United Nations: John Bolton as US Representative


Crmen Negrín forwards a New York Times (4/13/05) editorial, "

Questioning Mr. Bolton", from which here is an excerpt: T

he longer John Bolton's Senate hearing for the post of United Nations representative went on, the more outrageous it seemed that President Bush could have nominated a man who had made withering disdain for that world body the signature of his career in international affairs. Some fear that the aim is to scuttle the United Nations. It's more likely, but just as disturbing, that this is another example of Mr. Bush's rewarding loyalty rather than holding officials accountable for mistakes, especially those who helped build the case for war with Iraq.

Whatever the explanation, the hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee only added reasons for denying the job to Mr. Bolton. It turned up a third incident (we already knew of two) in which Mr. Bolton tried to have an intelligence analyst punished for stopping him from making false claims about a weapons program in another nation, notably Cuba. Trying to tailor intelligence is enough to disqualify Mr. Bolton from this job. But the hearings also provided a detailed indictment of his views on the U.N., multilateral diplomacy and treaties.

Mr. Bolton tried, but failed, to explain away his long public record of attacking the United Nations. Senator Barbara Boxer dealt rather neatly with Mr. Bolton's lamentation that he was being misquoted by playing a videotape of a 1994 speech in which he said: "There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world - that's the United States - when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along."

Mr. Bolton tried to convince the senators that he was just being provocative with those remarks and that as U.N. ambassador, he would confine his utterances to official policy vetted by appropriate agencies, like the State Department. But much of the hearing focused on Mr. Bolton's contempt for that process, especially on his attempts to have a State Department intelligence analyst punished for stopping him from misrepresenting intelligence on Cuba.

Mr. Bolton wanted to give a speech saying that "the United States believes that Cuba has a developmental offensive biological warfare program and is providing assistance to other rogue state programs." That sounds scary, but it was not true. Cuba was not doing those things, and U.S. intelligence agencies did not think it was. But according to numerous accounts, Mr. Bolton became enraged when an analyst from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research pointed out the error and tried to have the analyst removed from his post.

RH: While I agree with this editorial, I cannot understand the motivation behind his appointment.  While Condi Rice cultivates good relations with President Bush, she does not with her inferiors and she may simply have wanted to get rid of him.  Possibly the administration wanted to give the UN the shock treatment. In any case, as Senator Joseph Biden said, the comparison should not be with Nixon in China but with a bull in a china shop.


General Robert Gard writes: As I understand it, Vice President Cheney is Bolton's champion, and his influence with President Bush is obvious. When Rice stood her ground on refusing to accept Bolton as her deputy, she settled for his nomination as Ambassador to the UN.  RH: This raises the question of the real Cheney. He appears mild and reasonable, but he was Secretary of Defense. Is he really a Bolton in sheep's clothing?
The New York Times (4/13/05) ran an editorial damning the appointment of John Bolton as US ambassador to the UN.  The next day it ran an op-ed "

Loudly, With a Big Stick" b

y David Brooks, forwarded by Randy Black. The world's best newspaper is even-handed.  Here is an excerpt: I don't like John Bolton's management style. Nor am I a big fan of his foreign policy views. He doesn't really believe in using U.S. power to end genocide or promote democracy. But it is ridiculous to say he doesn't believe in the United Nations. This is a canard spread by journalists who haven't bothered to read his stuff and by crafty politicians who aren't willing to say what the Bolton debate is really about. The Bolton controversy isn't about whether we believe in the U.N. mission. It's about which U.N. mission we believe in. From the start, the U.N. has had two rival missions. Some people saw it as a place where sovereign nations could work together to solve problems. But other people saw it as the beginnings of a world government. This world government dream crashed on the rocks of reality, but as Jeremy Rabkin of Cornell has observed, the federalist idea has been replaced by a squishier but equally pervasive concept: the dream of "global governance." The people who talk about global governance begin with the same premises as the world government types: the belief that a world of separate nations, living by the law of the jungle, will inevitably be a violent world. Instead, these people believe, some supranational authority should be set up to settle international disputes by rule of law.

They know we're not close to a global version of the European superstate. So they are content to champion creeping institutions like the International Criminal Court. They treat U.N. General Assembly resolutions as an emerging body of international law. They seek to foment a social atmosphere in which positions taken by multilateral organizations are deemed to have more "legitimacy" than positions taken by democratic nations. John Bolton is just the guy to explain why this vaporous global-governance notion is a dangerous illusion, and that we Americans, like most other peoples, will never accept it. We'll never accept it, first, because it is undemocratic. It is impossible to set up legitimate global authorities because there is no global democracy, no sense of common peoplehood and trust. So multilateral organizations can never look like legislatures, with open debate, up or down votes and the losers accepting majority decisions.  Instead, they look like meetings of unelected elites, of technocrats who make decisions in secret and who rely upon intentionally impenetrable language, who settle differences through arcane fudges. Americans, like most peoples, will never surrender even a bit of their national democracy for the sake of multilateral technocracy.

John Bolton is in a good position to make these and other points. He helped reverse the U.N.'s Zionism-is-racism resolution. He led the U.S. rejection of the International Criminal Court. Time and time again, he has pointed out that the U.N. can be an effective forum where nations can go to work together, but it can never be a legitimate supranational authority in its own right. Sometimes it takes sharp elbows to assert independence. But this is certain: We will never be so seduced by vapid pieties about global cooperation that we'll join a system that is both unworkable and undemocratic.

For the full text, see  http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/14/opinion/14brooks.html?hp&oref=login
 

Christopher Jones writes: I never heard of JINSA until this popped up.  It paints an interesting picture of Mr Bolton's sympathies; The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs JINSA Report #475 (43/8/04)
2004  For the full text, see
http://www.jinsaorg/articles/articles.html/function/view/categoryid/650/documentid/2880/history/3,2359,650,2880
Here is an excerpt: Mr. Bolton - a member of the JINSA Board of Advisors when not in public service
- is one of very few people in Washington who can tick off specific accomplishments. He is responsible for spearheading the UN rescinding of the infamous "Zionism is Racism" resolution. In terms of the United Nations, the repeal of "Zionism is Racism" is a clue to Mr. Bolton's attitude toward the institution. The repeal was essential, he told a JINSA audience at the time, because even though General Assembly resolutions have no force of international law, they set the moral standard. It was wrong, he said, to have enshrined in the Assembly such a flagrant untruth. It was his mission to fix it. It will be fun to watch him take those skills to Turtle Bay on behalf of American interests and American allies, including Israel.  RH: Is Bolton Jewish, or just pro-Jewish? That he is on the JINSA Board suggests the former.In so far as it is based on the belief that the Jews are God's chosen race and that God gave them the land from the Nile to the Euphrates, Zionism is racism. Certainly the appointment of Bolton to the UN suggests that JINSA and Zionists pushed it.

 


Ronald Hilton 2005

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last updated: June 8, 2005