Tuesday, May 10, 2005

An old-fashioned Borking

Other than jostling over whether “Advice and Consent” means “Advice and Consent” or just “Advice”, the big political tug of war during my absence was the fight over prospective UN Ambassador John Bolton. Here there is not really much to say, it is just an example of the sleazier side of politics.

There is no substantive complaint against Bolton, just a “he’s mean” smokescreen for what are the real issues:

- He is too pro-American

- He will aggressively seek to advance the president’s policies

- He is suspicious of the UN and will push hard for reform

The first problem is obvious; a significant portion of his opposition think that US policy is to blame for most of the ills in the world and thus cannot stomach anybody who is not similarly inclined to represent us on the world stage (see Rice, Condoleezza). The second is closely related to the first, even though it is clearly the job description. Those making this complaint betray their motives by saying the job is to work “for the UN”, which of course is the exact inverse of what it is in reality. And the third, while not part of the job description per se, should be the primary qualification for any potential candidate. When you think of the modern UN, what come to mind first? A $20 billion plus scam in the guise of aid? Repeated appeasement of genocide? Serial child rape by UN diplomats? Given that these are what personify the organization in the last decade, anybody who thinks anything approaching the status quo is acceptable just cannot be taken seriously.

That Bolton has drawn so much fire shows that he is very much the right man for the job. He has made the right kind of enemies.


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