate. His only real diplomatic experience prior to Iraq was 18 months as ambassador to Afghanistan — and during his tenure was frequently accused of heavy=handed interference in Afghan’s internal affairs. Other than that, he’s really just another neo-con hack who got political appointments when there was a Republican president, and worked for right-wing think tanks when the GOP was not in power.
    In sum, Khalilzad is just another neo-con hack — albeit one who was considered a minor figure in the right-wing universe until his status as the highest ranking Muslim in the Bush administration made him a “star”.

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  6. Linda says:

    I agree with most everything said above. A much better choice for Ambassador to the UN would have been former Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa–a liberal Republican with excellent foreign policy credentials who unfortunately lost his seat in the November election after serving in Congress for ten terms. He was Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He was educated at Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and the London School of Economics and was a foreign service officer at the State Department, was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the UN General Assembly. He never signed any PNAC letters and is not a neocon. Indeed he voted against using force in Iraq, against the 2003 tax cuts, is pro-choice, and for stem-cell research. He’s not a Muslim but Episcopalian. He was an almost extinct Republican and lost his seat to a Democrat who is a political science prof at a small college in Iowas and whose stepson is serving in Iraq. I don’t know what the constituents of his district gained by voting him out. I am a lifelong Democrat, but I do vote for Republicans when I think they are the best person for the job.
    Leach was not loyal to this Administration but voted his conscience for the good of the country. This administration has not and will not change course and thus can only move around the same group of loyalists it has. I hope every one of them leaves office so disgraced that they won’t make a comeback in any future Republican administration.

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  7. steambomb says:

    His PNAC past does little to endear him to me, but you folks might ought to actually know the situation before you attack the man and the job he has done. I am no fan of the Bush follies in Iraq but those cannot simply be dumped on Khalilzad.
    I dont give a damn about his stint in Iraq. My concern is… Will he represent the majority of americans at the UN and not simply a small group of special interests.

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  8. mhanna says:

    People commenting on Khalilzad display a complete lack of knowledge regarding his performance during his stint in Baghdad, which was realist and engaged and a huge improvement on U.S. policy up until his assumption of the role of Ambassador. Very often it appeared that he brought up uncomfortable facts that the White Hiuse was not eager to deal with. The situation in Iraq deteriorated due to many other factors that had nothing to do with his performance. He clearly understood the homegrown nature of the Sunni insurgency and from very early on made it his mission to try to broker political compromises that will untlimately be the only possible way forward in Iraq.
    His PNAC past does little to endear him to me, but you folks might ought to actually know the situation before you attack the man and the job he has done. I am no fan of the Bush follies in Iraq but those cannot simply be dumped on Khalilzad.

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  9. Carroll says:

    How will Sunni Arab Khalizad vote when sanctions against Israel’s nuke program are called for by the Arab countries? WTF are these people thinking.
    Posted by tomz at January 5, 2007 09:56 AM
    >>>>>>>>
    He will vote however this adm tells him too…our UN abm doesn’t vote on his own….and since the US has whored itself for AIPAC and the right wing Israeli, I expect it to continue…untill it all comes crashing down.

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  10. JB (not John Bolton) says:

    Thank you, p.lukasiak, for crystallizing in your parentheses something I had not previously been able to express properly.
    Perfect.

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  11. tomz says:

    How will Sunni Arab Khalizad vote when sanctions against Israel’s nuke program are called for by the Arab countries? WTF are these people thinking.

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  12. p.lukasiak says:

    “But I can’t imagine why Steve’s so eager to give K. a pass on his performance in Baghdad. “situation deteriorated around him”?”
    Because Steve is a self-described “radical centrist”…. in other words, despite Khalilzhad’s demonstrated incompetence in Iraq, the fact that he is less of a completely insane wingnut than Bolton means he’s (relatively) more of a “centrist” — and as a “RADICAL centrist” Steve approves of anything that provides progress toward “the center”.
    (of course it also means that Steve is completely without convictions, since to him “the center” is his DC think tank/coctail-weenie social circuit universe wherein power games and their impact on conventional wisdom defines who get to be part of “the center”. Thus, the “Dirty Fucking Hippies” who were right all along about Bush in general and the Iraq fiasco specifically remain “outside the center” while thinly disguised sociopaths and greedheads like Khalizad are embraced by “the center”.)

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  13. billy says:

    I will wait for Robert Morrow to offer his commentary on this UN appointment, and then, and only then, will I make known my position.
    Thank You.

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  14. steambomb says:

    This is a post on this subject that I took from another blogger that posted to Huffington post.
    What a surprise.. Another PNAC’er just like John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, and on and on… More of the same. Empire builders who want to build up the ermy, dominate the world and carry on multiple wars. Sounds real diplomatic to me..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century
    http://www.newamericancentury.org/
    Hmmm.. Khalizad was also an advisor to Unocal and worked on the Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project before he became Ambossador to Afghanistan and then Ambassador to Iraq… What a surprise… Now HE will be the one to represent the US at the UN?? Unbelievable..
    By: need2jointhechoir on January 04, 2007
    If the Bulk of this is true then I have to ask what is Clemons thinking in supporting this guy?

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  15. steambomb says:

    Thank you for your post above Carroll I appreciate your support. What I am trying to get across here is the UN is a bigger place (or once was) than just a place to speak about middle eastern policy. My point is this guy has probly been working one agenda his whole carreer and what does he know about average working class americans and there aspirations and dreams? Get it? It seems like a very narrow minded appointment.

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  16. Carroll says:

    I am not sure why Steve thinks Khalilzad is a good idea..other than that he is Muslim.
    And being Muslim will hold no sway with the UN members, they aren’t unsophisticated fools….especially when it comes to the US and the UN.
    With Khalilzad’s “bizness” backgound and history of errands for the neos it is clear he is more of a “bizness” enforcer, not a dipolmat representing America’s interest…maybe Cheney’s and Bush’s interest but not America’s.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Zalmay_Khalilzad
    The only point I see in his favor is he knows his way around the Muslim world…but depending on how he uses that, it could be a minus not a plus for America. He might get less respect for being a slippery bastardized version of both the US and the Muslim world.
    But at least Bolton is gone. Maybe eventually the US will put something resembling an American at the UN like Chafee.

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  17. Nell says:

    Via Iraqsloggers, there are wire stories that the current ambassador to Pakistan, Ryan Crocker, will be nominated for the Iraq job.
    Of course Khalilzad’s a big improvement over Bolton: he’s an actual diplomat. But I can’t imagine why Steve’s so eager to give K. a pass on his performance in Baghdad. “situation deteriorated around him”?
    The appointment seems only a little less like deck-chair-shuffling than Negroponte’s move.

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  18. Carroll says:

    Um, once ‘the average man’ passes his foreign service exams, he can talk.
    Posted by ahem at January 5, 2007 12:30 AM
    Um…you might want to get an I.Q. check youself before you talk. The majority of “average men” would have had the common sense not to endorse an obviously delusional diplomatic “and” military disaster plan like PNAC.

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  19. ahem says:

    Um, once ‘the average man’ passes his foreign service exams, he can talk.
    Khalizad commands a degree of respect. He’s done jobs where the upside doesn’t come close to making up for the downside. He’s
    The confirmations hearings will be interesting, though, because they’ll probably touch on the problems of consensus-building in both his previous postings.
    Who takes his job in Baghdad, though? I doubt there’s a queue of professional foreign service officers wanting it.

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  20. steambomb says:

    Do ya now? Really? You really think that this is a good move? Clemons I sense a disconnect between you and the average man who wants all of americas interests represented in the UN.

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