Jewish World Review April 22, 2005 / 13 Nisan, 5765
Bolton has common sense that's why he's hated
In the late 1990s, John Bolton published an article titled "The
Creation, Rise and Fall of the United Nations." If you had read this essay
and not witnessed one minute of his confirmation hearings, you would already
know that Democrats were going to despise him.
Here is Bolton's take on the post of U.N. secretary-general:
"... One should not invest excessive hope in any secretary-general. The U.N.
Charter describes the secretary-general as the U.N.'s 'chief administrative
officer.' He is not the president of the world. He is not a diplomat for all
seasons. He is not Mr. Friend of the Earth. And most definitely of all, he
is not commander in chief of the World Federalist Army. He is the
chief administrative officer. Nothing less than that, to be sure,
but, with even greater certainty, nothing more."
A wound to the quick! In a few words, Bolton ridiculed liberal
U.N. worship. It's no surprise that they did not thank him for bringing them
down to earth with a jolt. Bolton's point in that article is that the United
Nations is a tool, not an end itself. Rather than the "parliament of man"
liberals fondly imagine, the United Nations is a collection of nations each
pursuing its own interests, and an unaccountable bureaucracy awash in waste,
sloth, luxury and abuse.
Frankly, in a decade that has brought us the Oil for Food
scandal, the child sex slave trade carried on by U.N. workers, U.N. failures
to confront horrific human rights disasters like North Korea and Sudan
indeed, even offering the genocidal regime of Sudan a place on the Human
Rights Commission (other members: Zimbabwe, Congo, Cuba, Saudi Arabia)
the real question ought to be not why John Bolton isn't sentimental about
the United Nations, but rather why Democrats are.
Bolton is not of the "U.S. out of the U.N., and U.N. out of the
U.S." persuasion. He believes that the United States should lead the body,
rather than be led by it. Bolton was our point man in seeing to it that the
infamous "Zionism is Racism" General Assembly resolution was overturned.
He thinks the United Nations has been useful at times. The
Security Council helped negotiate and monitor a truce between Iran and Iraq
in the late 1980s. The United Nations supervised free elections in Namibia,
and provided monitors as Soviet troops departed Afghanistan and Cubans left
Angola. The first Gulf War, Bolton argues, was the only historical example
of the Security Council behaving as the United Nations' founders envisioned.
That vigorous reversal of blunt aggression was possible only because of
But Bolton's approach to the United Nations, which was also the
approach of Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, is anathema to
U.S. liberals. During the confirmation hearing, Sen. Barbara Boxer played a
tape of Bolton's frank description of the United Nations' top-heavy
bureaucracy. "There are 38 floors to the U.N. building in New York. If you
lost 10 of them, it wouldn't make a bit of difference," Bolton is heard to
Triumphant in her belief that she had caught Bolton out, Boxer
declared: "You have nothing but disdain for the United Nations. You can
dance around it, you can run away from it, you can put perfume on it, but
the bottom line is the bottom line." Sen. Joseph Biden wondered aloud why
Bolton even wanted the job.
Bolton was placid during his grilling though why so few
Republicans chose to attend the hearing is anybody's guess. Perhaps sensing
that substantive policy differences with Bolton would not be enough to sink
his nomination he is, after all, supposed to represent President Bush at
the United Nations, not President Kerry the Democrats switched tactics.
This is a well-worn pattern by now. We saw it with Robert Bork, and then
with Clarence Thomas and countless others. It is the find dirt game. Or
perhaps the invent dirt game.
It has now reached truly hilarious depths. It seems, don't say
this too loud, that Bolton has been known to yell at subordinates,
particularly those who lie to him. This intelligence has led Democratic
senators and two very limp Republicans, George Voinovich and Chuck
Hagel to conclude that Bolton lacks the proper "temperament" for a
high-ranking position in the U.S. government. Can anyone say this with a
Here's the real bottom line: Republicans have permitted this to
happen. If the president had backed Bolton more forthrightly; if Republican
senators had supported him during his hearing; and if two Republicans had
not bid for The New York Times' approval, this could not have happened.
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