John Bolton . . . A House Divided
Vol: 43 Issue: 26 Tuesday, April 26, 2005
John Bolton’s confirmation as the new US Ambassador to the UN continues to be in doubt as the opposition to his appointment continues to dig for witnesses that have an axe to grind against the former undersecretary of State for Arms Control.
Evidently, the major beef against Bolton, from the perspective of his confirmation opponents, is that he isn’t very nice man.
To prove it, the Left has sought out people who will confirm, “his blowhard personal dealings when he held personal government jobs, his bullying tactics against underlings and attempts to suppress opposite views about foreign policy and national security.”
That is how the Seattle Times Intelligencer described Bolton in an op-ed opposing his confirmation. Some examples of Bolton’s ‘blowhard personal dealings’ that the Left feels disqualifies Bolton from representing the United States at the UN include:
* Melody Townsel of Dallas, a former contract worker for the U.S. Agency of International Development, sent an open letter to the committee, accusing Bolton — then a private lawyer — of shouting threats and trying to intimidate her in an argument over her criticism of his client while both were in Moscow in 1994.
* Carl Ford, former chief of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, told the senators that Bolton is a “serial abuser who bullied subordinates. … an 800-pound gorilla.” He said Bolton “abuses his power and authority over little people.” “He’s a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy,” Ford added.
Ford also accused Bolton of seeking dismissal of a State Department official with whom he disagreed.
And, most importantly of all, according to the Left, “[Bolton’s] appointment apparently sends shivers through the 190-member United Nations where Bolton’s reputation had already preceded him.” Horrors!
The International Herald Tribune slammed the Bolton appointment because he “clashed repeatedly with American intelligence officials in 2002 and 2003 as he sought to deliver warnings about Syria and its efforts to acquire unconventional weapons.”
A bit later in the story, however, the IHT admitted that, once Bolton had conferred with CIA officials, he removed any references to Syria from his comments.
So, to recap, the Left opposes Bolton because he marches in lockstep with the Bush administration, tends to run a tight ship and prefers not to have insubordinate subordinates.
They are afraid he will be undiplomatic with the UN in the event of a clash between US foreign policy and the UN agenda.
And they are upset that Bolton didn’t know what the CIA knew until AFTER the CIA told him, at which time he modified his speech.
Ummm . . . er . . . gee whiz! I think. Ummm. . . don’t we WANT an ambassador to the UN who will represent American, rather than UN interests? Isn’t that what an ‘ambassador’ does — represent the country that appointed him?
The UN has proved itself to be ideologically opposed to any policy that favors the US — to the degree that it opposes some US-led initiatives that are as much in the interests of the UN as they are in Washington’s interests.
Iraq SHOULD be a case in point. Saddam defied 17 UN resolutions. Washington saw Saddam’s government as a threat to regional stability and world peace.
So did the UN — at least ostensibly — since they did in fact, pass all 17 resolutions, each of which contained the choice between Iraqi compliance or military action against Saddam’s regime.
But the moment it became Washington’s goal to remove Saddam, it became the UN’s Holy Grail to prop him up and keep him in power.
Perhaps somebody like John Bolton may have asked why? Perhaps somebody like John Bolton might have brought up the Oil-For-Food irregularities in open session at the Security Council.
And if he had, perhaps the UN might have decided to support the Iraq War, removing the ‘international legitimacy’ label from the equation.
With UN support, the terrorist insurgency there may never have been able to get off the ground. Perhaps there would be fewer dead American soldiers.
There are a lot of ‘perhaps’ questions that were never addressed because of the incomprehensible leftist theory that, when there is a policy clash between the US and the UN, America’s ambassador should take the side of the United Nations.
An op-ed penned by Nancy Soderberg in the San Fransciso Chronicle ran under the revealing headline; “America’s Place on the World Stage –Time for Bush to Abandon Superpower Myth”. Soderberg was a former US Ambassador to the UN appointed by President Clinton.
Soderberg begins her piece by extolling the enlightened superiority of San Fransiscans over the rest of America.
“The citizens of San Francisco are different from the rest of America. Their demonstrations are the most vigorous, their mayors are all unique and you can’t beat their choice of surroundings. San Franciscans also voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush by 67 percent, compared with 48 percent of Americans elsewhere.”
Having established her bona-fides as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, Soderberg continued;
“It is thus no accident that California’s Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein grilled Condoleezza Rice over her failures as national security adviser and the ber-unilateralist John Bolton during their nomination hearings. Referring to him as a “bully,” Boxer rightly asserted, “Mr. Bolton needs anger management at a minimum and he does not deserve to be promoted.”
Soderberg then made this astonishing statement: “Bay Area residents understand the dangers of extremism in Washington and the failures of Bush’s first term.” Lessee. “Extremism” — would deciding to perform gay marriages in defiance of existing state and federal law by the mayor of San Franscisco qualify as ‘extremism’? And, which ‘failures’ of the Bush first term does Soderberg consider paramount?
“U.S. policy in the past four years has been driven by the false belief that, as the lone superpower, the United States is powerful enough to bend the world to its will, largely on its own and through military means.” This failure to recognize the myth of American superpower is the reason, opines Soderberg, for the anti-American sentiment permeating the Muslim world.
It gives one pause to wonder . . . if Muslim terrorists didn’t have acres of column inches written by left-leaning American columnists prominently published in left-leaning American newspapers, would they have such a vast pool of anti-Americanized recruits from which to choose?
Which do you think would be the most effective in convincing a foreigner of America’s evil designs? A sermon given by an anti-American cleric whose anti-American views color every speech? Or a column published in America, written by an American, who systematically outlines a series of reasons to hate America?
If you didn’t know beans about America, who would be the most convincing? A cleric with no more experience with America than you have? Or reams of American newspapers that appear to confirm everything contained in the sermon against the Great Satan?
Especially those sneering written by arrogant, self-hating American liberals more than willing to give personal testimony to the accuracy of the mullah’s sermon?
In a nutshell, the liberal objection to John Bolton is that he will represent the Bush adminstration’s foreign policy at the United Nations.
One may or may not like the Bush administration’s foreign policy, but domestic politics is DOMESTIC, not international.
There is only one America represented at the United Nations, and America has only one head-of-state to speak for it. Once having entered the international arena, what are the alternatives choices to the Bush administration policy agenda?
Ummm . . . we could let the United Nations set the agenda. That’s one alternative. Another would be to insist that America’s representative to the UN be ideologically opposed to the administration’s foreign policy agenda.
A third alternative would be to let the ideology of the elected minority party set the US foreign policy agenda on the principle articulated by Howard Dean that, ‘the majority of Americans are Democrats, it’s just that the majority in Washington are Republicans’.
Those are alternatives to confirming John Bolton, who, according to his opponents, is unfit to represent the US at the UN because he is a Bush loyalist, something that Nancy Pelosi felt was prima facie evidence of Bolton’s unfitness. Bolton’s other chief disqualifying characteristics are that he is ‘abrasive’ and ‘uncompromising’.
Now, let’s get back to whether or not we are personally comfortable with Bush’s international agenda. In several areas, I am not. But I am much less comfortable with the concept that somebody else besides the elected administration is setting the international agenda.
The point here isn’t John Bolton. It isn’t even the president’s agenda. Its the breakdown of America’s political order into something resembling two separate countries with two opposing agendas under one roof.
Half the country is prepared to submit to the concept of global government right now. The worst epithet the opposition could throw at John Bolton is that he would be too loyal to the administration in his dealings with the UN. (?)
In essence, the question before the Senate is this. Which America should John Bolton represent to the global government? Red State America? Or Blue State America?
Somewhere, lost in the debate, is the UNITED States of America. And at the UN, it only gets one vote.