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UN votes Obama

  • Sep. 30th, 2008 at 12:00 PM

The UN was abuzz with excitement last week as the US elections came to the East River with Sarah Palin taking advantage of the General Assembly to brush up on her foreign policy credentials by meeting as many world leaders as possible.

But the scuttlebutt in the UN canteen involved a recent off-the-record briefing by the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon who is reported to have told a small group of journalists that an Obama victory would be "good for us", meaning for the UN.

That is, of course, stating the blindingly obvious as the occupants of the 38 floors of the UN building are about as Democratic as they come, and successive Republican administrations have never made any secret of their hostility towards the United Nations. But if you are the UN chief - and your paymaster is the US administration - you need to be careful about what you say, even off the record.

My source reckoned that it is more than likely that Mr Ban's comments have already reached the ears of the American ambassador.

Question: Was the Secretary General right to let his feelings be known? And what reaction does such intervention get within the US?


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lurkitty wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
May I request that you please use a standard font when posting? This is too small to easily read.

It is not likely that the Secretary General will sway any opinions in the US. Those who hate the UN (invariably conservatives) will use it as grist for the mill. Those who support the UN are probably already in Obama's camp.

That said, it does no good to incite John McCain. He might...not look Mr. Ban in the eye.
grace_om wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
No doubt there will be some bluster about it, but it's not going to affect anyone's vote. Nor will it affect the next administration's attitude towards the UN.
silentinflames wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
your paymaster is the US administration

This implies that UN is entirely financed by the US, and it is a lie. The UN is financed by all member nations. To the contrary, the US has been withholding payments for decades, with a debt to the UN piled up to billions of dollars. In fact, the US are using those withheld payments to blackmail UN into giving offices to people they want to have in those offices.

Interestingly enough, this detail is not represented in the US version of Wikipedia. The German version is more accurate here.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 30th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
dangerous_47 wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Ban Ki Moon is not a world leader. Sure, he's the secretary-general of The UN but unless I'm misunderstanding the word world leader (it is possible, after all it's not my first language), he's not one.

He's someone in in s somewhat influential position and all, but it's not like he's a world leader. Unless, again, I'm missunderstanding the word. Heh.

Edited at 2008-09-30 04:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 30th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - dangerous_47 - Sep. 30th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) Expand
millenium_king wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
1) Was the Secretary General right to let his feelings be known?

Of course he has the right to speak his mind. But it should come as no surprise that the UN thinks Obama would be "good for them." He would be 845 billion dollars good for them. That's right; the US is in a financial crisis, Obama is urging congress to pay out $700 billion to Wallstreet and right after he's done with that, he's going to urge them to pay out $845 billion to the UN.

The Secretary General is just acting like all the other members of the UN: he's looking for handouts.

2) And what reaction does such intervention get within the US?

Regardless of what the media elites and the anti-Bush crowd thinks, most of America is not interested in becoming subservient to the UN. The more the UN tries to intervene in American politics, the more Americans turn against the UN. By endorsing Obama, The Secretary General is only encouraging Americans to vote for McCain. The same rule applies whenever a European nation favors a candidate; Americans do not listen to Europe. Despite crowds of Germans cheering Obama's anti-American, anti-Bush rhetoric, Obama got no bump in the polls from it back at home.

Many self-described "multi-culturalists" will probably find such views on the UN and Europe as "American chauvanism" and "narrow minded," but I ask them to consider the reverse: If the Germans ran an election and Americans made a lot of noise about one particular candidate then the Germans would heavily resent Americans for "putting their nose where it doesn't belong" and for being "typically imperialistic." It always seems that cultural chauvanism and "isolationist" tendencies can only be ascribed to America - never to "enlightened" European nations or the UN.
telstar_gold wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
You cannot equate the relative positions on the world stage of Germany and the US. It probably matters little outside Europe who is elected to power in (modern!) Germany. But who becomes President of the US is a matter of global significance, which is why the whole world has an opinion about it.
(no subject) - millenium_king - Sep. 30th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - telstar_gold - Sep. 30th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tyskkvinna - Sep. 30th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - millenium_king - Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tyskkvinna - Oct. 2nd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC) Expand
Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - villey - Oct. 6th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC) Expand
ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 07:04 pm (UTC)
An opinion isn't intervention. He's entitled to his own views, though it may be prudent for him to keep his mouth shut about them.

But it's fairly obvious that most of the rest of the world prefers Obama to McCain. America diddles in other nations' politics all the time. Our government shouldn't dish it out if they can't take it.
tsmitty31 wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
I got the sense from McCain's comments during the debate that we would prefer to abolish the current UN and set up a new League of Nations That Agrees With Us/Is Easily Managed By Us

credendovides wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
As a bonus for McCain, that would broaden the pool of countries to go to war with.
aramina48 wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
I think he has every right to state who he thinks should be the next president. We don't get to insert ourselves into other countries' affairs and then call foul when other people or countries express opinions about us. Turnabout is fair play.

When it's all said and done, the UN secretary-general's opinion is not going to sway many, if any, American voters. Anyone who would be looking for his opinion would probably have voted for Obama anyway.
3daysinthefish wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
Yes. In America we strive to allow all opinions to be heard. Especially those of dissent. His opinion should be heard within the U.N., but it should have no impact on American politics. Currently I am living in a different country and I see Obama bumper stickers and t-shirts everywhere. They aren't voting in America so why the big push? Obviously the rest of the world, in general, seems to want a Democratic president in the U.S. With Europe starting to realize that much of their socialistic tendencies are amounting to cultural, financial, and population difficulties, and dictatorial states flexing their muscles while their citezenry try to escape, why in the world would we want to follow suit? Yes, ideally we would be able to be friendly with all other nations, but, just as in any neighborhood, there are those you will agree with and those you must agree to disagree with. Running a country should never be an international popularity contest.
mystery_spell wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC)
First off, as you have said in your post, the UN is as liberal and Democratic as it gets.

Secondly, everyone has a right to let his or her opinions be known.

I think it is important to remember that it is the voters who decide and not people who are voicing their opinions around the world.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
I think it's fine that he said it. I don't think it will have any particular impact, though - more evidence for those who have a disdain for Obama (and perhaps the UN) and more evidence for those who like Obama (and perhaps the UN). I can't see somebody who likes Obama but not the UN finding this to be a sudden deal-breaker in their vote... or for a McCain voter. Or at least, I'd hope most voters have more reasons for their candidate than the UN Secretary General's opinion of the candidates.
sophia_sadek wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)
The second question implies that voicing such an observation constitutes intervention. As others have commented, it will have little effect on the vote, if any. I too agree that people at the U.N. have a right to express their opinion over which American candidate will work best with their organization.

The difference in attitude towards international cooperation vs. unilateral action is one of the key differentiators between the world citizen Democrats and the nationalist Republicans. The tradition of Republican isolationism and unilateral military domination demonstrates a form of national socialist policy that puts the party in a league comparable to their European equivalents.
adamwolf wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
Re: Intervention?
Re: Intervention? - sophia_sadek - Oct. 1st, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - sophia_sadek - Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - sophia_sadek - Oct. 3rd, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 6th, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 2nd, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 3rd, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 4th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 4th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Intervention? - millenium_king - Oct. 6th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 6th, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC) Expand
Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 7th, 2008 05:15 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 7th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 7th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 10th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 14th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: Socialism - millenium_king - Oct. 15th, 2008 11:00 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 17th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 20th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 21st, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 22nd, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 23rd, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 24th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 27th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) Expand
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Re: divine rights. - millenium_king - Oct. 29th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC) Expand
tabaqui wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
The Secretary General is, of course, well within his rights to be speculating publicly about such things, *and* professing an opinion.

And it won't mean a thing here unless the McCain campaign digs up some dirt about the UN or the Sec. Gen. or a UN member country and uses it like some kind of 'proof' that if Obama is elected, 'people like this' will be happy.

Much like they used, i believe, the Pres. of Iran? saying 'we want Obama to win' as 'proof' that Obama would pander to terrorists and make the US a lap-dog to Iran and make everybody wear pink shirts and....you know.... That sort of drivel.

The way the US treats the UN is a source of embarrassment, to me, and should be to every American.
docwoodstock wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)
Of course the UN and other nations support Obama. He knows nothing about international relations.. (Think about his comments about the Russia/Georgia situation)

He would be a pushover in international relations.
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
Don't just give general statements like this and expect them to be credible. The burden is upon you to demonstrate what aspects of his comments indicate an ignorance of the issues and why.
(no subject) - millenium_king - Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC) Expand
mightyafrodite wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
"Was the Secretary General right to let his feelings be known?"

That's a bit of a leading question, isn't it? Few would say that he does not have a right to speak his mind. The real question is was it the smart thing to do from a political/diplomatic perspective?

More than likely, it is not going to affect the relationship one way or the other. He'll only have to worry if McCain gets into the oval office, because the current administration has shown itself to be a vindictive group of politicians (exposing Valarie Plame, for example). I have little reason to believe that a McCain administration would be less prone to holding grudges.

Edited at 2008-10-02 07:24 am (UTC)
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