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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 21, 2005 / 10 Adar II, 5765

Kudos to Bolton for telling it like it is

By Mark Steyn


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Even if Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton weren't two of the more far-sighted thinkers in the Bush administration, appointing them respectively to the World Bank and the U.N. would be worth it just for the pleasure of watching the Europeans, the Democrats and the media go bananas over it.

The assumption seems to be that, with things going Bush's way in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Bush needs to reach out by stiffing the counselors who called it right and appointing more emollient types who got everything wrong. Each to his own. But as I see it, the question isn't why Wolfowitz and Bolton should hold these jobs, but why Kofi Annan, Jacques Chirac, John Kerry and assorted others still hold their jobs.

Still, if you're going to play the oldest established permanent floating transnational crap game for laughs, might as well pick an act with plenty of material. What I love about Bolton, America's new ambassador to the U.N., is the sheer volume of "damaging" material. Usually, the Democrats and media have to riffle through decades of dreary platitudes to come up with one potentially exploitable infelicitous soundbite. But with Bolton the damaging quotes are hanging off the trees and dropping straight into your bucket. Five minutes' casual mooching through the back catalog and your cup runneth over:

The U.N.? ''There is no such thing as the United Nations.''

Reform of the Security Council? ''If I were redoing the Security Council, I'd have one permanent member: the United States.''

International law? "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law."

Offering incentives to rogue states? "I don't do carrots."

But he does do schtick. I happen to agree with all the above statements, but I can see why the international community might be minded to throw its hands up and shriek, "Quel horreur!" It's not just the rest of the world. Most of the American media are equally stunned. The New York Times wondered what Bush's next appointment would be:

"Donald Rumsfeld to negotiate a new set of Geneva conventions? Martha Stewart to run the Securities and Exchange Commission?"

OK, I get the hang of this game. Sending Bolton to be U.N. ambassador is like . . . putting Sudan and Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission. Or letting Saddam's Iraq chair the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Or sending a bunch of child-sex fiends to man U.N. operations in the Congo. And the Central African Republic. And Sierra Leone, and Burundi, Liberia, Haiti, Kosovo, and pretty much everywhere else.

All of which happened without the U.N. fetishists running around shrieking hysterically. Why should America be the only country not to enjoy an uproarious joke at the U.N.'s expense?

That's why the Bolton flap is very revealing about conventional wisdom on transnationalism. Diplomats are supposed to be "diplomatic." I mentioned a month or so back the late Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson's bon mot: Diplomacy is the art of letting the other fellow have your way. In other words, you were polite, discreet, circumspect, etc., as a means to an end. Not anymore. None of Bolton's detractors is worried that his bluntness will jeopardize the administration's policy goals. Quite the contrary. They're concerned that the administration has policy goals — that it isn't yet willing to subordinate its national interest to the polite transnational pieties. In that sense, our understanding of "diplomacy" has become corrupted: It's no longer the language through which nation states treat with one another so much as the code-speak consensus of a global elite.

For much of the civilized world the transnational pablum has become an end in itself, and one largely unmoored from anything so tiresome as reality. It doesn't matter whether there is any global warming or, if there is, whether Kyoto will do anything about it or, if you ratify Kyoto, whether you bother to comply with it: All that matters is that you sign on to the transnational articles of faith. The same thinking applies to the International Criminal Court, Darfur, the Oil-for-Fraud program, and anything else involving the U.N.

That's what Bolton had in mind with his observations about international law: "It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so — because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States." Just so. When George Bush Sr. went through the U.N. to assemble his Stanley Gibbons coalition for the first Gulf War, it may have been a "diplomatic triumph" but it was also the biggest single contributing factor to the received wisdom in the decade and a half since that only the U.N. has the international legitimacy to sanction war. That in turn amplifies the U.N.'s claim to sole global legitimacy in a thousand other areas, big and small: the environment, guns, smoking, taxation.

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Yet the assumption behind much of the criticism of Bolton from the likes of Kerry is that, regardless of his government's foreign policy, a U.N. ambassador has to be at some level a U.N. booster. Twenty years ago, Secretary of State George Schulz used to welcome the Reagan administration's ambassadorial appointments to his office and invite each chap to identify his country on the map. The guy who'd just landed the embassy in Chad would invariably point to Chad. "No," Schulz would say, "this is your country" — and point to the United States. Nobody would expect a U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union to be a big booster for the Soviets. And, given that in a unipolar world the most plausible challenger to the United States is transnationalism, these days the Schulz test is even more pertinent for the U.N. ambassador: his country is the United States, not the ersatz jurisdiction of Annan's embryo world government.

Reporting on the Bolton appointment in the Financial Times, James Harding wrote,''Mr. Bush is eager to re-engage with allies, but is unapologetic about the Iraq war, the policy of preemption and the transformational agenda." "Unapologetic"? What exactly should he be apologizing for? The toppling of Saddam? The Iraq election? The first green shoots of liberty in the desert of Middle Eastern "stability"? When you unpick the assumptions behind Harding's sentence, Bush's principal offense is that he remains "unapologetic" about doing all this without the blessing of the formal transnational decision-making process.

Good for him. In recent years, I can find only one example of a senior U.N. figure having the guts to call a member state a "totalitarian regime." It was former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali last autumn, and he was talking about America. Bolton's sin isn't that he's "undiplomatic," but that he's correct.

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JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. and the author, most recently, of "The Face of the Tiger," a new book on the world post-Sept. 11. (Sales help fund JWR). Comment by clicking here.


© 2005, Mark Steyn