Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bolton Redux

John Bolton's temporary tenure as UN Ambassador is drawing to a close: Dec. 31, to be exact. No matter how the elections of the preceding month turn out, expect yet another frenzy of negativism as the nomination comes up for renewal.

If they win in November, Bolton's confirmation hearings will be their first opportunity to strut their stuff. If they lose, we will see hostile wound-licking raised to a dark art.

So, should he be reconfirmed? Not according to Stephen Schlesinger, opining in today's LATimes.
A responsible nation that intends to harmonize differing viewpoints and work out compromises to further U.S. national security interests makes a serious error in appointing a Jacobin to work inside a collegial global body.

Bolton's presence on the same roster with previous U.S. envoys such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Adlai Stevenson, Arthur Goldberg, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Madeleine Albright, Richard Holbrooke and Bush appointees John Negroponte and John Danforth — or, for that matter, with George H.W. Bush — is a blemish on our nation. His nomination should be rejected again by the Senate.
The fact that Schlesinger thinks Albright is someone to be lauded should make you suspicious. His article is an exercise in nit-picking. He would have Bolton not criticize the UN on Human Rights, not demand real reform, not rock the boat. And he reminds of the Dems' shameful, trumped-up allegations about Boton's personal behavior.

Fortunately, the LAT gave Johah Goldberg the opportunity to take the other side and he states the obvious overlooked entirely by the accusatory Schlesinger:
We now know that [Sen. George] Voinovich was simply a victim of Boltophobia, a kind of St. Vitus' dance that causes otherwise reasonable people to go into twitching fits over the fact that Bolton doesn't love the U.N. enough. The problem is most Americans agree with Bolton that the U.N. is a cesspool of its own crapulence, stealing American tax dollars intended for global do-goodery while working against American interests.

"We can't argue that this guy is unfit just because he's said mean things about the U.N.," a "top Senate Democrat" admitted to Time magazine last year. "Don't forget, most Americans agree with him."
Bolton's been effective where he has to be effective: North Korea, Lebanon and Iran. He's pushed hard on UN reform and made known our nation's doubts about the UN's reform of its human rights apparatus. He's strong on Dafur, critical on reform, anti-abortion and anti-shenanigans.

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