Monday, March 14, 2005
John Bolton: Ambassador to an Agency which he Despises
Well, it's a bit like appointing Pat Buchanan as your ambassador to Israel.
Bolton has been quoted as saying, among other things:
"there is no such thing as the United Nations."
"If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
"He spearheaded U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court, declaring that the day he signed the letter withdrawing the U.S. signature on the treaty was "the happiest moment of my government service." He was the force behind Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative, a coalition designed to halt trade in nuclear materials that bypassed the United Nations. And he pressed the administration's unsuccessful campaign to deny a third term to Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. (WashingtonPost)
". . . Additional evidence of Bolton's extreme, take-no-prisoners worldview is not difficult to find. He is a prolific writer and speaker.
In an article for the right-wing Weekly Standard (10/4/99) entitled "Kofi Annan's UN Power Grab," Bolton excoriates the UN Secretary General for trying to limit warfare and to establish the supremacy of UN forces. In Bolton's words, "If the United States allows that claim to go unchallenged, its discretion in using force to advance its national interests is likely to be inhibited in the future."
On U.S. arrears to the UN, Bolton proclaimed, "[M]any Republicans in Congress--and perhaps a majority--not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote but actually see it as a 'make my day' outcome. Indeed, once the vote is lost… this will simply provide further evidence to may why nothing more should be paid to the UN system." Not surprisingly, Bolton is also a hard-line opponent to U.S. peacekeeping missions, whether under the UN or unilaterally. When George W. Bush denounced the use of the military for so-called "nation building," he was repeating Bolton's criticism of the Clinton administration's efforts in Somalia and elsewhere. Nonetheless, Bolton did favor the bombing of Serbia--which was presumably not nation building, nor was it pursued under UN auspices. On North Korea, Bolton has declared that the U.S. should make "it clear to the North that we are indifferent to whether we ever have 'normal' diplomatic relations with it, and that achieving that goal is entirely in their interests, not ours."
After the Senate voted not to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), Bolton declared categorically, "CTBT is dead." Here he's at odds with much of the American public. Public opinion polls consistently show that more nearly 80% of Americans support a ban on all underground tests.
Bolton's reputation has the advance man for the right wing has continued to grow during his tenure in the George W. administration. Although his office has no purview over human rights or international justice issues, he was the one to sign the letter to Kofi Annan in May 2002 renouncing any role for the U.S. in the International Criminal Court. Bolton has been a staunch advocate of the administration's revival of the "Star Wars" missile defense system, and its rejection of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
A speech by Bolton at the Heritage Foundation, also in early May 2002, signaled that the administration may be targeting Cuba in its war on terrorism. His "Beyond the Axis of Evil" speech claimed, without any evidence, that Cuba was developing biological weapons and sharing its expertise with other U.S. enemies." (Foreign Policy In Focus)
But you wouldn't know it from listening to Georgy Boy, who claims that Bolton "has a proven track record of effective multilateralism. . . . John Bolton is personally committed to the future success of the United Nations, and he will be a strong voice for reform at a time when the United Nations has begun to reform itself to help meet the challenging agenda before the international community." (CNN)