Lots of right-wing pundits (I won’t call them conservatives — because most conservatives I know are with the centrists and liberals when it comes to the issue of John Bolton) invoked the name of late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in trying to buff up the tarnished image of John Bolton as George Bush’s ambassadorial nominee to the U.N.
Now, his daughter Maura sets the record straight on the type of Ambassadorial nominee who would be in the “spirit of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan” and WHO WOULD NOT.
Here is an excerpt from a stunningly good article by Maura Moyhnihan in Newsday:
Bolton has said that if the UN building in Manhattan “lost 10 stories it wouldn’t make a bit of difference,” and Robert Novak recently said, “No one had more contempt for the UN than Pat Moynihan.” Nonsense. Moynihan said: “The UN was created by our country, and embodies our conception of international law … these are the proclaimed standards of the nations of the world, to which they are bound by solemn covenant.”
Moynihan sought to restore integrity to the UN, not to dismantle the institution created by the Allies after the defeat of Hitler and the Axis powers.
The senator frequently admonished his constituents that we’d be worse off without the UN, and was furious with the United States for not paying its UN dues, since it weakened our influence and stature.
Which brings us to international law. Bolton said in 1999: “It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interests to do so – because over the long term the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are [sic] those who want to constrict the United States.”
In his 1990 book, “On the Law of Nations,” Moynihan wrote: “A great many people seem to think of law as a kind of self-imposed restraint on America’s ability to act decisively or with force in world affairs. This misstates what law is, and obscures the fact that international law can actually enhance the national security of the United States. … Macho strategists, much to be found in Washington just now, let it be known that in their view the law is for sissies … real men do not cite Grotius.”
I really miss Senator Moynihan, who if around right now, would have been working hard to make sure that John Bolton squirmed a great deal over his misplaced pretensions to be America’s emissary to the U.N.
— Steve Clemons