Washington Post Columnist Questions Ban for US

The Washington Post’s columnist Jim Hoagland:

That warning of the dangers of answered prayers applies particularly to President Bush and his support for Ban Ki Moon, South Korea’s reliably stolid foreign minister, in the highly competitive race to succeed Kofi Annan at year’s end. Bush — pilloried by Third World radicals at last week’s General Assembly opening — may be picking up a lightning rod instead of a shield.

Hoagland reports that the US has committed, at some point, to withdraw its support for Shashi Tharoor:

A shift to voting only for Ban — a move that Bush indicated he would make to South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun at a White House meeting this month — would probably doom the hopes of Tharoor and the other candidates.

Hoagland also mentions our concerns about foreign aid:

South Korea’s generosity in foreign aid and investment decisions may work in Ban’s favor with some nations, it is said in diplomatic understatement in the corridors of the United Nations.

This article suggests that the deal is done. The UK could not sustain a veto unless there was a substantially better candidate.

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