Richard Haass, President on the Council of Foreign Affairs, when asked about Khalilzad this morning on NPR, pointed out that Khalilzad would be different from the brusque Bolton, who often clashed with his counterparts at the UN. Khalilzad, on the other hand, would work from within, and would not rile up things as his unconfirmed predecessor did.
The interview with Haass was enlightening in many ways. It did not just throw light on Khalil zad, the new US Representative to the UN, but it also informed me on the role of a US Representative to the UN. That the representative would debate, design, and uphold the UN policy, and would try to get his own government aboard on it as well. The foreign policy of the US would not affect the UN Representative's decisions or his actions. In the light of this enlightenment, what Haass said next, made me sit up and wonder. He said that Zad, as the new US representative would now first have to focus on 'fashioning an international consensus against Iran' that poses a nuclear threat, then focus on the ongoing genocide in Darfur, and next keep up the pressure in Lebanon so that the Syrians don't get off the hook. My concern is that if a diplomat as eminent as Haass starts second guessing what a UN representative would do, and then devalues human life while prioritizing UN actions, then there is little hope left! The genocide in Darfur is "ongoing"; there are hundreds dying there as we speak! The threat of Iran may be imminent, but it is still only a threat, and keeping the pressure in Lebanon to keep Syria in check but reeks of US foreign policy.
Khalilzad as a 'fresh base' at the UN will have to do some 'damage control' after Bolton, but hopefully he is not a stooge of the US foreign policy makers trying to wring some arm at the UN. To quote Woody Allen, just as Haass did, "90% of life is about showing up;" However, one hopes Khalilzad is not ''showing up' in 'wolf garb!'