STREAMING LIVE TODAY: US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad


zalmay khalilzad twn.jpgI will be hosting a live discussion with US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad at a meeting at the New America Foundation today between 12:15 and 1:45 pm EST.
The session will stream live here at The Washington Note in the box above, and a digital recording will be posted here later for viewing at your own pleasure.
Khalilzad, who succeeded John Bolton and will himself be succeeded by Susan Rice, will talk about his thinking about America’s strategic challenges ahead — and about the United Nations itself. Ambassador Khalilzad previously served as America’s Ambassador to both Afghanistan and Iraq.
One of the documents that I will be using during my conversation with Ambassador Khalilzad is this roster titled “Ten Lessons for Nation Building” that appeared in The National Interest several years ago.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “STREAMING LIVE TODAY: US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad

  1. DCGuy says:

    I have never commented on this blog before, but I have been reading for quite a long time and watching these streaming meetings that Steve Clemons hosts whenever I can.
    I just want to give a standing ovation to Steve Clemons for such a professional, competent meeting with our US Ambassador to the UN. When I saw this, I basically expected a puff job. Steve asked great questions and made it much more interesting than a normal speech. Steve even recognized a guy who asked Khalilzad if he felt like he should apologize to the citizens of the US for participating in the war crime of invading Iraq.
    Khalilzad was on the whole forthright, honest, and very, very interesting. He is such a different character than John Bolton and some other Bush administration officials, and I didn’t see that until Steve Clemons interrogated him.
    In fact, Steve Clemons is a professional inquisitor with a smile. It was so good, and I can’t wait to watch the meeting again.
    I recommend that everyone here see this exchange again.


  2. Sandy says:

    January 14, 2009
    The White House Moron Stumbles to the Finish
    THE HUMILIATION OF AMERICA by Paul Craig Roberts
    “Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering
    bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t
    want her to vote for it,” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush
    on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a
    lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak
    to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took
    the phone call.”
    “Let me see if I understand this,” wrote a friend in response to
    news reports that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert ordered
    President Bush from the podium where he was giving a speech
    to receive Israel’s instructions about how the United States had
    to vote on the UN resolution. “On September 11th, President
    Bush is interrupted while reading a story to school children and
    told the World Trade Center had been hit–and he went on
    reading. Now, Olmert calls about a UN resolution when Bush is
    giving a speech and Bush leaves the stage to take the call.
    There exists no greater example of a master-servant
    Olmert gloated as he told Israelis how he had shamed US
    Secretary of State Condi Rice by preventing the American
    Secretary of State from supporting a resolution that she had
    helped to craft. Olmert proudly related how he had interrupted
    President Bush’s speech in order to give Bush his marching
    orders on the UN vote.
    Israeli politicians have been bragging for decades about the
    control they exercise over the US government. In his final press
    conference, President Bush, deluded to the very end, said that
    the whole world respects America. IN FACT, WHEN THE WORLD
    Responding to mounting reports from the Red Cross and human
    rights organizations of Israel’s massive war crimes in Gaza, the
    United Nations Human Rights Council voted 33-1 on January 12
    to condemn Israel for grave offenses against human rights.
    On January 13, the London Times reported that Israelis have
    gathered on a hillside overlooking Gaza to enjoy the slaughter
    of Palestinians in what the Times calls “the ultimate spectator
    It is AMERICAN SUPPLIED F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gunships,
    missiles, and bombs that are destroying the civilian
    infrastructure of Gaza and murdering the Palestinians who have
    been packed into the tiny strip of land.
    What is happening to the Palestinians herded into the Gaza
    Ghetto is happening because of American money and weapons.
    It is just as much an attack by the United States as an attack by
    Yet in his farewell press conference on January 12, Bush said
    that the world respects America for its compassion.
    The compassion of bombing a UN school for girls?
    The compassion of herding 100 Palestinians into one house and
    then shelling it?
    The compassion of bombing hospitals and mosques?
    The compassion of depriving 1.5 million Palestinians of food,
    medicine, and energy?
    The compassion of violently overthrowing the democratically
    elected Hamas government?
    The compassion of blowing up the infrastructure of one of the
    poorest and most deprived people on earth?
    The compassion of abstaining from a Security Council vote
    condemning these actions?
    And this is a repeat of what the Israelis and Americans did to
    Lebanon in 2006, what the Americans did to Iraqis for six years
    and are continuing to do to Afghans after seven years. And still
    hope to do to the Iranians and Syrians.
    In 2002 I designated George W. Bush “the White House Moron.”
    If there ever was any doubt about this designation, Bush’s final
    press conference dispelled it.
    Bush talked about connecting the dots, but Bush has failed to
    connect any dots for eight solid years.
    “Our” president was a puppet for a cabal led by Dick Cheney
    and a handful of Jewish neoconservatives, who took control of
    the Pentagon, the State Department, the National Security
    Council, the CIA, and “Homeland Security.”
    From these power positions, the neocon cabal used lies and
    deception to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, pointless wars that
    “These obviously very difficult economic times,” Bush said in his
    press conference, “started before my presidency.”
    Bush has plenty of liberal company in failing to connect a $3
    trillion dollar war with hard times. The Center on Budget and
    Policy Priorities blames Bush’s tax cut, not the wars, for “the
    fiscal deterioration.”
    Bush told the White House Press Corps, a useless collection of
    non-journalists, that the two mistakes of his invasion of Iraq
    were: (1) Putting up the “mission accomplished” banner on the
    aircraft carrier, which, he said, “sent the wrong message,” and
    (2) the absence of the alleged weapons of mass destruction that
    he used to justify the invasion.
    Although Bush now admits that there were not any such
    weapons in Iraq, Bush said that the invasion was still the right
    thing to do.
    The deaths of 1.25 million Iraqis, the displacement of 4 million
    Iraqis, and the destruction of a country’s infrastructure and
    economy are merely the collateral damage associated with
    “bringing freedom and democracy” to the Middle East.
    Unless George W. Bush is the best actor in human history, he
    truly believes what he told the White House Press Corps.


  3. ... says:

    OT – too busy to post today, but noticed a bin laden tape has shown up with comments on jihad towards israel.. like a hollywood script it is right on time.. this is like throwing red meat out to the ‘tony forestas’ of the world who froth at this kind of stuff.. it reminds me of the end of the show in the wizard of oz when you eventually find out who the guy is behind the curtain and all the big smoke machines…


  4. Deborah Alexander says:

    Steve, you’re right. AMB Khalilzad was diplomatic but honest, fresh, informative. He’s often viewed as more operator than statesman but your questions brought to light his significant contribution to and understanding of statecraft – and his support and departures from the current administration.
    One question: for those interested in watching the conversation, when will it be available and where?


  5. Steve Clemons says:

    I think that Khalilzad was quite good and honest during this conversation John. All best, Steve


  6. JohnH says:

    You should demand that he answer THE QUESTION: “What were Bush’s goals for Iraq and Afghanistan?” Followup question, after he avoids answering the first: “What role do control of oil and natural gas play in the Bush’s policies toward Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan?”
    I don’t expect the interview to be worthwhile in any sense, because Khalilzad will most likely continue to perpetrate the falsehoods that got us where we are. Any hint of America’s true ambitions is poor form.
    Having said that, there is a slim chance that he might do an Olmert and actually say something that’s true. After all, he is wrapping up a distinguished career and probably has a book to write.


  7. Lurker says:

    This event, like so many others you do really amazes me.
    First question — when do you sleep?
    Second — Will John Bolton be watching?


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