59 former U.S. envoys urge Congress to reject Bolton nomination.

I must say that it’s a big relief to read that 59 former U.S. envoys are urging Congress to reject John R. Bolton’s nomination to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Anyone who has a passing familiarity with Bolton’s past statements about the U.N. and his attitude towards various treaties should be appalled that he was ever nominated in the first place.

Their criticism primarily dealt with Bolton’s positions as the State Department’s senior arms control official, his current job. They said he had an “exceptional record” of opposing U.S. efforts to improve national security through arms control.

The former diplomats also chided Bolton for his “insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States.”

That view, they said, would not help him negotiate with other diplomats at the United Nations.

The ex-diplomats behind the letter include people who have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations. Now we just have to hope that enough people in Congress actually listen to them to make a difference.

It almost seems at times as though the Bush Administration has this running bet with someone to see if they can’t get the absolute worst candidates for a job into office. I thought they would never be able to top John Ashcroft yet they proved me wrong with his replacement and now they’re trying to go even further by putting Bolton up for U.N. Ambassador. What’s next? Are they going to appoint David Duke to head up the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division?

3 thoughts on “59 former U.S. envoys urge Congress to reject Bolton nomination.

  1. UN Ambassador Bolton is, considering the current chess-game with Iran, the best person for the position.  In this present phase of war we can ill afford to expand the Gulf theatre to also include Iran, on top of our efforts in Mid-to-North Iraq and just along the Syrian border.  To presently encompass Iran into the war would cause a massive redeployment of either our Euro or Korea stationed troops.  So, it’s only prudent we shore up our offensive diplomatic efforts; Bolton (and Wolfowitz—as their appointments are part of the same pre-emptive strategy) has demonstrated focused, reasoned, and forthright tactics in this regard.

    It’s important for our European, Asian, African and our indigenous anti-American populations to rember that the UN is designed to solve problems—not tolerate and/or foster them.  Iran’s nuclear program (how many times have they broken agreements??? anyone?  anyone?  hello?!?!) is a classic example of UN mismanagement.  Bolton is perfect corrective measure for breaking this pattern of behavior.

    rob@egoz.org

  2. Looking at the specific criticisms levelled in the article:

    They said he had an “exceptional record” of opposing U.S. efforts to improve national security through arms control. … They ticked off a number of treaties they said Bolton had opposed.

    Depending on the nature of those arms control treaties, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Given that he was the primary official for arms control at State, his judgment on the matter may be better than that of diplomats who have been out of the service for a decade or three.

    The former diplomats also chided Bolton for his “insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States.”  That view, they said, would not help him negotiate with other diplomats at the United Nations.

    Because, of course, other countries send diplomats to the UN who only have the world’s interests at heart.  Or who, at least, are only quoted as such.

    They … said he had made “unsubstantiated claims” that Cuba and Syria were working on biological weapons.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if they were, but depending on the circumstances underneath which he made the statements, it’s not necessarily a deal killer to me.

    Also, they said, Bolton once worked as a paid researcher for Taiwan …

    Heavens!

    … and supported recognition of it as a sovereign state, …

    So?  So do I.  May not make the PRC happy, but tough noogies.

    … and he was skeptical of U.N. peacekeeping operations.

    I suspect there are a number of folks in the Congo who would agree.

    Based on the article, the worst that can be said about Bolton is that he speaks his mind, rather than layering his statements in diplomatese.  That may make him ineffective as envoy to the UN, or it may be just what is needed.

  3. Ah well. Yes. You definitely want someone at the UN who dislikes the UN and “has little patience for diplomacy.”

    The problem here is that America is sending the world mixed signals. On the one hand, Mr. Bush has actively tried to re-establish international relationships that were battered by his “pre-emptive strike” on Iraq and his ‘yer either fer us or agin us’ comments. On the other hand, with this appointment, Mr. Bush is letting the world know that he isn’t much interested in conciliation.

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