Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What could possibly go wrong?

The United States government has sent Vice President Joe Biden on a three-day tour of the Balkans...
Indeed, Biden is the highest-level U.S. official to visit Bosnia since President Bill Clinton's trip there in 1999. Biden and Solana are meeting on May 19 with rival political leaders from the country's Bosniak, Croatian, and Serbian communities. Biden also plans to deliver a speech in the Bosnian parliament.


On May 20, Biden is to travel to Belgrade, a leg of his tour that is seen as critical to easing tensions in the region.


The final leg of Biden's tour comes on May 21 when he visits Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Biden is expected to urge the ethnic Albanian majority's leaders in Kosovo to build a functioning and effective state and to protect the rights of minorities, especially Serbs.
and coincidentally,

A spokesman for former-President Bill Clinton told the Miami Herald that Mr. Clinton is to be the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti, which is noteworthy in particular as...
The U.N. currently has no special envoy for Haiti, and it is expected that Clinton will travel there at least four times a year as part of the UN's effort to build on the momentum created by his March visit.


The hope is that Clinton's attention -- and fundraising power -- will help to further galvanize international support in a country plagued by donor fatigue, lack of international coordination and a history of political instability.

The U.N., which has 9,000 peacekeepers on the ground, has argued that without long-term development all of the recent gains can be quickly washed away.
In fairness, Mr. Clinton has done a stellar turn in fundraising for disaster relief, and the République d'Haïti certainly needs all the help it can get after suffering two direct hits from hurricanes last season.

But do remember that Mr. Clinton is responsible for putting Jean-Bertrand Aristide back in power, and history has not been very kind about how that all worked out over the long term.

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