Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bolton and the UN

Do you want John Bolton to represent the US interests in the UN? This is what the politicians say:

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the panel said that he had "grave concern" about Bolton's nomination.

Biden said that he respected Bolton's abilities and intellectual capacity, but he questioned his judgment and temperament.

"We need a strong voice in New York who knows the U.N. and who can advance our reform agenda. But we don't need a voice which people may not be inclined to listen to," Biden said. "And I fear that, knowing your reputation -- and your reputation known well at the U.N. -- people will be inclined to tune you out."

Committee chairman Sen. Richard Lugar, said that Bolton's tough talk might just be what the U.N. needs.

"The next U.S. ambassador to the U.N. must pursue reform without diminishing the effectiveness of his core diplomatic mission: namely, securing greater international support for the national security and foreign policy objectives of the United States," the Indiana Republican said.

And what does Bolton say? Well, once he said this:

Bolton has drawn criticism for his sometimes blunt comments about the U.N., including a 1994 statement that "there is no such thing as the United Nations."

"If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference," he said during a Federalist Society forum.

And now he says this:

In his opening statement, Bolton said that if confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., he would pursue four priorities: Strengthening institutions that strengthen democracy and freedom, stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, supporting the war against terrorism and fighting humanitarian crises such as the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Bolton said that the president and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were committed to the U.N., but he stressed that it must be reformed so that its authority is not undermined by scandal.

"Now more than ever, the U.N. must play a critical role as it strives to fulfill the dreams and hopes and aspirations of its original promise to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom," Bolton said.

Talk about flip-flopping! Hey, I forgot. It's OK if the Republicans do it.

And what does CodePink think of Bolton's nomination to the UN?

Here's the answer: