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The Bolton Kerfuffle Resumes

by Christopher Chantrill
July 27, 2006 at 10:19 pm

PRESIDENT BUSH has nominated of John Bolton to be reappointed as UN Ambassador, and everyone is rehearsing their arguments of a year ago.

Bolton was appointed to the UN ambassadorship last August in the Congressional recess after Democrats filibustered his nomination. If he is not reappointed his recess appointment will expire at the end of the current session of Congress

Should Bolton be reappointed? As Colum Lynch makes clear, it all depends on what you think John Bolton should be doing at the UN. Democrats argue that Bolton is so combative that he is ineffective.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said, "Mr. Bolton's performance at the U.N. only confirms my conviction that he's the wrong person for this job."

And the UN diplomats agree.

"He sometimes makes it very difficult to build bridges because he is a very honest and blunt person," said South Africa's U.N. ambassador, Dumisani Shadrack Kumalo.

But Republicans like him, and Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has decided to support his nomination this time around.

Republicans feel that since most nations regard the UN as an institution for “constraining U.S. power,” that Bolton’s job is not to make the UN work, but to bring the work of the UN to a halt.

Democrats, who have more faith in the power of diplomacy, want someone to work with the other nations at the UN.

So, do we want to reform an institution that sees its job as constraining US power? Or do we want to keep it discredited and ineffective?

What the US would like out of the UN right now is to enforce Resolution 1559 demanding the disbanding of the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon. Ain’t gonna happen, however nicey nicey the US UN Ambassador is to his fellow diplomats.

The only way that Hezbollah will get disarmed is if it is defeated in battle.

Because international relations are not about diplomacy but about power.


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.



“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
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China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
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Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill