John Bolton: My Views on the UN Remain Unchanged


Senator Norm Coleman just asked John Bolton that now after he has been inside the UN whether his views of the institution and its role have changed at all.
John Bolton’s response: “Not really.”
On that basis alone, Senator George Voinovich should flip his vote again. If Bolton himself has not reconstructed his views of and approach to the UN as an institution — which was essential for Voinovich — why would he support him now. Makes zero sense.
— Steve Clemons


14 comments on “John Bolton: My Views on the UN Remain Unchanged

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  7. btree says:
    Tying the hands of the United Nations
    Simon Tisdall
    Friday July 28, 2006
    The Guardian
    In the week preceding Hizbullah’s July 12 cross-border raid into Israel that sparked the Lebanon war, the UN security council was wrestling with a draft resolution on Gaza. Sponsored by Arab countries, it called for the unconditional release of an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants on June 25, an end to the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel, and a halt to Israel’s “disproportionate” military response that was killing and injuring dozens of Palestinian civilians.
    In the event, the US vetoed the Gaza resolution on the grounds that it was “unbalanced” and, ironically in the light of subsequent events, would have exacerbated regional tensions. John Bolton, the US ambassador, said the draft “places demands on one side of the Middle East conflict but not the other”. In a taste of things to come, Britain abstained from voting.
    The security council’s failure during the period beginning June 25 to offer even a statement of concern about events in Gaza is one possible reason why Hizbullah took the incendiary action it did on July 12, capturing two more Israeli soldiers and killing several others. The Lebanese Shia militia doubtless had other motives, too. But it appeared determined to stand up for the Palestinians when the international community was evidently unwilling or unable to do so.
    The council’s subsequent record as the Lebanon war has unfolded in all its unchecked barbarity has been even less edifying. It has been effectively sidelined as the US has repeatedly disrupted collective attempts to achieve an immediate halt to the violence. Efforts by the French council presidency to gather support for a ceasefire resolution have made scant progress in the face of ongoing US obstruction.
    And cruelly highlighting the UN’s inability to look after its own, Washington blocked a council statement on Wednesday evening condemning Israel’s bombing of a UN monitoring post in south Lebanon that killed four observers. Neither China, which lost one of its citizens in the bombing, nor Russia, which has demanded a “central role” for the UN in the crisis, were able to shift Washington.
    Philippe Douste-Blazy, France’s foreign minister, warned that the longer the international community failed to act, the greater the potential risks. “If we don’t stop things now, an absolutely hellish spiral will be unleashed,” he told French radio. “It would not just be between Israel and Hizbullah but also increasingly between Israel and Arab countries and increasingly between the west and the Muslim world.” Al-Qaida grimly echoed his warning yesterday. “All the world is a battlefield open in front of us,” it said.
    Anger is growing over continuing US spoiling tactics. “The Americans’ mood has not changed” despite the mounting carnage in Lebanon, a senior European official said yesterday. “The Americans are always obstructive at the UN unless there is something they want.” An example was the expected UN resolution on Iran’s nuclear programmes, which the US strongly supports. That is likely to pass in the next few days.
    “It’s not the UN’s fault,” the official added. “What is at stake is the ability of the so-called great powers to deliver. Kofi Annan [the UN secretary general] has made some very strong statements. But he is not in a position to impose. It’s a matter of will, of responsibility, of vision, it’s a matter of governance. If the security council governments can’t agree an action plan, the UN will remain impotent.”
    But pressure is building. Lord Hannay, formerly Britain’s ambassador to the UN, said: “It is now time for the security council to get fully engaged in attempts to end the fighting.”
    The UN’s problems, an echo of the crisis over Iraq and more recent spats with the US over internal reform, are symbolised to a degree by the embroiling of Mr Annan in an increasingly personal feud after he accused Israel of deliberately targeting the UN observers.
    Dan Gillerman, Israel’s UN ambassador, told More4 News yesterday that Mr Annan’s claim was “ludicrous, very hasty, unfortunate, appalling and irresponsible … Nobody in his right mind would accuse Israel of doing something like that.”


  8. Matthew says:

    It’s supposed to be the United Nations, not the Commonwealth of American Dependant States. William Manchester ridiculed a similar self-absorbtion, i.e., the 19th Century’s “Little England” viewpoint in the first volume of “The Last Lion.” When a deep fog made the channel unnavigable, one English newspaper noted the “Continent was cut off.”


  9. Easy E says:

    Agree with previous post. Judging from some of these comments, appears that Rove’s brownshirts are at work.


  10. eCAHNomics says:

    Wow–monopoly of UN haters in comments. Guess they’d prefer W to be in charge of the world.


  11. Finest says:

    Bolton’s opinion hasn’t changed. Welll….cuz Annan hasn’t had a lobotomy yet, cuz his son is still on the payroll, cuz all the maps at the U.N. leave out the state of Israel, cuz the U.N. cuts and runs when the dearly departed Zarqwari blows them up, cuz Annan equates Israel with Al Qaeda, cuz the U.N. is a rathole for your hard earned Benjamins. Duh.


  12. Robert Morrow says:

    Did you hear that Hillary and Chuck Shumer will vote for Bolton if he gets to the floor of the US Senate?
    Here is my 3 point plan for the UN: defund, dissolve and defumigate. The UN was aiding Hezbollah in Lebanon, so that can’t be too popular with Demo Jewish donors, ergo Hillary and Chuck sticking by Bolton.


  13. Thomas says:

    Can’t say I blame the man really. I have gone from being a college Model UN participant and big supporter of the UN to left wondering if it will even exist in 20 years unless it figures out the concept of transparency as an organization, cleans up mismanagement (both of peacekeepers and sexual harassment issues internally), and stops putting some of the worst human rights abusers on the Human Rights committee.
    It’s a rudderless ship and I am not convinced it can find a way to a place of value.


  14. eCAHNomics says:

    Since when do R politicians make sense? W probably got to Voinovich in some other way, so V is spreading his cheeks for W. It was a miracle V held out the first time.


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