The unquestionably great idea of making Rudolph Giuliani the next US Ambassador to the United Nations - now that John Negroponte has been appointed to the newly created position of US Ambassador to Iraq- was, I believe, first proposed in this John Podhoretz column. Then James Taranto picked it up. Roger L. Simon likes it. And, now the "meme" (if we're still saying that) is spreading.
Taranto and Podhoretz bring up the main reasons that this would be a great idea. For one thing Rudy's experience as a dogged and brilliant prosecutor would be invaluable in pushing to get to the bottom of UNron. [That's still my favorite name for the oil-for-food/oil-for-palaces/UNSCAM/whatever you call it scandal and I'm sticking to it. For today's update on UNron see the indefatigable Claudia Rosett-ed.] For another, his sharp-elbowed style would be perfect for speaking truth to power at Turtle Bay, the true role of the American Ambassador to that debating club for dictators as best exemplified by the great Jeane Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Taranto and Podhoretz both recall the wonderful tale of Rudy having Yasser Arafat tossed out of Lincoln Center in 1995. Mary recalls Rudy's inspring, beautiful speech before the UN General Assembly shortly after 9/11. My favorite part of that speech was always this very simple passage:
Now is the time, in the words of the UN Charter, "to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security." This is not a time for further study or vague directives. The evidence of terrorism's brutality and inhumanity -- of its contempt for life and the concept of peace -- is lying beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center less than two miles from where we meet today.
Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life...and then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism. You're either with civilization or with terrorists.
On one side is democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human life; on the other is tyranny, arbitrary executions, and mass murder.
We're right and they're wrong. It's as simple as that.
Now, I'm obviously a Rudy fanatic. I'd vote for him for Senator, President, Philosopher King for life, what have you. I have seen good arguments that a better post for him would be Attorney General, or perhaps head of Homeland Security. However, I think that UN Ambassador position would be the ideal one him at this stage of his career. Besides the fact that his character traits and professional skills would be the perfect ones to reform and shake up that corrupt and feckless body, it would have him in New York but somehow, kinda sorta leading the country and helping us stand up against our enemies; the role where he has performed best.
WASHINGTON - A former manager in the scandal-scarred oil for food program will tell Congress today how top U.N. officials running the program deliberately looked the other way, congressional officials said last night.
Frenchman Michael Soussan, a former program coordinator for the $100 billion fund, is expected to be the star witness of a House International Relations Committee hearing looking into Saddam's gigantic $10.1 billion rip-off.
Committee sources said Soussan, now a New York-area writer, is expected to give the first, under oath, public account from an insider about how top U.N. officials were aware of Saddam's oil smuggling and kickback schemes but chose to let him get away with it.
Allegations surfaced in a Baghdad newspaper earlier this year that Benon Sevan, the director of the program, was among 270 sympathetic international political and financial figures who received sweetheart oil deals from Saddam. Niles Lathem
This could be huge. So far, this is still only being reported in my side's partisan press. I hope to see that change but I'm skeptical. Blooger "Spoons" explains why with a handy chart. I'm intrigued by this Michael Soussan. He's a Frenchman who used to work for the UN but is now described as a "writer based in New York". A Google News search for his name only comes up with a few relevant hits, all of them involve him revealing the truth about UNron to conservative papers. Interesting. Will this Frenchman somehow become a hero to us evil American neo-cons?