Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bolton's UN Blunder

The recent United Nations World Summit last week in New York went largely unreported in the wake of Katrina and the John Roberts hearings. The Bush Administration's agenda to reform and update UN institutions, and come to a world-accepted definition of "terrorism" were certainly laudable goals that had largely been ironed out before the summit. Egypt and Pakistan were even buckling under world pressure to yield to key US priorities.

Then, enter John Bolton, a "kiss up and kick down" UN Ambassador:
Within weeks of his appointment and less than a month before the Summit, Ambassador Bolton proposed hundreds of amendments to the draft document, throwing negotiations into turmoil. He outraged developing nations by attempting to remove any mention of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and by conducting an all-out assault on a provision reaffirming rich countries'commitment to allocate 0.7 percent of their national incomes to help poor countries lift themselves out of poverty. In the past, the administration had supported both provisions - —on numerous occasions, in fact.

In the larger scheme of things, the MDGs and 0.7 percent of GDP issues were neither inimical to U.S. interests nor contrary to existing policy. By fighting relatively harmless - —and largely aspirational - —provisions that the administration had previously endorsed, Bolton helped bring to a screeching halt growing momentum for real changes at the United Nations.

This is exactly why many in Washington feared a Bolton ambassadorship: his overly simplistic approach to diplomacy does not produce results. In splitting hairs over development, among other things, Bolton took his eye off the ball - and the United States lost on the issues that mattered most.
Thank you, Bolton! It seems UN reform in Bush terminology refers more to a method of US supremacy rather than results. The only reforms this idiot cfacilitateitate are by his own resignation. Perhaps the recent FEMA-Mike Brown fiasco will lead the Administration to reconsider seriously Bush's other appointments.

Loyalty after all is not the only prerequisite to a government post. Or at least, outside of Bush Country it isn't.


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