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W. nominates Khalilzad ~ common sense or saving face

President George W. Bush has nominated Zalmay Khalilzad to the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Is our President using his often neglected common sense? Is he making a desperate attempt to save face in the final years of his second (and very likely last) term?

According to USA Today, Bush has not only nominated Khalilzad for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, he is also expected to announce a new policy concerning the Iraq war.

Dr. Zalmay M. Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan in 1951 and earned his PhD at the University of Chicago. He is the highest ranking muslim official in the W. Bush administration. He also played a large role informing the current Iraqi government by getting Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds to work together. He has written several pieces of literature concerning the benefits of the United States in a position of world wide leadership. He has also worked in the Pentagon, the Dept. of Defense, as a special assistant to Reagan, and the Dept. of State. When one looks at all the experience he has, one can only assume he would be fitting for the part.

There are a couple of other issues that need to be acknowledged. He originally had viewed the Taliban as a positive counter balance to Iran. He also has connections to Unocal, a Californian oil company. Why are so many of the people in the Bush administration tied to oil by some means? You would think Bush would want to avoid any more criticism in regards to such.

One must also question Bush's motives. He is under strong pressure from our currently Democratic congress. He is also 'out of favor' concerning the Iraq war.

Is it likely that Bush is trying to fix what has become an unfavorable situation?

Could it be that Bush is using Khalilzad's ethnicity as some minor cover from any muslim criticism?

Could this be an attempt to cushion the blow he is expecting to recieve in his new Iraq war policy?

How likely is it that Bush may actually be taking the advice of peers, after a realization that he is not exactly the best P.R. guy, and this is what they thought would be a 'good move' in 'the right direction'?

Then again maybe this is another chapter in the Iraqi oil conspiracy theory.

Posted by Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 7, 2007 10:04 AM
Comment #201872

Bryan, Mickey Mouse would have been a better choice than Bolton. As long as Bush is president, the U.N. will have little respect or accommodation for the U.S. unless the U.S. is offering what the majority of the U.N. or security council can agree on.

That’s the nuts and bolts, plain and simple. As long as the U.S. is willing to foot the bill for U.N. programs, the U.N. will grudgingly work with Bush. But, for the U.S. to achieve leadership and respect in the U.N., Bush must cease to be president, and a person must become president who can command respect, support, and cooperation from a large and significant portion of the nation’s leaders.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 1:15 PM
Comment #201873

As for oil, oil is the world’s new gold standard, until a replacement fuel can be found that is cheaper to produce, distribute, and clean up after. All the nation’s leaders are tied to oil in some fashion or another.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2007 1:17 PM
Comment #201895

While ambasador to Iraq, Khalilzad helped draft the new law that the Iraq parliment will be voting on this week. The new law will open Iraq’s oil fields to exploitation by western oil companies. If passed, the law will give BP, Shell, Exxon,etc. thirty year contracts that will operate through production sharing agreements (PSA,’) which require Iraq to virtually give over sovereignty of their oil to the companies. Also, under the law, the oil companies will get 75% of the profits for the first few years to supposedly recoup drilling costs. Aftwards, the companies will get 20% of the profits, double the average for PSA’s.

Khalilzad, as an oil man, will be a perfect choice for ambasador to the U.N., in the opinion of the administration. He can work within the U.N. to accomplish another major objective of the administration. That objective is to dry up financing for oil and gas production going to Iran in an effort to harm their economy.

Talking Points Memo

Posted by: jlw at January 7, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #201899


So Khalilzad is good for our gas prices and bad for Iraqi and Iranian economies.

That sounds about like every other politician out there.

In the end the only real truth is that only Iraq knows what is best for Iraq.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 7, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #201949


How many people realize that Khalizad is Sunni Muslim? While I actually see this as no problem I just wonder where all of the Republican outcry is. I mean the thought of Keith Ellison using the Quran in a private ceremony caused quite a Republican outcry.

I guess, even though Khalizad will hold the greatest power of any American Muslim, that his adoption of Wolfowitzian ideals precludes anything else. Or is it simply a partisan thing?

I honestly think approval of his appointment should be based on previous success or failure. What goal was he last assigned to achieve? How successful was Khalizad in his last position?

I honestly don’t know how to judge his success (or failure). It seems that any focus on failure is directed at the military (both American and Iraqi), but Khalizad has been U.S. Ambassador to Iraq for something like a year and a half. Do you see a level of success that calls for a promotion?

This is IMO a disaster beyond even the context of the Peter Principle.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 7, 2007 10:18 PM
Comment #202009


The fact that he is Sunni is something I would consider a plus. The Sunnis traditionally have been more refined.

In his last position, his biggest success was actually getting the Sunnis, Shi’ites, and Kurds to communicate in a peaceful manner to form what is today’s Iraqi government.

Also, despite the criticism from media, the Iraqi government is coming together quicker than our own did over 200 years ago. As far as establishing new governments go, Iraq is breaking records. History has shown us that it generally takes anywhere from 40-300 years to re-establish a new governance. Iraq has roughly 15-20% of the country stablized in less than a decade.

Khalilzad played a fairly important role in that transistion, but I don’t know if the role was so incredibily well done to deserve a promotion of that amtitude.

I have no doubt Khalilzad will do a fine job as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., it is just the urgency of it makes it a bit questionable.

Then again, much like the politicians, none of us can really say for certain, as none of us were actually there.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 8, 2007 11:27 AM
Comment #202131

It will be interesting to watch Khalizad, a Muslim, cast US vetoes in the UN protecting Israel from worldwide condemnation for killing Muslims.

Posted by: phx8 at January 9, 2007 1:59 AM
Comment #202136


I’m a bit confused about something. What’s wrong with the situation you describe in your above post? I love how exploitation is the new buzzword for every time a Western company gets involved in the Third World. Before the war, oil flowed out of Iraq despite the Iraqis and the incompetents that Saddam put in charge as a reward for loyalty to him. The biggest problem with Iraqi oil distribution right now is the ongoing sectarian violence, which the Iraqi government is working to resolve with our assistance. If Khalizad can also accomplish the goal of harming the Iranian economy, then more power to him. Since no one else is willing to turn the screws to the Iranians in the U.N. for their bomb-making, perhaps a slap to the pocketbook will have some effect.


Good point, I’ll be interested to see that myself.

Posted by: 1LT B at January 9, 2007 4:31 AM
Comment #202150


I think that is as ironic as Japan becoming our ally and relation with China becoming tense after WWII.

Sometimes the world has a way of letting us know that we really don’t know shi’ite.


Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at January 9, 2007 11:34 AM
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