Watch the Video Clip — to the end. Wait for John Bolton’s own version of a “Dean Scream” about the United Nations. You’ll either love him or “really dislike” his views.
After watching the video, lots do like him. In fact, the anti-United Nations group, Move America Forward, is reportedly thinking of using clips of it in an advertising campaign to help mobilize support for Bolton — even though they have a campaign in play to evict the U.N. from American soil.
I think that the more Americans — and members of the United States Senate — who see this video clip, the better.
Jim Lobe, in a great article outlining the efforts to oppose John Bolton’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, quotes Citizens for Global Solutions staff member Harpinder Athwal.
“There are a lot of people outraged by these clips,” said Harpinder Athwal of CGS, which was formerly known as the World Federalist Association.
“One thing that is very clear, however, is that supporters and opponents believe it shows real John Bolton. So the question is whether we want this guy representing U.S. national interests at the United Nations.” (emphasis added)
Jim Lobe’s full article really deserves a full read. But here is another key excerpt:
During the Clinton administration, Bolton worked in top positions in right-wing think tanks, notably the mainly neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute.
In his role there, he launched repeated attacks on all manner of arms control treaties, advocated independence for Taiwan, and warned of the grave threats posed to U.S. sovereignty by the United Nations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that promoted treaties and conventions that might constrain Washington’s freedom of action overseas or influence U.S. laws at home.
His worldview and style were particularly well-displayed during a 1994 debate with a senior U.N. official, Erskine Childers, that was captured on video and can be seen at the CGS website, www.StopBolton.org.
It is in that debate that Bolton asserted that, “There’s no such thing as the United Nations,” adding that “If the U.N. (secretariat) building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
The video clip, which is expected to be run in television ads broadcast in target states over the coming weeks during the confirmation process beginning next week, shows Bolton becoming nearly apoplectic while insisting that the U.N. can only be effective when it is serving the U.S. national interest.
Significantly, the video is also featured on the website of an anti-U.N., pro-Bolton group, Move America Forward.
The Washington Note reported the other day that Citizens for Global Solutions was contesting Move America Forward’s use of the video clip.
Since TWN‘s report, Move America Forward has posted attribution to StopBolton.org for the video it is using — and while this attribution was not previously noted on its website, it is clear in several Move America Forward emails to its members that it indicated StopBolton.org as the source of the video clip.
That being said, the controversy still brews. Some argue that Move America Forward is using the Bolton video as a recruitment and fundraising device — and that the “fair use” principles of accessing copyrighted materials for discussion or critique are not being followed in this case.
In the Comments Section of The Washington Note, following this blog entry, Move America Forward representatives have articulated their rationale in taking and using the clip that Citizens for Global Solutions allowed to be aired on Meet the Press and posted on its StopBolton.org website. There are well-articulated explanatory statements from Move America Forward’s public relations counsel Joe Wierzbicki so that one can see the other side of this debate.
TWN has learned that Citizens for Global Solutions is pleased that Move America Forward now acknowledges on its website the source of the video clip — but still contests Move America Forward’s use of the clip.
Citizens for Global Solutions has proposed a settlement to Move America Forward, however, and it is interesting.
As I understand it, Citizens for Global Solutions has requested that Move America Forward “link” to CGS’s www.StopBolton.org website wherever Move America Forward makes the video available.
Citizens for Global Solutions has also reportedy requested that Move America Forward make the complete video available on its web site and discontinue its use of the truncated version.
According to one CGS staff member, “It is the policy of Citizens for Global Solutions that no one, without our consent or authorization, may modify the video.”
I think that this debate about this all-important John Bolton video clip will be solved. Opponents and advocates of John Bolton’s UN Ambassadorial nomination believe that the views he expresses on the video are real, genuine, unvarnished John Bolton.
Anything else is veneer. . .both sides agree.
The most fascinating catch line in all of this comes from Move America Forward’s website:
The following video is a clip from an anti-Bolton website, “StopBolton.Org”. The reasons they are crying about Bolton’s nomination are the same reasons why we are celebrating it.
It is rare that Americans get so clear cut a choice — looking at exactly the same material.
Watch the (full) video — and call your Senate office to register your own reaction and views.
— Steve Clemons