President Bush stands by those loyal to him — as he did with John Bolton, who was precisely the wrong person to send as America’s Ambassador to the U.N.
Now John Bolton is reportedly gathering a new group of staffers loyal specifically to him.
News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI’s New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.
Jeff Gedmin is a self-described Bolton loyalist and penned his job application and writing sample for Bolton, “Mein Freund Bolton,” in March of this year.
Gedmin’s piece is an early preemptive attack on those who would question the appropriateness of Bolton for the key U.N. Ambassadorship and help make Bolton’s style of pugnacious nationalism that has so harmed U.S. interests in the last few years seem legitimate for an American envoy.
Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly — and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard — and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush’s blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.
Iran’s pretensions are a clear issue of concern — but the “bomb them now and get it over” attitude is not going to further American interests and probably is a sure-fire path assuring Iranian commitment to a fully-deployed nuclear weapons program coupled with a pissed-off and isolated Iran.
I have maintained a friendly relationship with Jeffrey Gedmin through the years and think that the Aspen Institute Berlin’s decision to hire Gedmin in Germany gave Germans a much closer feel to the thinking and motivations that ran through neoconservative circles. This was better for Germans than hiring someone who just reaffirmed dominant German biases. However, even good acquaintances have disagreements — and John Bolton is a big one.
While I wish Gedmin well in the U.S. mission, I am alarmed that Bolton is bringing people to his side that bolster the neocon element both in the State Department and who reinforce Bolton’s long-term agenda of using his perch as a rival voice on U.S. foreign policy to Rice and Zoellick — and to make sure that the Bolton/Cheney wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment continues strong.
I should hasten to add that the State Department will not confirm or deny the news on Gedmin. What TWN has received is still in the form of doubly confirmed rumor.
That means the deal could still fall apart I suppose — but given that there are some inside the U.S. mission complaining about Bolton’s micro-management and tough bravado vis-a-vis the civil servant staff, there may be tensions brewing — and Bolton may be bringing his own loyalists to keep order and to “compel” those bureaucrats under his control to do “exactly what he wants.”
Well, we saw how well that went in his last job. . .Bolton’s immediate staff as well as the rest of the world (represented at the U.N.) need to watch out.
Leakers — you know what to do.
— Steve Clemons