Friday, February 04, 2005

Bill Clinton as Tsunami Reconstruction Czar for UN?

An outfit calling itself "Move America Forward" sends me its email newsletters. MAF is dedicated to getting the UN out of the US, and to getting US out of the UN, and now to getting on the case of Bill Clinto who aspires to be the UN's collector of Tsunami funds, its seems. Since MAF's ads regarding the UN are being broadcast on TV in target locations in the United States, I thawt publishing their latest newsletter (they ask for dissemination) and interspersing some of my own questions and remarks within its text, might be useful. - Owlb

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MAF: In one of the most disturbing news developments of recent times, we learned yesterday that Kofi Annan will appoint impeached former President, Bill Clinton, to oversee tsunami reconstruction efforts.

Owlb: Was it really "one of the most disturbing news developments of recent times? Hardly. And the mentioned impeachment did not lead to a guilty verdict. Anybody can be accused, and Clinton was not the first American President to be brawt to the bar of the Senate.

MAF: You can read more about Annan's selection of Clinton by reading this report from CNN:


It's important to note that this is part of a larger effort by President Clinton, who according to his friends wants to be the
General Secretary for the United Nations.

Owlb: Well, that's just like him, now isn't it. I wouldn't vote to elect him were I a UN representative from some country or other. But what would be accomplished by his selection for that post by the UN member States? Surely, doing so would alienate a lot of Americans of MAF's ilk (but not all Republicans or conservatives or others, by any means). Indeed, such a vote to select Bill by UN repesentatives of its member States could backfire, so that public opinion would swell to support US withdrawal from the institution, if we Americans overall were so unwise. And perhaps that's what MAF is positioning itself to accomplish by going after Clinton now, slowly stoking a fire that is intended eventually to set Americans totally against making any beneficial use of the UN. We're not all fools, you know, about demogogic methods and manoeuvers.

MAF: Read for yourself the UPI Wire report:


And as part of that effort, last year Clinton's non-profit, the Clinton Foundation, formed a partnership with the UN:


A major disappointment is that Clinton even has the support of Bill O'Reilly to serve as UN General Secretary:


Owlb: I haven't read any of these referenced news articles yet, and I've never heard Bill O'Reilly on radio or TV or wherever he shines forth in all his reputed glory. He's just one example, in any case, of having some deeper thawts on the matter of C;Clinton and the UN than does MAF. But I have heard and read a lot of self-righteous fools go after Clinton's sexual impropriety with Monica Lewinski, and his lying about it thereafter, and his going all cry-baby and foregiveness-seeking of the public (but what about Monica?), and then writing it all up as tho she were the only really guilty party and he was simply manipulated. Balderdash! But still, the sin is not the impeachment, and the impeachment did not find him guilty. Impeachment is not sin. And the UN Secretary Generalship is not the office of President of the USA. So, the current indictment by MAF boils down to smearing Bill's past sex sins in his face, MAF doing so in public for its own gain. Is MAF in a moral position to do so? Nobody has done a spectroscopy of MAF personnel's moral history, or of the moral histories of all MAF's donors. Does MAF inspect its donors' sex lives? Get off it!

MAF: Can you imagine, Hillary Clinton making a run for President of the United States and Bill Clinton wanting to run the UN.

Owlb: Yes.

MAF: It's enough to boggle the mind.

Owlb: No it;s not. It's all rather mundane and unsurprising. This is not a major issue in itself, unless MAF and comrades whip it up with an ill-advised ad campaign of the sort they are now revealing to us in their initial attempts at financing. Yes, TV images and script plying the further skewering of Clinton and the total dismantling of the UN, in one well-monied effort, would have a heavy-duty symbolic value for rabble-rousers to seize upon. Conceivably MAF could get sufficient funds to campaign against the UN. But interestingly in the pitch-letter, there isn't too much word-space devoted to an alternative alliance of democratic nations, outside the UN. That latter idea was proposed by Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Lindsay. Daalder is the renown foreign policy expert who launched the concept of "the Bush Revolution" in America's world-freedom vision - America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy (2003). But in the book, Daalder and his co-author did not advocate the termination of the UN, nor ejecting its office from its Manhatten headquarters for re-location in Paris, say? Rather, Daalder maintained that the UN has valuable functions as a forum for all the world's States, and at least potentially still has some Commisions for humanitarian and related purposes that in the past has done good and in the future should continue to do good, if only as worldwide coordinator of all States in world-important projects. With a restricted UN and a separate strong alliance limited to authentically democratic States only, there's no reason why Bill shouldn't become Secretary General. It seems MAF's political logic is askew unless you factor in the unstated presuppostion of revenge upon Bill and totalizing presumptions that a bad UN should be punished instead of reformed and restricted and, even, perhaps removed. But the removal project, were it actually to come to that, would very probably backfire in driving the UN into the clutches of Paris and French foreign policy. Were I Chirac, I know I'd welcome the chance to snap up the UN and use its presence in Paris as leverage for greater French power thru-out the world, to the detriment of American interests and those of many other States, including numerous European countries. As to Headquarters for a removed UN, think of other options as well - Hong Kong? Rome? Singapore? Rio de Janeiro?

MAF: And it's another reason to get the UN out of the US.

Owlb: No, it's not. It's very poorly thawt-thru, and betrays a base motive of revenge and punishment, which is not good politics. Just ask Machiavelli.

MAF: We can't imagine Clinton being willing to work in Sudan or Somalia where there are few of the temptations that he likes - (hey we were talking about Big Mac's!)

Owlb: Snide malice. But Big Bill might quite enjoy Paris where there are plenty of Big Macs.

MAP: We're stepping up our television and radio ad campaign beginning February 17th. We're raising the money to fund an aggressive ad campaign

Owlb: Good for you!

MSF: - and we plan to explain why Bill Clinton's service in the UN is bad for America.

Owlb: I take back my "Good for you!," because you've loaded unnecessary venom on top of the initial statement that I applauded and don't object to in and of itself. It must be iterated that your inability to see past Bill's past faults is not only annoying for its moralistic self-righteousness, but is also unwise in regard to truly serving America's interests and those of many millioins of people around the globe. Why not keep Bill's possible Secretary Generaliship out of your TV ad campaign? You seem intent on stirring up unjudicious prejudices and not evaluating possibilities in America's worldwide interests.

MAF: Please support us:


Owlb: Sorry, but I've changed my attitude toward the ads, not because of the "get out" line, which can be rhetorically useful in this initial stage, while not actually seeking that ultimate result as such.

MAF: We may not share many values with the corrupt UN officials

Owlb: Not all UN officials are corrupt; you shouldn't overgeneralize on moral concerns. It becomes immoral itself to do so.

MSF: and their "Bash America" agenda, but don't they have even the slightest bit of shame?

Owlb: Doesn't MAF?

MAF: Forget the oil for food scam.

Owlb: No. The Clinton matter is settled, but the UN's Oil-for-Food scandal is not.

MAF: Forget the misappropriation of billions of dollars in other humanitarian aid that has been siphoned off by dictators, despots and corrupt UN officials.

Owlb: No.

MAF: Forget Whitewater, Travelgate and all other Clinton scandals.

Owlb: I've already forgotten them. To me, the Clinton presidency is past history along with his personal fault; and being past history, I don't see any reason to deny him a future in public service, albeit not necessarily as an American official. The UN is something else and it awt to be restricted and reformed, but maintained to do certain jobs that can't be done in an alliance of only authetically-democratic States.

MAF: Doesn't the idea of putting a man with a legacy of sexual misconduct in charge of an organization facing sex scandals by UN officials around the globe insult even the UN's sense of decency? Apparently it doesn't.

Owlb: Just think of the sexual misconduct revelations among Republicans and other conservatives in the last few years. By the time Kofi Annan's term is over, the UN's sex scandals at Headquarters and in Africa, for instance, should be cleared up, remedies established, and the guilty punished in appropriate ways. After that, there's such a thing as a turnabout, a forgiveness, and a second chance. In any case, the General Secretary doesn't have to be the highest adjudicator of such particular kinds of problems within the UN. Clinton wouldn't have to have any authority in any such matters.

MAF: Friends, we've tried to make it very clear why we thought the first most important step to make was to boot the UN from the US.

Owlb: I thawt this would be a good rhetorical strategy to get the project of restricting and reforming the UN on the world's agenda, and thereby enhance the chance to develop another kind of organization of authentic democratic States committed to advancing democratic freedoms with a plurality of institutions and political patterns to permit all in each country to have a place in the political system in order to give voice to the different outlooks among the citizenry.

MAF: And now it should become even more apparent why this must happen.

Owlb: Now it is should be more clear why your project should go forward. Rather, you've shown the opposite. You're piggy-backing the punitive vengeful hostility that warps your own outlook, probably in order to piggy-bank the dollars and dimes of folks who can still build up a head of steam against Clinton in any context. But these people are diminishing in number, and President Bush doesn't take this attitude toward former President Bill Cllinton. MAF seems consumed by animosity.

MAF: Can you imagine Bill Clinton agreeing to serve as UN General Secretary if it meant he had to work from his office in Tehran or the Sudan or North Korea? Of course he wouldn't.

Owlb: Try the great city of Paris or Athens or Amsterdam!

MAF: But that won't matter, because ultimately what we need to see is a new organization to replace the UN comprised only of the world's freedom-loving democracies.

Owlb: Sad to see you're mixing the intelligent proposal of expert Ivo Daalder and colleagues into MAF's garbage agenda. And you miss the nicety of the plan that restricts and reforms and preserves the new version of the UN, where all the countries of the world are represented, even the dictorial ones - because it's in the interests of everyone to have such a forum.

You can get this vital book on "the Bush revolution in American foreign policy" from

MAF: We can never hope to see the realization of such an entity unless we first get the UN out of the US and halt America's funding of the UN.

Owlb: It's simply untrue that MAF's full package is necessary in order to build the new entity of democratic States only. And indeed MAF's package is more unlikely if we "first get the UN out of the US and halt America's funding of the UN." Notice how MAF has late in its long fund-raising letter sudenly menioned "halt America's funding of the UN" (I do think the funding question is important, but it should be much more nuanced and useful at the discretion of the President and/or the Cobngress on certain kinds of occasions where the US and its allies among the authentic democracies need leverage. MAF's leadership has no standing as foreign-policy experts or instiution-managers or anything else necessary to actually realize any goals except making Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton feel bad, smeared by unnecessary reprisals for their past personal faults.

MAF: Our main thrust has been to rally the public to express their outrage to their elected officials concerning the UN's Anti-American agenda.

Owlb: Good, that needs doing. Some in the UN leadership do have an anti-American agenda. But again MAF overgeneralizes in order to get backing for its agenda, which is perhaps no more reliable than those MAF takes to task so potvaliantly.

MAF: Americans know in their heart that the UN is a failed organization that doesn't serve our interests.

Owlb: In many respects, but in others it does and can continue to do even better once restricted and reformed and renewed for limited purposes. Not only Americans, but all the world's people have a stake in this.

MAF: But, they don't know there is something they can do about it. That's why your help is so critical.

Owlb: Of course Americans know they can do something about the UN's problems by sane incremental leadership such as President Bush gives, but what precisely can not be decided by whipping up outrage at random to serve a dubious project of MAF which isn't focused but lashes out moralistically and self-defeatingly, while raising money that will pay the salaries of MAF's staff. Is it the hidden purpose of MAF's agenda to undermine the President's international political program?

MAF: To mobilize Americans, we need to reach Americans via television and radio ads. We need to reach $642,500 to fund our ad campaign. And we have a long way to go to reach our goal.

Please support us with a $50, $100 or $200 contribution:

You can always mail a check or money order to us:

Owlb: Sorry, but you've made yourself unbelievable due to your preoccupation with revenge, malice, punishment, lack of poliitical and diplomatic expertise, misrepresentation of American interests, and piggy-backing issues to piggy-bank dollars of dubious destination.

Move America Forward
P.O. Box 1497
Sacramento, CA 95812

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