On Bolton

Tom Bevan has a great post this morning on the Dems deep-sixing of John Bolton. Despite Bolton’s proven successes at the U.N., Democrats remained bent on destroying him and installing an ambassador with a more “multilateral” approach. Such a nominee would only perpetuate the crooked status quo at the U.N.

Now the talk is turning to who will replace Bolton. George Mitchell is mentioned as a candidate conservatives would be happy with but some expect the Mitchell trial balloon to be designed only to make the eventual nominee look reasonable in comparison. Dumb strategy.

If that is the strategy, start with Santorum and let liberal U.N. lovers go into full moonbattery mode, then move to Mitchell.

7 Responses to “On Bolton”

  1. Anon Says:

    I love all the Santorum talk. His tenure would likely be called “The Hobbits Take Manhattan” as he would surely trot out some great comparisons of Lord Mortimor and the evil elves or what ever it was he said on the campaign trail. The Dungeons and Dragons portion of the base would be estatic.

  2. Huh? Says:

    Um, what “proven successes”?

  3. Tim Says:

    While success in the United Nations is a relevant term (how successful can you really be in an organization that is corrupt, disfunctional, inefficient, incompetent and alltogether broken?), I do think Bolton’s tenure brought modest successes. I would refer you for starters to one of Bolton’s chief critics, Ohio Senator George Voinovich who vigorously opposed Bolton’s nomination before having a change of heart after seeing his work product.

    In a July Washington Post OpEd Voinovich wrote that Bolton “has demonstrated his ability, especially in recent months, to work with others and follow the president’s lead by working multilaterally. In recent weeks I have watched him react to the challenges involving North Korea, Iran and now the Middle East, speaking on behalf of the United States.”

    “I believe Bolton has been tempered and focused on speaking for the administration. He has referred regularly to “my instructions” from Washington, while also displaying his own clear and strong grasp of the issues and the way forward within the Security Council. He has stood many times side by side with his colleagues from Japan, Britain, Canada and other countries, showing a commitment to cooperation within the United Nations.”

  4. Huh? Says:

    Yeah, I’m not impressed. You quoted all of Voinovich’s praise, and I sum it up as he does what he’s told to do and he’s in the room (that’s what stood side-by-side means). Voinovich also said “The United States, along with the rest of the free world, must confront Iran and North Korea and defend Israel and its democracy while working to bring stability to the entire Middle East and Darfur.” I don’t think any of that has been done in the following 4 months, and hence “proven success” is overstating his accomplishments. I think it’s fair to say the initial fears were overblown, but he still hasn’t had a success in getting the UN to do anything. Our position on Darfur is appalling. North Korea and Iran can hardly be counted as successes.

  5. Tim Says:

    Fair enough…”proven successes” may be overblown if you are looking for successes in terms of UN resolutions (as I have noted I don’t hold it against Bolton that he cannot make a completely ineffectual body that has repeatedly demonstrated its incompetence all of sudden function as a global parliamentary body).

    But, as you admit, initial fears from liberal quarters were indeed overblown. And I count a strong American voice at the UN as a success on the whole. Certainly the UN’s impotence on the Darfur issue is grotesque. And certainly there are menaces rising on all horizons, China and Iran among the largest…but Bolton proved himself a competent and unwavering ambassador while at the UN. That is all you can ask for.

    I fear his replacement will not be as strong.

    But, as you allude to, there is only so much an Ambassador can do. Bolton is there to represent the Administration’s policies.

  6. Huh? Says:

    Actually the more I think about this the less convinced I am. Saying the UN is broken and therefore we can’t expect him to have gotten a resolution passed is I think a bit of a cop out. He was pitched as the right man to bring reform to the UN and as near as I can see he was a big zero on that. Name one reform he accomplished?

    Now I do agree that accomplishing such a thing goes beyond “competent”. To be merely competent at his job I would think he would be able to turn another country to our way of thinking on some issue. If the measure is that he didn’t lose anyone already on our side, I’m sorry but that bar is too low. So, name one nation he brought around.

    The most prominent event I’ve seen him at was after the North Korea nuclear tests, and all I remember was that his public comments were weaker than others I heard. This Economist article from a couple of weeks ago is also pretty damning:

    “If Bolton left tomorrow, progress would be possible on almost every front where it is now stalled,” one senior Western diplomat fumed. “He has succeeded in putting almost everyone’s backs up, even among some of America’s closest allies. His main achievement has been to break the unified coalition of the North and unify the previously fragmented South.”

  7. Tim Says:

    That is exactly WHY I like Bolton!! He is not popular with his colleagues. So what? This isn’t a friggin’ popularity contest. I expect a UN Ambassador who is fighting for the right things to rub people the wrong way up there.

    I think he can wear that as a badge of honor.

    But he has “real” accomplishments too.

    He had a hand in convincing the Security Council to pass a relatively hard-nosed condemnation of North Korea during the missile crisis. He even got Russia and China to sign on.

    He also got the council to apply sanctions to Pyongyang.

    Bolton also was instrumental in getting the UN to issue a statement calling on Iran to end uranium enrichment.

    All solid accomplishments in my book.

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