Sex-Dwarf said:No he is not the right man for the job , even some senior democrat and republican senetors are fighting this nomination from what i can gather.
Wrong Man for This U.N.
By Peter Beinart
Tuesday, March 22, 2005; Page A17
John Bolton owes his recent nomination as ambassador to the United Nations to an analogy. It goes something like this: In 1975, when anti-Americanism was on the march, Gerald Ford chose a distinctly undiplomatic diplomat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to represent the United States at the United Nations. Unlike his predecessors, who had listened politely while America was defamed, Moynihan denounced the tin-pot dictatorships running wild at the United Nations. And a new movement called neoconservatism -- of which Moynihan was a leading voice -- made its entrance onto the international stage. Six years later, Ronald Reagan gave the U.N. job to another prominent neocon, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and she proved equally blunt.
Bolton -- a fierce U.N. critic -- is the supposed heir to that tradition. When Condoleezza Rice announced his nomination, she specifically invoked Moynihan and Kirkpatrick. Numerous right-leaning commentators have done the same. To some members of Congress, sending a man who has repeatedly trashed the United Nations to be America's representative there seems perverse. But for neocons with a sense of history, that's precisely the point.
Problem is, the history's misleading. Moynihan and Kirkpatrick were effective because their oppositional styles suited the time -- a time when there was little the United States could do at the United Nations other than oppose. Today the United States has an opportunity to lead. And by choosing Bolton, the Bush administration may be squandering it.
Moynihan became America's U.N. ambassador at one of the lowest moments in the history of U.S. foreign policy. In April 1975, the month he was nominated, North Vietnam overran Saigon, handing the United States its greatest military defeat of the 20th century. The United Nations was dominated by leftist Third World dictatorships with a fondness for the Soviet Union and a hostility to the United States. The previous year they had proposed a resolution essentially endorsing government expropriation of foreign property. The United States had opposed the resolution, and been outvoted 120 to 6.
In fact, Moynihan was given the U.N. job largely on the strength of an essay he published in Commentary called "The United States in Opposition," in which he noted that, "We are a minority. We are outvoted. . . . The question is what do we make of it."
Moynihan said America should go down fighting. And so, less than five months into his tenure, when the United Nations passed its infamous resolution equating Zionism with racism, Moynihan declared, "This is a lie." When Ugandan tyrant Idi Amin went before the General Assembly to demand the "extinction of Israel as a state," Moynihan called him a "racist murderer." By defending America, Moynihan kindled national pride. Time put him on its cover. National Review named him "man of the year."
When Kirkpatrick took the job in 1981, America's international standing was not much higher. The Soviets had recently invaded Afghanistan, and the Iranian hostage crisis had been an extended national humiliation. Often citing Moynihan, Kirkpatrick denounced America's critics, responding to their lectures on imperialism with lectures on democracy. The United States was still a beleaguered minority. But as one of Kirkpatrick's aides put it, it was no longer "a willing victim."
Like Moynihan and Kirkpatrick, Bolton loves a good fight. He has denounced international treaties on small arms, biological weapons and the International Criminal Court. He has said that if the United Nations lost 10 of its 38 floors, no one would notice. And as if to underscore his incendiary reputation, he reportedly keeps a fake hand grenade in his office.
But in today's United Nations, bomb-throwing is no longer what America needs. The Third World-Soviet alliance that dominated the organization in the 1970s and 1980s has collapsed. Eastern Europe is now filled with pro-U.S. democracies, and across the Third World governments have moved toward the capitalist economic systems they once decried. According to Freedom House, the number of countries deemed "free" has more than doubled since 1974, from 41 to 89. And while the United States is still resented at the U.N., its influence there is enormous. In 1996 the United States almost single-handedly deposed U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Today his successor, Kofi Annan, is scrambling to avoid a similar fate.
America's challenge at the United Nations is to forge a new ideological majority and harness it for cooperative efforts against terrorism, nuclear proliferation, poverty and AIDS. Bolton -- who specializes in alienating America's democratic allies -- is uniquely ill-suited to that task. By choosing him, the Bushies are signaling one of two things: Either they think America is still isolated in the world or, worse, they want it to be.
i don't get the logic. you appoint a UN ambassador who hates the UN....?
John R. Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, represents the right wing of the foreign policy establishment. How right? In January 2001, Jesse Helms endorsed Bolton: "John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world."
Bolton, a senior vice president for pubic policy research with the American Enterprise Institute, was spotted in the thick of the battle for the White House during the contested presidential election. Press photographers snapped him with other Bush stalwarts counting hanging chads in Palm Beach.
Bolton's other battles, at least in recent years, have centered on Taiwan and the United Nations. In a clear break with Washington's long-standing "one-China" policy, Bolton advocates that Taiwan be recognized as an independent state and be given a seat in the United Nations. In 1994, Bolton opened his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee by declaring, "I believe that the United States should support the efforts of the Republic of China on Taiwan to become a full member of the United Nations."
Such views set him apart not only from the Democrats but also from the Bush, Sr. administration. When Senator John Kerry (D-MA) raised the Taiwan issue at Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearings last month, Bolton dissembled, "It's not my function to advocate diplomatic recognition for Taiwan and it would be inappropriate for me to do so."
Yet on the AEI website, Bolton's views remain clearly spelled out. He writes that "diplomatic recognition of Taiwan would be just the kind of demonstration of U.S. leadership that the region needs and that many of its people hope for… The notion that China would actually respond with force is a fantasy, albeit one the Communist leaders welcome and encourage in the West."
And, according to the Washington Post (April 9, 2001), Bolton is motivated by more than his ultra-rightwing ideology. He's also been on the payroll of the Taiwan government. According to the Post, over a period of three years in the 1990s and at the time he promoting diplomatic recognition of Taiwan before various congressional committees, Bolton was paid a total of $30,000 by the government of Taiwan for "research papers on UN membership issues involving Taiwan." Bolton has denied that his testimony was in any way tied to the fee paid by the Taiwanese.
A Yale-educated lawyer, Bolton has held a variety of posts in both the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations at State, Justice and USAID. Besides his tenure at the pro-business AEI, Bolton was a senior fellow at the equally right-wing Manhattan Institute in 1993.
Bolton's hardline and right-wing credentials were affirmed in 1999 when he signed a statement prepared by the Project for the New American Century criticizing the Clinton administration for its failure to offer unequivocal support of Taiwan. The statement, signed by other neoconservative and right-wing luminaries such as William Kristol, William Buckley, Paul Weyrich, James Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitiz, William Bennett, and Elliott Abrams, called for a "state-to-state" relationship with Taiwan.
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.
noggi16 said:The more I read about this guy the more I think he was exactly the right choice
noggi16 said:Who do you want? A man that while brusque obviously gets things done or a softley spoken diplomat who avoids upsetting people?
Know who i'd pick
April 13, 2005
Questioning Mr. Bolton
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.
Mr. Bolton's attempts to dodge accountability were almost comical. At one point, explaining a trip to the C.I.A. in which he tried to have an analyst for Latin America on the National Intelligence Council removed for a similar act, Mr. Bolton said he had gone there only to learn what the council does. The explanation was not remotely believable from someone with Mr. Bolton's background in national security. But for future reference, he might check www.cia.gov/nic, which has nifty theme music and an explanation of the council's job: preparing intelligence reports.
Carl Ford Jr., who led the State Department's intelligence office at the time and is now retired, flatly contradicted Mr. Bolton's claim that he hadn't tried to have the State Department analyst fired. His appearance was a personal risk, given the way the administration vilified another intelligence officer, Richard Clarke, who challenged its line on the 9/11 attacks. Mr. Ford called Mr. Bolton a "kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy" and said the intimidation had had a lasting effect on his department.
Some of Mr. Bolton's Republican allies tried the "no harm, no foul" ploy, saying his misbehavior shouldn't count because he had ended up giving an accurate speech. Others said the issue was just a question of management style. But they are wrong. With America's credibility as low as it is, the last thing the nation needs is a United Nations envoy who tries to force intelligence into an ideological construct.
xdancer said:if we send a UN ambassador who is unwilling to work with the international community, it's pointless.
from a NY Times editorial (i bolded some of the most outrageous parts):
April 15, 2005
Can Bush and Rice really be turning Washington all warm and fuzzy?
TWO RATHER different views of the United Nations have been on display in America this week. In cinemas across the country, trailers are advertising the release next week of Sidney Pollack’s glossy new thriller set at the UN headquarters in New York.
In The Interpreter, Nicole Kidman plays what would have to be described as something quite rare these days, even in the fevered imagination of Hollywood liberals — the multilateralist, polyglot, diplomatist heroine. Ms Kidman is a UN official who believes, so the trailers say, in the “power and sanctity of words” to resolve conflicts. She uncovers a plot to assassinate an African president and, in trying to derail it, butts heads with a crusty US agent who favours a more aggressive approach.
I haven’t seen the film yet, but given the cast (which includes Sean “Christmas in Baghdad” Penn) and the fact that the UN allowed unprecedented access for its production, I would offer no prizes for correctly guessing whether it is the peaceful, diplomatic, violence-eschewing Ms Kidman who wins the day, or the other one.
In Washington, meanwhile, US senators have been putting on their own show for the cameras, grilling President George W. Bush’s nominee for ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.
Mr Bolton also believes in the power of words, but his tend to be decidedly less sanctified than Ms Kidman’s and uttered in a more direct form. Indeed, if they were making a movie about this veteran of foreign policy conservatism, it would probably be called, No Need for an Interpreter.
And yet Mr Bolton has been playing a rather different role this week, trying to reassure senators that he actually likes the UN and wants it to work. This may look like a rather transparent bit of acting and Mr Bolton is no Nicole Kidman, in any sense. But, I’m bound to say, against the current tide of clever opinion, that I’m starting to buy it. I’m starting to believe that Mr Bush’s second term is going to be very different from the first.
It has been generally assumed in the rarefied world of foreign policy practitioners and pundits that Mr Bolton’s nomination is a kind of lie-detector test applied to the Administration’s second-term rhetoric. For all the nice language of the President’s garland-strewn trip to Europe in February, for all Condoleezza Rice’s sharp suits and winning smiles, for all the talk of pages turned and pasts behind us, the Bolton nomination is said to reveal that the second Bush term is going to be a straight rerun of the first.
But the truth, I think, is precisely the opposite. Mr Bolton has gone to the UN not just because Dr Rice wanted him out of the State Department building. His job will be not to pour scorn on multilateralist approaches to international problems, but, however improbable it may seem, to use his rather special skills to make them work. The second Bush term will place a much higher premium on the value of international support, and work much harder to get it.
Two big developments lie behind this change of approach. The first is the remarkable ascendancy of Dr Rice. She did not distinguish herself much as National Security Adviser in the first Bush term. Seeing her job as one of interpreting events and mediating disputes for the President, she did not play the part of a foreign policymaking principal.
Now she is, in truth, in charge of foreign policy. Donald Rumsfeld is still around but he is a diminished figure, assumed to be on his way out within a year or so. Dick Cheney is still there, but his influence over the President has waned as the Secretary of State’s has waxed. The fact is that Dr Rice now enjoys the closest relationship a secretary of state has had with a president since Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon more than 30 years ago.
Although her own world view is still a little cloudy, it is very clear that it is not the robust, UN-despising, Europe-denigrating one in vogue at the Pentagon and in the Vice-President’s office. She won a clear victory on the first big foreign-policy question of the new term — whether to back Europe’s diplomacy on Iran; and she has won a host of other, smaller arguments.
But there is an even bigger reason why change is now in the air in Washington. There is a growing confidence across the Bush Administration that the hard and unpopular choices made in the first term have begun to bear fruit. Iraq is rapidly becoming the success the Left has feared. There is talk at the Pentagon that the first withdrawal of US troops could take place next year. There is evident excitement and optimism about the broader Middle East; democratic change from a free and peaceful Palestine to Afghanistan is no longer a neocon fantasy.
This has created not simply a sense of vindication in Washington but also a belief that the second term need not be so preoccupied with divisive issues. This has made the Bush team less defensive about the decisions made in the first term. They know Europeans won’t ever admit that the Iraq war was wise, but they know too that even the French cannot continue to insist that it was a disaster.
Difficult decisions lie ahead – another terrorist attack might reopen old fissures, Iran retains the potential to revive transatlantic tensions. But in these early days the right historical model for the second Bush term is the second Administration of Ronald Reagan. In the first term the President overturned the diplomatic card tables, terrified allies and ignited world opinion against America. But that stormy background noise smothered signs of real progress in the principal foreign-policy goal of asserting and promoting America’s values over the enemies of human freedom. Though the allies never much warmed to the President, the US felt confident enough to steer a less confrontational path in the second term, and the verdict of history was favourable.
Senate panel delays vote on Bolton nomination
GOP senator joins Democrats' call for extension
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed a scheduled vote Tuesday on President Bush's pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and could call nominee John Bolton back for more testimony.
Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, had pushed for a vote Tuesday afternoon. But that plan was derailed after member of the panel's Republican majority joined Democrats in seeking a delay.
"I've heard enough today that I don't feel comfortable about voting for Mr. Bolton," Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said.
Republicans call Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control, a foreign policy realist who will help push U.S. calls for "reform" at the United Nations.
But during confirmation hearings last week, senators heard allegations that Bolton tried to intimidate or have fired intelligence analysts who disagreed with him.
Democrats sought an extension to investigate what they called new complaints about Bolton, and objected strenuously to a push by Lugar to cut off debate and force a vote on the nomination.
Lugar said another hearing "would include the possibility that Secretary Bolton might be asked to come back for additional testimony."
The committee has 10 Republicans and eight Democrats. A majority vote in favor is needed to send the nomination to the full Senate floor.
In response to the criticism against him, Bolton said one analyst had acted inappropriately by criticizing him behind his back.
He told senators he did not want the man punished, but he did tell the man's supervisor that he had lost trust in him.
But Carl Ford, the State Department's former assistant secretary of state for intelligence and research, called Bolton "a serial abuser" and "a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, acknowledged that Bolton "raises a lot of passion."
"We hear the same things and we come to different conclusions," Coleman said. "In the end, I think the question is, why does the president want to appoint him? It is about reforming the U.N."
But Bolton, he said, "has the passion and has the intellect to do some very heavy lifting."
Democrats said Bolton's testimony has been called into question by new allegations that have emerged since Bolton's April 11 appearance. Democrats sought an extension to investigate those complaints, and they objected strenuously to a push by Lugar to cut off debate and force a vote on the nomination.
The committee's ranking Democrat, Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden, said senators were "setting ourselves up for failure" with Bolton's nomination.
"In your heart, you know this guy doesn't deserve to go to the U.N.," he said. "In your heart, you know that to be true. This time, follow your heart, not your head. Follow your heart on here, because your head's going to tell you to be really practical and don't screw around with the president's nominee."
Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebraska, said he would vote to send Bolton's nomination to the full Senate, "but that does not mean I will support his nomination on the floor," he said.
"I think these charges are serious enough that they demand further investigation, but I think in the interest of timeliness ... we should move this out today," Hagel said.
Hagel told CNN over the weekend that he would vote for Bolton "if there's nothing more that comes out," but acknowledged he was "troubled" by criticism of the nominee.
Democrats also criticize Bolton's handling of the diplomatic standoffs with North Korea and Iran over their nuclear programs and his previous public dismissals of the United Nations.
Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The New York Times on Tuesday that Bolton would be "an abysmal ambassador."
"He is incapable of listening to people and taking into account their views," Wilkerson told the newspaper.