Thursday, March 10, 2005

Bolton for U.N. Ambassador

The Star Tribune in its very finite wisdom has condemned the nomination of John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN in their Thursday editorial. Their objections seem to be:
  • He is critical of the UN. I fail to see why that is a problem, unless one is pleased with the current UN record - the one that brought us sex scandals in peacekeeping, corruption on a massive scale (see Oil for Food), and travesties like Libya and Cuba on the UN Commission for Human Rights.
  • It is not acceptable to speak the truth about nations like North Korea because it might offend them. Apparently the idea of actually describing North Korea's Kim Jong-il as a "tyrannical dictator" who ruled over a place where life is "a hellish nightmare.", i.e. speaking the truth, upsets the sensiblities of the Strib. Personally, I think that dispensing with diplomatic fiction concerning psychopathic murderers is a good thing.
  • Offending the sensibilities of the UN's leadership (note, a leadership with the record listed above) is counterproductive. Well, sucking up to them like Clinton and predecessors did sure was helpful... . I would also like to point out that Ambassadors Kirkpatrick and Moynihan were not notably conciliatory either, and they did pretty well. Perhaps an effective critic in this position is, once again, a good thing.
  • Bolton may undermine Kofi Annan's Secretary Generalship. And why should Kofi be supported? Because of his sterling record of achievement? The Strib should find another argument.
The Strib's editors believe the UN is the only game in town for stopping international conflicts from becoming wars. I'm sure the folks in Congo, Bosnia, and Kosovo are comforted in that knowledge. I think the UN in it's current condition is a cesspool that needs reform. It needs people involved who are willing to be critical of the garbage going on there and have the ability to get stuff done, qualities both present in the person of John Bolton. Barring dishonesty or other scandal, he should be confirmed by the Senate.

For a view that is more positive than the Strib's, heres Anne Applebaum's take, courtesy of Jewish World Review.

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