Beyond Yosemite Sam

Dec 4, 2006 12:41pm

A knowledgeable Republican official gives more information about the tenure and exit of controversial outgoing United Nations Ambassador John Bolton…beyond the Yosemite Sam caricature…

His Exit

"There are two levels to look at this," the official says, "the confirmation level, and what would have happened if he wasn’t confirmed — a recess-type thing."

"On the confirmation level, the reality is Democrats were opposing him, but very nervous about prospect of filibustering him. John is enormously popular with certain constituencies" big in Democratic political circles — namely "Jews, supporters of humanitarian efforts, supporters of intervention in Sudan. He is probably the most popular UN ambassador among pro-Israeli pro-Jewish interests." The official says any filibuster would have caused big problems for New York Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, "since every prominent Jewish fundraiser loves John Bolton."

On the idea that Bolton receive another recess appointment — this one without a salary — the official says, "the White House was standing by him, but at some point these decisions are very personal. John is a true patriot and has a real sense of country. He just made the decision this wasn’t right to continue to pursue."

His Accomplishments

The official suggests Bolton "will go down as one of best UN Ambassadors in history, along with (Daniel Patrick) Moynihan and (Jeane) Kirkpatrick."

"The irony of this is the UN Security Council has functioned well under Ambassador Bolton’s leadership. The reality is a completely opposite construct of what the Democrats are putting out there."

The official says Bolton led the way for some "good resolutions" and diplomatic accomplishments through the UN Security Council, including pressuring Iran on its nuclear program, bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table, and important work on Burma, Lebanon and the Sudan.

At the same time, the official says, Bolton’s criticisms of the UN have been proven true as well. "John was right about the UN, in terms of everything he says about its ineffectiveness. It didnt really reform itself." And despite major human rights issues in Darfur, Zimbabwe, Uzbekhistan and Belarus, the only place condemned by a Human Rights resolution has been Israel. Much of the machinery of UN makes it so the body is an Israel-bashing apparatus. Americans fund 22% of the UN budget, much of which goes to attacking Israel."

Then, of course, there’s the inaction on genocide in Sudan. "The reality is the Arab world is defending Khartoum because it’s Arab versus indigenous Africans, and the African Union doesn’t want to impair the sovereignty of any fellow members. That’s why the Sudan resolution included the requirement that before UN troops were committed, (Sudan President Omar Hussein) Al-Bashier would have to allow it, which he doesn’t want to happen because he doesn’t want to be tried for genocide. The truth is we are ironically more committed to ending the genoicde more than the Arab world, and more than the Africans." And of course, within the Security Council "China and Russia havent been helpful" either. That said, according to the official, "John had great relationship with those guys (the Chinese and Russian diplomatic corps) and without John we wouldn’t have had a resolution at all."

Just some food for thought…
– jt

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