Friday, June 24, 2005

Confirm Ambassador Bolton Now!!!!

Nominate John Bolton

In another example of why the Senate should re-examine the filibuster’s tradition in the hallowed Chamber, Democrats, the Party of No, twice blocked the nomination of John Bolton, the President’s nominee to as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Barring some compromise, the President may have to withdraw the nomination or appoint him to fill temporarily. In that case, the Senate would revisit the issue when his temporary appointment expires – January of 2007. I urge you the reader to browbeat the Senate to into compromise and appoint him. Should that fail, we should support the President’s temporary appointment.

The Press has billed Mr. Bolton as not a nice guy. Detroit Free Press in its June 23rd editorial has written: “John Bolton, with his record of disdain for the United Nations and a temperament that has been repeatedly described as something less than diplomatic, is simply the wrong person for this sensitive post.” The Indian Country Today offers a more scathing look at the man who would be the US at the UN, alleging that Bolton made up accusations against Cuba in 2002 and Syria in 2003 about their bio-weapons program. Further, the critics cite that Bolton attacked Mohamed El Baradei’s reappointment to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and has been particularly harsh to the North Koreans. From the Indian Country Today: “Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel who was former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to early 2005, testified that Bolton's temperament and ill treatment of subordinates caused major tension and resentment at the highest levels of the State Department. . . . Wilkerson opined that Powell thought Bolton ‘an extremely poor leader’ and ‘not an effective diplomat.’” Then there’s the much sexed-up harassment damsel in distress song and dance that Ms. Melody Townsel, a subcontractor of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project in Kyrgyzstan offered before the confirmation hearings: ''Within hours of sending a letter to USAID officials outlining my concerns [over poor practices by a contractor], I met John Bolton, whom the prime contractor hired as legal counsel to represent them to USAID. And, so, within hours of dispatching that letter, my hell began. . . . Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel - throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman. For nearly two weeks, while I awaited fresh direction from my company and from USAID, John Bolton hounded me in such an appalling way that I eventually retreated to my hotel room and stayed there. Mr. Bolton, of course, then routinely visited me there to pound on the door and shout threats.''

So Ambassador Bolton is not a nice guy. On the surface, he does not appear to be very functional as a human being. Not exactly easy on the eyes, one might call Ambassador Bolton a name that rhymes with flagpole. But he’s precisely the right man for the job.

The UN needs a pit bull right now not a smooth silk stalking slick tongued ninny whose afraid to call a spade a spade because he’s afraid to offend someone. To paraphrase from the Arizona Republic, sometimes UN Ambassadors, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and even Adlai Stevenson need to be tough. We need someone to call terrorism and genocide what it is in Darfur – terrorism and genocide. We need someone to raise the steer manure flag when the UN declares as it did in 1975 that “Zionism is racism.” For those who defend the UN, where was the UN in West Africa when its own peacekeepers sexually abused the people it was trying to protect, where was the UN at the Hotel Rwanda, and where was the UN on the 17 billion dollar Oil for Food bribery scandal?

With all due respect to the General who argued in favor of leaving Saddam’s army in tact in 1991, someone with a confrontational bent and someone who puts America’s interests first is exactly what the UN needs. Most American see the United Nations, an institution we created as a harbor for anti-Americanism. As Peter Brown of the Orlando Sentinel has pointed out, Americans pay “22% of its $1.1-billion operating budget [and] 27% of the money it is spending on peacekeeping.” A lot of as are wondering what kind of return on our investment we are getting. Hey but the headaches are free, right?

We need someone who is going to kick a little tail in the UN. The best form of diplomacy is one grounded on straight talk. The fact is the UN has had Negroponte and Powell to contend with, let’s see what they will do with a Bolton.

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