politics
February 1, 2005 3:46 PM   Subscribe

 
It would be rather fitting. I rather like the sound of it, actually. Every single person of non-American origin with whom I've ever talked politics absolutely loves him.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 3:54 PM on February 1, 2005


it's a temporary position, and Helms is just more insane than usual (or misses seeing his name in print).

Clinton would make an excellent Secy-General tho.
posted by amberglow at 3:54 PM on February 1, 2005


I don't think any citizen of a nation that has a permanent seat on the security council can be secretary general, so this is all moot.

But it would be kind a cool.
posted by undule at 4:01 PM on February 1, 2005


I highly doubt this will happen. I think the Secretary-General position is supposed to rotate continents and Asia is long over due since Annan and Boutros-Gali both came from Africa.
posted by toftflin at 4:02 PM on February 1, 2005


Clinton has said that Rwanda was the greatest and most regretable mistake of his career. I think he'd be a good SG.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:02 PM on February 1, 2005


I don't think any citizen of a nation that has a permanent seat on the security council can be secretary general, so this is all moot.

He could follow a traditional American politician model and establish residency and citizenship in another country.

"Representing Laos, here's Bill Clinton..."
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:03 PM on February 1, 2005


You just gotta love Jessie Helms: "I'm sure you might agree that putting a left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former President of the United States into a position of such power would be a tragic mistake,"
posted by lobstah at 4:04 PM on February 1, 2005


I would vote for him, if I could. . .I have a feeling that Bush would block it, somehow.

But I think Clinton would excel in that office, the world would be a better place for it, AND it would royally piss off the Bushies, if it happened. . . .win/win.
posted by Danf at 4:04 PM on February 1, 2005


Isn't Jesse Helms dead?
posted by crunchland at 4:05 PM on February 1, 2005


Is it a good idea for an American to head up the UN? With countries already complaining about our inordinate amount of influence...wouldn't this just destabilize the organization more?

on preview: what toftflin said also
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:05 PM on February 1, 2005


that was Strom Thurmond, crunch--altho i mix them up too.
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on February 1, 2005


Isn't Jesse Helms dead?

Only his heart.
posted by Nelson at 4:08 PM on February 1, 2005




That doesn't seem to work for some reason. Try this.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:12 PM on February 1, 2005


Wow, Jessie Helms actually went on record saying that? Damn. And I'm in the isn't-he-dead camp too. Just wishful thinking.

Clinton would make an excellent secretary general. Just like I'd like to see Howard Dean take over the DNC chair.
posted by fenriq at 4:16 PM on February 1, 2005


Well, amending my statement above with some research, the restrictions on who can be nominated as Sec. General does not include any mention of citizenship in permanent sec. council country.

It seems to be an "unspoken rule" that no permanent member of the sec. council can qualify, as every previous sec. general has been brought from the ranks of the general assembly.

So hey, it is technically feasible, contrary to what I've read elsewhere.

The pertinent section.

and yeah, Dean as head of the DNC would be awesome.
posted by undule at 4:26 PM on February 1, 2005


Lest anyone forget, Helms, a former Democrat, became a Republican when the Democratic party championed civil rights in the 1960s.
posted by four panels at 4:26 PM on February 1, 2005


The sort of BS Schmooze job he was born for.
posted by HTuttle at 4:27 PM on February 1, 2005


Guys,
I hate to be the lone desenter here, but Bill Clinton royally screwed the pooch in Africa during his tenure.

1. Somalia- unwilling or unable to get the job done.
2. Rwanda- Did NOTHING
3. Sierra Leone- Pushed with the help of the UN to get the SL government to cancel their contract with Executive Orders and consequently 6600 people died in Freetown alone after EO pulled out (the mission was aptly title No Living Thing) and the country was and is still lost to a bunch of terrorists.
4. Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings
5. OBL was in Sudan, they offered to turn him over and we didn't take it.

This is just off the top of my head here.
posted by CCK at 4:28 PM on February 1, 2005


Bill openly regrets that shit. I get the impression his hands were tied.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:31 PM on February 1, 2005


CCK, you're under the assumption the UN chief is actually supposed to DO something. He's just supposed to call a bunch of committees together and cry lots of crocodile tears when their inaction leaves millions dead.
posted by HTuttle at 4:31 PM on February 1, 2005


ah the irony of Rice being among the Helms Center speakers
posted by matteo at 4:35 PM on February 1, 2005


I think Vaclav Havel would make a much better candidate. He would be more than qualified, and would not have the same baggage and American-media circus atmosphere that Clinton's presence would bring.

CCK: Also, as an addendum to Clinton Administration's response to Sudan, the U.S. did not particularly do much to try and negotiate a peace between the SPLA and the Bashir government.
posted by tweak at 4:37 PM on February 1, 2005


CGK with a rap sheet like that, he'd be a shoo-in to preside as the U.S's Supreme Governer of Africa (tm).
It's all covered in the New World Order. (that replaces the UN..)

/Bushthink
posted by Balisong at 4:39 PM on February 1, 2005


oh, yeah: and once again The Onion was right:
Jesse Helms' Retirement Plans

After 29 years on Capitol Hill, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) recently announced he will not seek a sixth term in 2002. What are Helms's retirement plans?

- See to gettin'a water closet put in
- Finally get caught up on that stack of books he's been meaning to burn
- Retire to country and donate remaining years to impregnaing his slaves
- Ride lawnmower across state line to reconcile with estranged brother
- Daily watering and otherwise tending to his embryos
- Get hound dog, abuse the shit out of hound dog, say it's for hound dog's own good
- Eat hisself a big ol' cheesebugga
- Send out direct-mail "I may be retired, but that does not mean the homosexual lobby has ceased corrupting the nation's youth" letter
- Hold out trembling hand, emit ear-piercing shriek, collapse into dust
posted by matteo at 4:41 PM on February 1, 2005


/oxymoron alert

...a "nonpartisan organization" that promotes the principles espoused by Helms...

I can't believe AP quoted that with a straight face. Yo, AP, this word, "nonpartisan"--I do not think it means what you think it means. Or does someone over there seriously believe that there is more than one party in this country that aligns itself with the bile Helms espouses?
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 4:43 PM on February 1, 2005


CCK, your item number 5 is a lie.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:43 PM on February 1, 2005


I thought Vaclav Havel was near death?

At any rate, this is kinda cool. Sort of like the democrats deciding to go "all in". Clinton would know what to do to make the UN more effective, something a lot of people don't want to happen. Very interesting. Someone with real political savvy as Secretary General could change the whole equation.
posted by ontic at 4:44 PM on February 1, 2005


Eustacescrubb,
Help me out here, your saying it's a lie, using CBS news as your source, which if you read the article only says that Clinton said he was "obsessed". Of course this interview was from a press junket for his book and we all know he tells the truth all of the time even when there isn't millions on the line.

Try again.
posted by CCK at 4:57 PM on February 1, 2005


Bill Clinton to become Secretary-General of the United Nations?

So does that mean he'd be like president of the world?
posted by wfrgms at 5:01 PM on February 1, 2005


I get the impression his hands were tied.

I didn't know he was into that.
posted by trharlan at 5:03 PM on February 1, 2005


Ehhhhhhhxcelent!

It is all going according to plan!

With Clinton heading up the bureaucracy of the New World Order, soon our reverse engineered flying discs will be ready, and then, THEN ...

Oh wait, did I really just type that?

Go on about your business!

All is well!
posted by Relay at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2005


If Clinton *were* selected as UN Secretary General, it would be for more-or-less the same reason that Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize: to bitch-slap the Bush team.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by Slothrup at 5:09 PM on February 1, 2005


CCK: Don't be dense.

the 9-11 Commission found no "reliable evidence (pdf) to support" the claim that Sudan made such an offer

found via here where they caught someone else pushing that lie.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2005


AND it would royally piss off the Bushies, if it happened. . . .win/win.

And that's important when picking Secretary-General of the U.N. Good one.

Bill openly regrets that shit. I get the impression his hands were tied.

Are you serious? The worship of Bill Clinton is so great that even when he does wrong we can't imagine he had anything to do with it, so his "hands MUST have been tied". Funny stuff.

Though I admit he'd be good at the job. He could smooth over almost any conflict and he'd get to meet women from all over the world. Win/win.
posted by justgary at 5:19 PM on February 1, 2005


bill clinton likes the ladies, you say?

ba-zing! Good one.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:21 PM on February 1, 2005


Space Coyote,
the 9/11 commission. That's the same one that said the Saudis were blameless right?
posted by CCK at 5:21 PM on February 1, 2005


The top of CCK's head is much better than CBS. Heh. It's funny, but somehow, I'm not laughing.
posted by effwerd at 5:23 PM on February 1, 2005


I can't believe AP quoted that with a straight face. Yo, AP, this word, "nonpartisan"--I do not think it means what you think it means.

Yo, nakedcodemonkey, this designation, "nonpartisan"-- It means what the IRS says it does.
posted by trharlan at 5:25 PM on February 1, 2005


I highly doubt this will happen. I think the Secretary-General position is supposed to rotate continents and Asia is long over due since Annan and Boutros-Gali both came from Africa.
posted by toftflin at 4:02 PM PST on February 1


That's true usually, but not in this case. Asia waived their right last time specifically to reƫlect Annan.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 5:31 PM on February 1, 2005


Clinton has said that Rwanda was the greatest and most regretable mistake of his career. I think he'd be a good SG.

So because he says, "yeah, I fucked up," he should be SG? I think this is exactly why he shouldn't be. He had a chance to save hundreds of thousands of lives and didn't lift a finger.
posted by 327.ca at 5:32 PM on February 1, 2005


Are you serious? The worship of Bill Clinton is so great that even when he does wrong we can't imagine he had anything to do with it, so his "hands MUST have been tied". Funny stuff.

Well, thank GOODNESS Dubya is doing SO MUCH to help the political situation in Rwanda, etc. He's a real go-getter, that one! Spreading security and peace like the lovable, crazy idealist that he is!
posted by MiHail at 5:32 PM on February 1, 2005


Bill Clinton as SecGen would be far more palatable that the vast majority of the alternatives. I would think that the "Bushies" would jump at the chance to have a former US president as the head of the UN. Who do you think they share more with ideologically, Clinton or Annan? Or for that matter, just about anyone else who has a shot at the job?
posted by loquax at 5:45 PM on February 1, 2005


Hmm. I wonder, in the unlikely event that Bill Clinton were to be put forward as SG, whether or not any member of the security council might exercise their veto...? Say, is Danforth still at the UN?
posted by kaemaril at 5:46 PM on February 1, 2005


Oops, the PDF link above is broken. Thankfully, The Memory Hole has it (pdf)

Since CCK didn't point out that the link was broken, I'll give him another chance to actaully read the thing before spouting off.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:51 PM on February 1, 2005


Yo, nakedcodemonkey, this designation, "nonpartisan"-- It means what the IRS says it does.

No, it doesn't. Read your link.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 6:12 PM on February 1, 2005


Loqax makes an excellent point. Clinton would be preferable to virtually any foreign candidate in terms of aligment with U.S. foreign policy. Offense at Clinton getting Secretary General would be a pretty brilliant piece of "don't throw me in the briar patch."

Clinton has said complimentary things about Bush on numerous occasions, and clearly wouldn't mind giving Hillary even more moderate credibility by showing the Clinton family is fully on-board with the war on terror. (Although I think that the main reason that Clinton says nice things about Bush is that Clinton has a lot of professional respect for politicians who can win, like Bush, and a particular disdain for politicians who snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, like Kerry, or Dean for that matter.)
posted by MattD at 6:16 PM on February 1, 2005


Have I just stepped out of my normal, everyday reality and into the world of fucking maniacs?
posted by luckyclone at 6:18 PM on February 1, 2005


Well, thank GOODNESS Dubya is doing SO MUCH to help the political situation in Rwanda, etc. He's a real go-getter, that one! Spreading security and peace like the lovable, crazy idealist that he is!
posted by MiHail at 7:32 PM CST on February 1


MiHail, you reponse had nothing to do with what you quoted from my post. If you notice, I said nothing about Bush. Is your hate for the man so great that it clouds your reading comprehension? Please calm down before posting next time.
posted by justgary at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2005


I'm pulling for Big Bird to get the job, but that's just me.
posted by PuppyCat at 6:23 PM on February 1, 2005


"I need money. Bill Clinton is back!!! Give me money! Bill Clinton! Taking over the world! We hate him! Give me money!"
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:28 PM on February 1, 2005


No, it doesn't. Read your link.

So "nonpartisan" doesn't mean what the IRS says it does?

Do you seriously not understand that when a news outlet calls an quasi-semi-partly political organization "nonpartisan," it's not making an editorial remark but rather indicating that the organization meets the IRS definition and is thus tax-exempt?
posted by trharlan at 6:33 PM on February 1, 2005


"I'm sure we might agree..."

Huh?

If it's might, what is one sure of?
posted by Gyan at 7:20 PM on February 1, 2005


I think Clinton would be okay. He seems well-informed and diplomatic.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:22 PM on February 1, 2005


5. OBL was in Sudan, they offered to turn him over and we didn't take it.

That one is false.
posted by unsupervised at 7:53 PM on February 1, 2005


OK, I'm sucktastic at the HTML tonight...

http://www.archive.org/.../staff_statement_5.pdf
posted by Space Coyote at 8:09 PM on February 1, 2005


Step One.

The Secretary-General has indeed offered to former U.S. President Bill Clinton the position of his Special Envoy for Tsunami-affected Countries and President Clinton has accepted.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:04 PM on February 1, 2005


"I'm sure you might agree that putting a left-wing, undisciplined and ethically challenged former President of the United States into a position of such power would be a tragic mistake," wrote the 83-year-old Republican, who left office in 2003 after five terms.

This from an "ethical" fellow who supports segregation.
posted by Bag Man at 9:36 PM on February 1, 2005


If you notice, I said nothing about Bush.

justgary--Right you are. However, your implication of "Clinton worship" seemed to me rather similar to other rightist "the left thinks Clinton can do no wrong, aren't they stupid?" comments that seem to be circulating. The conclusion I draw from such commentary is that those commentators feel that their guy (and who followed after Clinton? Bush) is therefore much the better man. An indirect comparison is being made, even though names are not being named. Following your "Clinton worship" comments with the typical "womanizer" joke clinched my impression. Both the "Clinton worship" and "can't keep his dick in his pants" accusations are lame, old, tired. I will follow up with the typical boring leftist response: better a womanizer than a warmonger.

Furthermore, if we are discussing a previous president's actions in, for example, Rwanda, it seems to me quite logical to then consider what the current administration is doing, particularly if the previous president's approach was faulty. At the same time that the Bush administration was pressuring the U.N. Security Council not to intervene in the Rwandan genocide, they were pressing their case for going into Iraq to find those phantom WMDs. Hardly admirable to ignore the real need and pursue an agenda that is questionable at best. Of course, right about then is when the Bushies decided the U.N. was redundant anyway. They seem to be singing a slightly different tune these days.

Is your hate for the man so great that it clouds your reading comprehension?

Probably. I freely acknowledge I was being a bit trollish, but in case you couldn't figure it out, I am really, really sick of Clinton-bashing. And no, I would not classify myself as a blind "Clinton worshipper."

Is your dislike of Clinton so great that you refuse to acknowledge the postive things that he accomplished during his tenure because he completely and utterly screwed up (ha) and thought he could hide his extra-marital dallyings? Don't you have anything better to do than accuse supporters of Clinton as SG (which, as has been discussed, is possible but not likely given the way in which SGs are selected) of being "Clinton worshippers"?
posted by MiHail at 10:00 PM on February 1, 2005


For what it's worth, justgary was completely right. He was responding to this comment:

Bill openly regrets that shit. I get the impression his hands were tied.

Which obviously wasn't intended to be an in-depth analysis of the Clintonian presidency, but if it had been said in defense of Bush the pile-on would have been of ParisParamus proportions. For that matter, your last paragraph about recognizing the positive things that Clinton accomplished would also result in your mockery had you written it about Bush instead. It's more than a little hypocritical for you to ask for temperance in criticism of Clinton when you talk of warmongers and "bushies".

Regardless, despite his many talents (winning a second term as a democrat being chief among them), Bill Clinton was a fairly useless president in the grand scheme of things, whether it was his own fault or the Republican congress. At least, he was just as useless, but probably no more so than the majority of ex-presidents. Still, I'm behind him 100% for Secretary General!
posted by loquax at 10:43 PM on February 1, 2005


Oh come off it. As much as I like Clinton, the chances of him being elected Secretary General of the United Nation is nil.
posted by salmacis at 1:08 AM on February 2, 2005


yeah, about nil -- but at at least unlike Kissinger (now) or Rumsfeld (in the near future) he will be free to travel all over the world for the rest of life without fearing arrest/prosecution for war crimes
posted by matteo at 1:42 AM on February 2, 2005


So how does one go about becoming Secretary General of the United Nations?
posted by donkeymon at 3:24 AM on February 2, 2005


It would be kind of cool and fitting. Whatever you think of him, Clinton is certainly more moral and ethical than the UN. He could clean the place up to my satisfaction, and, in effect, redeem himself for his past sins. Also, after initial pleasure, it would, ultimately, piss-off France.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:40 AM on February 2, 2005


Helms is just more insane than usual

No, I don't think so. You missed a key part of the article: Helms put this out in a fund-raising letter. He's invoking a bogeyman in order to get more money from people who aren't smart enough to know that it won't happen.

Machiavellian, perhaps. Insane (more than usual), no.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:54 AM on February 2, 2005


*chuckle*

Nice new angle PP. Same silly message. Someday you really must explain to us just how badly that French girl you clumsily hit on in a bar in Paris all those years ago humiliated you, sending you home to the states a broken and bitter man.
posted by sic at 7:04 AM on February 2, 2005


but in case you couldn't figure it out, I am really, really sick of Clinton-bashing.

Well then you came to the right place. Clinton is practically a rock star on mefi, so I'm not sure what you're complaining about.

Both the "Clinton worship" and "can't keep his dick in his pants" accusations are lame, old, tired.


The first, no. Post after post praising the man with nothing to back it up is quite common when it comes to clinton. For many, especially here, the man can do no wrong. Clinton worship may be old, but it's very much alive.

As for the "dick in his pants" comment, I agree, old and lame. Just like half the things said about Bush in other threads. Rhetorical nonsense is the norm.

But being how this is metafilter, where clinton is revered and bush reviled, your complaints about clinton bashing ring hollow.
posted by justgary at 7:25 AM on February 2, 2005


CCK - Space Coyote has picked up the ball whilst I've been living my life, but in the link I provided which you didn't read, there's this bit:

Clinton: To the best of my knowledge it is not true that we were ever offered him by the Sudanese even though they later claimed it. I think it's total bull. Mr. Absurabi, the head of the Sudanese government was a buddy of bin Laden's. They were business partners together. There was no way in the wide world this guy who was in business with bin Laden in Sudan was going to give him up to us.

The 9-11 Commission agress with this assesment, as Space Coyote has shown.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:30 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm not denying that the 9/11 commission agrees with that assessment. For all I know it maybe the truth. But for the collective left on Mefi to use the commission as an unbiased source just strikes me as odd. Remember this is the EXACT same commission who said the Saudi royal family was blameless. And I remember the outcry on this very board when it was released.

I'm no Bushie either. I may hate him more than Clinton. But to suggest that a man who let the attrocites that happened while he was president is qualified to be SG I think is incredible to say the least.

Actually with the total mismangement that Kofi has offered; maybe Bill would be perfect.
posted by CCK at 8:26 AM on February 2, 2005


I think all the issues mentioned--the position rotating continents, the US already has enough representation and power--are valid. I will say that the article linked mentioned that Clinton has never said anything publicly about wanting the job and that is wrong. In his interview with Peter Jennings awhile ago he said that SG of the UN was one of the only jobs left for him to go for. I also think he would make a great president of the World Bank. With his activities being almost exclusively on the world stage lately, I think he is setting himself up for the job or any thing in that vein.

I think that he would actually get shit done and clean up the place.
posted by scazza at 9:52 AM on February 2, 2005


As for Clinton's love of Bush, I think that's false. He's going to respect whoever is in The Office. I'm sure he has plenty of criticisms of Bush, but that would just be inflammatory and not productive. He also knows how hard the job is and I'm sure, has some sympathy for our Boy King.
posted by scazza at 10:01 AM on February 2, 2005


I did see Clinton and Bush Sr. in a tsunami-relief fund commercial together, which was kinda cool, but irrelevant.

Also irrelevant is my opinion on the difference between "obsessive Clinton worship" and "obsessive Bush worship", which is that the former doesn't really exist. I'll only speak for myself, but I was perfectly willing to point out the things that Clinton did that I thought were bad -- signing the DMCA, welfare reform, not going to Rwanda, etc. I don't see the same criticism of the present administration from its supporters, even when it does something seemingly indefensible like, oh, I dunno, engaging in illegal covert domestic propaganda, to pick a random example.

Er, I guess I should say something relevant... Clinton as SG? Never happen. Hope to see him become as good an ex-president as Carter.
posted by jlub at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm sure he's thinking of all the exotic nooky potential
right now..
posted by MikeHoegeman at 2:02 AM on February 3, 2005


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