Ian Williams, formerly UN correspondent for The Nation, is the author of Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776; The Deserter: Bush’s War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past; The Alms Trade; and The UN For Beginners.
President Bush’s address to the UN General Assembly was less
disdainful than earlier speeches, but it shined a light on the President’s willful blindness to the complexity of the problems facing the Mideast and the world.
The United Nations can be a useful tool in settling the current crisis
in Lebanon and Gaza, but only with US support. It is up to President
Bush to get on the phone to Ehud Olmert and tell him to stop.
Selection of a new UN Secretary General is too important to be
engineered by the whims and prejudices of John Bolton. It’s time for
saner voices in the Administration to tell the UN ambassador his time is up.
Long before oil dominated geopolitics, rum was the original global
commodity, tying Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean in a
complex web of trade and credit. And Bacardi was the original
Conservatives have undermined the credibility of the United Nations by
exposing corruption in its oil-for-food program. But the inquiry led by
Paul Volcker didn’t look at the mishandling of billions of dollars in
oil-for-food surpluses given to US occupation forces or the alleged
looting of such funds by US companies.
The conservatives who applauded the President’s courage in making a recess appointment are normally strict constructionists, and although Bush is not the first President to abuse the prerogative, it is clear that recess appointments were meant to be be used in cases of unexpected emergencies, not to bypass the confirmation process. Ian Williams reports.