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Breaking: President Bush to name Zalmay Khalilzad as US Ambassador to UN

This comes from ABC News, which has the initial report. Update: Here's ABC News' report:

ABC News has learned that President Bush will nominate Zalmay Khalilzad to be the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Khalilzad is currently the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The announcement may come as soon as tomorrow. Khalilzad's departure from Baghdad will happen as soon as he is confirmed as U.N. ambassador.


Ryan Crocker, currently the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, will be nominated to replace Khalilzad in Baghdad. Khalilzad has been U.S. ambassador to Iraq since June 2005. He is the highest ranking Muslim in the U.S. government and one of the few officials at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad fluent in Arabic.

Back on December 9th, Robert Novak reported that President Bush was considering Khalilzad for the UN post.

I just found this report out of Korea that says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has selected may select Khalilzad as Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, one of the most important jobs in the UN:

Zalmay Khalilzad, who is currently the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, is being tipped for a top U.N. appointment by the new Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.


An Afghan and Muslim by birth, Khalilzad is being considered for the post of Undersecretary General for Political Affairs, one of the most powerful jobs in the U.N., that usually goes to a British diplomat, according to reliable sources in Washington and New York.

Both the U.S. and Britain are currently competing for the post. So far many of Ban's appointments have been from the Third World. To give the Americans their slot in the top rungs of the U.N. ladder by appointing a U.S. citizen born in the Third World would be an extraordinary move.

Mark Kilmer at RedState wrote of a possible turning point with the UN when SecGen Ban Ki-Moon defended Iraq's execution of Saddam. If this report that Ban Ki-Moon may select Khalilzad for Undersecretary General of Political Affairs is correct, a positive turning point for the UN could be underway.

Update: Ambassador Khalilzad is an advocate for American Global Leadership as outlined in the Project for the New American Century's Statement of Principles:

We seem to have forgotten the essential elements of the Reagan Administration's success: a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national leadership that accepts the United States' global responsibilities.


Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests. The history of the 20th century should have taught us that it is important to shape circumstances before crises emerge, and to meet threats before they become dire. The history of this century should have taught us to embrace the cause of American leadership.

Our aim is to remind Americans of these lessons and to draw their consequences for today. Here are four consequences:

  • we need to increase defense spending significantly if we are to carry out our global responsibilities today and modernize our armed forces for the future;
  • we need to strengthen our ties to democratic allies and to challenge regimes hostile to our interests and values;
  • we need to promote the cause of political and economic freedom abroad;
  • we need to accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.

Such a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity may not be fashionable today. But it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.

It sounds like he will be a great advocate for America's interests at the UN.


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Comments (22)

Oh My God, a muslim as our ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Oh My God, a muslim as our head diplomat at the UN!!

We better get VA Rep. Goode on this. The next thing that we know, Khalilzad will pass a UN resolution turning over the US government to OBL!!

The decision to put a Musli... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The decision to put a Muslim into this UN position comes at a good time, on the same day that America thumbs our collective noses at the asshattery of Rep Virgil Goode.

Too bad this is also going to piss off more of Bush's base.

Too bad this is also goi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Too bad this is also going to piss off more of Bush's base.

The anti-muslims among them maybe, but the neo-cons not so much. Khalilzad is a founding member of the PNAC.

I don't many Bush people wh... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

I don't many Bush people who are anti-Muslim, but almost all are ANTI-ISLAMOFASCIST. There is a huge difference.

I'm not anti-Muslim - I'm a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'm not anti-Muslim - I'm anti-"Islam demands I kill you because you don't believe like I do and you won't convert. Care to tilt your head back so I can cut your throat?".

I realize this is unacceptable to some. Too bad.

I'm wondering why Bush woul... (Below threshold)

I'm wondering why Bush would care at this point if he pisses off his base. He's not running for re-election. Besides, he's been doing that his entire second term. Why stop now?

It's amazing. A conservitav... (Below threshold)
plainslow:

It's amazing. A conservitave blog, and no one is upset that a Muslim may have power in the UN. Yeah, conservatives are racist alright.

Looks like he would be a gr... (Below threshold)

Looks like he would be a great choice, as long as he actively pursues the principles laid out on paper from PNAC.

plainslow,It is only... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

plainslow,
It is only the first two trolls that are making a point of his religion. Telling.

Maybe he can do with the UN... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Maybe he can do with the UN what he did with Iraq? That will make the righties happy.

It sounds like he will b... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

It sounds like he will be a great advocate for America's interests at the UN.

Not quite. He'll be a great advocate for the bankrupt ideology of neoconservatism that he helped to found.

At least Bush won't be leaving the Iraq ambassadorship vacant for 6 months like he did the last time.

If Khalilzad will properly ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

If Khalilzad will properly represent U.S. interests at the UN, then this is political genius. The Democrats cannot possibly refuse to confirm him -- if they do, then they have just announced to the world that the U.S. will have no ambassador to the UN for the next two years. Which will consitute a tacit admission that they really don't think the UN is nearly as important as they usually make it out to be.

Ahh, he's a Project for the... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Ahh, he's a Project for the New American Century "plant". That explains everything.

For a moment there I thought Bush was growing a brain. Now we see that the brains behind Bush are still pulling the strings on America's future.

Funny, I don't remember the ballot giving us the choice of allowing unseen, unknown neo-cons running our country.

"It is only the first two trolls that are making a point of his religion. Telling."

I think the fact that he's a Muslim is great. I'm sure there will be conservatives, like the nutcake Rep Goode (R) Va., who disagree. Looks like they won't have much support around here if they do.

Zalmay, This iraq war shit ... (Below threshold)
jesus of suburbia:

Zalmay, This iraq war shit was all your idea and your not going anywhere. love always, George W. Bush

P.S. now get over to the U.... (Below threshold)
jesus of suburbia:

P.S. now get over to the U.N. and make yourself useful for a change! -George

I really don't care what hi... (Below threshold)

I really don't care what his religion is; it sounds like he wants America to do well. Which means there's probably very little chance of him being confirmed by the Democrats.

Amidst all the rational Rig... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

Amidst all the rational Right approvals (and the tiresome leftist snark), it wouldn't be a bad idea to tip the hat in the direction of Ambassador John Bolton. Without his effort at the UN over the past year, in the face of near overwhelming opposition, the appointment of Ambassador Khalilzad to the post of Undersecretary for Political Affairs would not have been remotely possible.

Bat One, that's a swing and... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Bat One, that's a swing and a miss. Strike one.

You failed to say how Bolton made this possible.

You're not suggesting that because (a) Bolton is wonderful (in your mind at least) then (b) someone who isn't Bolton gets promoted into a position of responsibility???

a does not equal b...

but the good news is the count is only 0-1. Take another swing at it. Why does Bolton deserve a tip of the hat?

Bolton deserves a three che... (Below threshold)
epador:

Bolton deserves a three cheers and a hip hoorah, not a leetle hat tip.

I'm not sure he has anything to do with the current thread, but I certainlee see nothing to say one way or the other.

Lee,Your answer ca... (Below threshold)
Bat One:
He's a founder of the PNAC,... (Below threshold)
Robert:

He's a founder of the PNAC, and its's not like they've had a big hand in running this country into the ground for the past 6 years.

As far as you know.

I agree with lee and barney... (Below threshold)
moseby:

I agree with lee and barney google. If appointing a muslim to the un will eventually lead to it being shutdown and buldozed into the East River, I am all for it.




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