Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 April 28, 2005 / 19 Nissan, 5765

Bolton's not nice — but he's good

By Max Boot


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Nomination battles are known for introducing new standards for officeholders. John Tower's failed bid to be Defense secretary in 1989 meant that public drunkenness was now a disqualification. The near-failure of Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991 added sexual harassment to the list. The withdrawal of Zoe Baird's name for attorney general in 1993 made failure to pay nanny taxes a no-no. (I'm tempted to add that Robert Bork's rejection for the Supreme Court in 1987 ruled out nominees with scraggly facial hair.)


Now, John Bolton's nomination to be United Nations ambassador is in serious jeopardy, according to the senators who oppose him, because he's not nice enough.


But do we really want to add nastiness to the list of disqualifications? If we did, America's most effective diplomatists would have been kicked out of office. Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, Jeane Kirkpatrick, James Baker III and Richard Holbrooke, among others, were all tough customers. Those are exactly the qualities you need in dealing with the hard cases who rule much of the world. No milquetoast need apply for the post of U.N. ambassador, or any other demanding diplomatic job.


Bolton has been an effective diplomat and bureaucratic operator precisely because he has not tried to win any popularity contests. He has fought for his beliefs, and usually prevailed. In 1991, for instance, he helped push for repeal of the U.N.'s infamous "Zionism is racism" resolution. More recently, he has marshaled an impressive coalition behind the Proliferation Security Initiative designed to stop the spread of nukes. And he did it not by being polite but by being forceful and persuasive.


I don't see eye to eye with Bolton on everything. His animus toward the International Criminal Court — which led him to antagonize valuable allies because of his insistence that they sign treaties pledging never to refer U.S. soldiers for prosecutions — seems excessive to me. And he has never been known as a fan of nation-building or humanitarian interventions, which I believe are necessary in the post-9/11 world. But he seems like a good choice to help drain the U.N. cesspool of corrupt bureaucrats and self-serving tyrants, and nothing in his confirmation hearings has led me to think otherwise.


I'm not impressed by unverified allegations made by an anti-Bush partisan that, as a private citizen, Bolton pounded on her hotel room door in 1994. Same with claims that he yelled at a co-worker in the early 1980s. Even if true, so what?


More serious is the charge that he misused intelligence. But these accusations break down upon close examination. In both of the instances cited, which concern Bolton speeches about the dangers posed by Cuba and Syria, he did push initially for tougher language than the intelligence community was comfortable with. But when the CIA told him to tone down his remarks, he complied. His unwillingness to blindly accept initial CIA judgments should be applauded, not reviled, in light of numerous commission findings that our spooks are often clueless.


Bolton is also accused of intimidating analysts who disagreed with him. He purportedly threatened to fire Christian Westermann, a State Department analyst who disagreed about whether Cuba is developing weapons of mass destruction. What critics neglect to mention is that Westermann sent Bolton's draft speech for review to the CIA with a cover letter falsely claiming that State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research disagreed with its conclusions. In fact, no official determination had been made. Westermann was then said to have denied what he did. Westermann's own boss apologized to Bolton for his "entirely inappropriate" conduct. No wonder Bolton got steamed.


If you doubt that these are reasonable grounds for rejecting Bolton's nomination, you would be right. All the harrumphing about how Bolton is no Mr. Nice Guy is only a pretext. The real issue is that liberal Democrats, Republican squishes and their allies inside the State Department are mad at Bolton because he has been a committed champion of President Bush's "unilateralist" foreign policy. But as a "top Senate Democrat" told Time magazine: "We can't argue that this guy is unfit just because he's said mean things about the U.N. Don't forget, most Americans agree with him." So instead of debating the real issues, they're making his personality the issue. That's, umm, not very nice.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


04/22/05: What Garbage Workers and Make-Believe Iraqis Taught Our Military
04/15/05: What Do We Do About Darfur?
04/08/05: The friend we betrayed
04/01/05: The Iraq War's Outsourcing Snafu
03/25/05: Why neither party is serious about solving the growing gas crisis

© 2005, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles