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Drudge Tries to Smear Ted Turner

The Drudge Report is featuring a link to a YouTube video of Ted Turner speaking at the National Press Club. In the thirty-second video, Turner is clearly expressing his reservations about the wisdom of invading Iraq in 2003, but the Drudge headline reads, "Ted Turner says he can't pick sides in War on Terror." This is little more than a smear-job coordinated by a YouTube user who has dishonestly edited a portion of CSPAN's coverage of the event.
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What Next at the Council?

Following North Korea's nuclear test, world leaders are looking to the United Nations Security Council to issue a forceful response. "We expect the UN Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act," said White House Spokesman Tony Snow. These sentiments are echoed in condemnatory statements from leaders across the globe, including the Chinese government, which is North Korea's only ally on the Security Council. So what options are available to the Security Council?
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Darfur Stalemate

In a statement to the Security Council, Sudan hardened its opposition to a UN peacekeeping force for Darfur, saying it would consider UN peacekeepers in Darfur a "hostile act" and a "prelude to invasion." In response, the Security Council met for a special session yesterday to condemn Sudanese defiance.
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Who is Ban Ki-Moon?

As a high school student, the young Ban placed first in an English speaking contest and won a trip to meet President Kennedy. It was this meeting, he has said, that inspired him to become a diplomat. Needless to say, Ban achieved that goal and more. If Monday's Security Council consensus holds, the South Korean Foreign Minister will become the word's eighth Secretary General. So who is Ban Ki-Moon? Below the fold is a list of useful resources that give you a sketch of the man and his work.
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The Next SG

It's not yet official, but news outlets are reporting that it looks likely that South Korean Ban Ki-Moon will be the next Secretary General. In a straw poll yesterday, the South Korean Foreign Minister garnered 14 positive votes. Crucially, not one permanent Security Council member voted against him. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it looks increasingly likely that Ban will be the next Secretary General. But with the ink barely dry on the straw-poll, a predicable cadre of anti-UN agitators on the right are already finding reasons to brand Mr. Ban a villain. Asking "Will the UN pick another crook?" the Director of Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies alleges that "soft bribery" likely contributed to Ban Ki-Moon's success. The Foundation's Alykhan Velshi somehow finds a correlation between Ban's success in Monday's straw poll and South Korea's recent decision to increase its foreign development aid. Specifically, Velshi points to South Korean aid to Ghana and Tanzania, two rotating members of the Security Council, as somehow corrupting the selection process in a way that guaranteed Ban's success.
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Bi-Partisan Group of American Foreign Policy Luminaries Call for the Qualified Abolition of the Security Council Veto

The night before last I was privy to a sneak preview of an ambitious foreign policy manifesto that is being rolled out on Capitol Hill today. The plan, Forging a World of Liberty Under Law: U.S. National Security in the 21st Century, is the product of a two-year long series of meetings of a bi-partisan brain trust of foreign policy and national security experts convened at the Woodrow Wilson school. Under the steering of Anne-Marie Slaughter and G. John Ickenberry, the Princeton Project on National Security has attempted to comprehensively outline a sustainable 21st Century American foreign policy. As Dr. Slaughter put it last night, the group's inspiration was to create the intellectual equivalent to George Kennan's famous X Article in Foreign Affairs, but updated for our time. They may have come close.
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Miami Herald Op-Ed Seems to Confuse the General Assembly with the Security Council

In his op-ed lambasting the "ineffective" United Nations, the Miami Herald's Carlos Alberto Montaner seems to forget that the United Nations has a Security Council with five veto-wielding members. Throughout the editorial he repeatedly cites the large membership of the General Assembly as a sui generis barrier to solving international crises, but he fails to ever mention the smaller Security Council, which is the United Nations organ entrusted to take on global crises as they emerge.
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Ted Turner: Telling It Like It Is

Earlier this week, Reuters hosted a conversation with United Nations Foundation founder Ted Turner. Highlights from the transcript are below the fold. As you can see, the straight talking former CNN owner does not mince his words, and is astoundingly funny. See especially his tale of the $1 billion pledge. You'll enjoy.
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Annan’s Extraordinary Middle Eastern Diplomacy

With the world focused on First Avenue this week, Secretary General Kofi Annan's recent diplomatic success in the Middle East deserves attention. Diplomacy abhors a vacuum. And in the days following the calamitous month-long war in Israel and Lebanon, the ceasefire between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hezbollah militants looked quite tenuous. Neither side had much confidence that the other would comply with the ceasefire requirements set out in Security Council Resolution 1701, which ostensibly ended the conflict on August 11th. Adding to this uncertainty were key issues that remained unresolved: the composition of the peacekeeping force, the sea and air blockades, and the status of the two Israeli prisoners captured by Hezbollah were all kicked down road for further discussion.