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Bolton in action at the UN

by ask Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 11:14:42 AM EST

Promoted and edited by Colman

Well, it did not take long: John Bolton was appointed by Bush as US Ambassador to the UN on 1 August during the congressional recess.

Bush said the job at the United Nations was "too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform."

Here's what was so important and urgent, Bush needed to throw a spanner in the works.

Update [2005-8-25 11:38:55 by Colman]: While we're on the topic of arrogant fools and foreign policy, the BBC and Irish Times are reporting that the new Iraqi constitution has been agreed, and that it is unclear whether it will actually be voted on by parliament:

A government spokesman Laith Kubba insisted parliament did not need to formally meet to approve the charter because it had effectively been passed on Monday.
See? It's easy to get things agreed so long as you don't worry too much about pesky democracy,

As you know, there is a major reform initiative in the works at the UN. Diplomats from the various UN missions have toiled and negotiated over a draft document for the last six months with the objective to have it approved in conjunction with the opening of the 60th General Assembly in late September.

Reuters tells the story:

Bolton's letter, circulated to the other 190 ambassadors, at the United Nations comes a week after the United States submitted more than 500 amendments to a draft document diplomats have been negotiating for six months, causing some envoys to panic that agreement might not be reached.
The U.S. amendments, obtained by Reuters would eliminate reference to Millennium Development Goals approved by world leaders five years ago. They set deadlines to reduce extreme poverty, AIDS and raise education levels around the world.

The U.S. amendments also oppose further action on climate change, new pledges for foreign aid, and call for nuclear powers to accelerate the reduction of their arsenals.


the United States wants stronger action against terrorism
(more illegal wars to fight?)
a new and stronger human rights body
 (while refusing to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)

Is there no end to the bullshit from this administration (stupid rhetorical question).
Even disciplined UN-staffers could not hide their frustration and displeasure when Bolton took on his new duties - check the link to the Countdown-video at C&L.

Spread the word!

Crossposted at Booman Tribune and My Left Wing.

I'm on a mailing list where a snipped of the Reuters article was mentioned.  I'm at a loss for words.  This is bad news.

by ask on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 11:18:49 AM EST
Wonderful...f+*ç%&% wonderful. Their idea of "reform" is anarchy. They should just refuse to deal with Bolton, and keep on working on what they have...deny the amendments.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 11:18:49 AM EST
I really hope the rest of the UN members will not give in to this BS and stop appeasing the US.
by Fran on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 02:08:58 PM EST
Hard to say, but I'm not totally pessimistic.  Those who flipped to the second page of the Reuters-story would find this:
The United States is not the only country with major objections to the proposals, though Washington has put more of them on paper in the 30-page document.
Arab nations object to some of the wording on combating terrorism, Russia and others are apprehensive of any license to intervene in case of genocide and most developing nations say the commitments on future assistance are too weak.
Only the 25-member European Union, Australia, Canada and New Zealand appear to be backing most of the key proposals in the draft document.
(my empasis)
If the EU and the anglophone countries listed can maintain a common front, Bolton and the US may be frustrated in their efforts.  It will, however, most likely jeopardize any meaningful UN-reform at present.
by ask on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 02:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Timothy Garton Ash, writing in The Guardian
href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1555820,00.html" today, writes the following (my emphasis):

So this is no time for schadenfreude. It's a time for critical solidarity. A few far-sighted people in Washington are beginning to formulate a long-term American strategy of trying to create an international order that would protect the interests of liberal democracies even when American hyperpower has faded; and to encourage rising powers such as India and China to sign up to such an order. That is exactly what today's weary Titan should be doing, and we should help him do it.

I like some of his stuff from time to time, but I do have to ask him what rock he's been looking under to make such an audaciously optimistic statement such as this. Certainly he's not talking about anyone in the Republican Party, nor, for that matter, about 1/2 of the leadership of the Democratic Party.

What international order are they trying to create? All I see is a concerted attempt to destroy all of the existing international order that has been so carefully, even if sometimes imperfectly, built since the end of WWII.

by gradinski chai on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 04:54:13 PM EST
Via Steve Clemons (subbing for Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo), this purports to be "a leaked copy of U.S. comments on the draft document for the Millennium Summit in September.  I [Clemons] have been informed that these are John Bolton's personal draft modification suggestions that appear on the document."  Here is the [40-page http://talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/us.comments.pdf PDF file] showing the tracked changes.

At this time, I'll leave it for others to review and compile their personal favorite proposed changes.

by The Maven on Thu Aug 25th, 2005 at 06:28:47 PM EST

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