John Bolton, a Bully Diplomat

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Memo
To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Flipping the Bird to the Democrats, and the U.N.

As I was driving back to the office at mid-day today, I heard a
news report that President Bush had nominated John Bolton to be
the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. My heart skipped a beat
and I could feel my blood pressure climb through the roof. John
Bolton. Ugh. This is the bottom of the barrel. It’s almost impossible
to imagine the President nominating anyone worse than Bolton, a
certified bully who has single-handedly done more to poison our
relations with China, North Korea and Iran than any other bureaucrat
in the Bush Administration. He is one of Richard Perle’s principle
henchman in the Neo-Con Cabal to conquer the world with U.S. military
might. He is a master of disinformation, by which I mean he knows
how to use falsehoods and deceit to promote the objectives of his
masters in the Cabal.

Only a few weeks back, for goodness sakes, I had celebrated when
Bolton lost his bid to become Deputy Secretary of State to Condi
Rice. Instead, she chose Robert Zoellick, the U.S. Trade Representative
the last four years, a certified diplomat who really believes in
diplomacy. At the NATO workshop I attended in Lisbon over this last
weekend, I cited Bolton’s decline and Zoellick’s elevation as a
sign that the neo-cons had been set back and we might be able to
expect a more reasonable foreign policy emanating from Washington
in the second Bush administration. I could see smiles all around
and heads nodding in agreement from the four dozen people around
the table — most of them from the countries on the Mediterranean
whose people had opposed the war in Iraq. They were encouraged by
the Zoellick selection and I imagine their blood pressure is now
on the rise over Bolton.

I now wonder, does President Bush realize he is practically spitting
in the faces of the global diplomatic community with his Bolton
pick, by which I mean most of the governments of the world. Did
anyone mention to him that when Bolton was picked in 2001 to be
Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security,
he was confirmed in the Senate by 57-to-43 votes. All 43 nays came
from Democrats who had observed his bullyboy tactics in his previous
posts in GOP administrations, at Justice as well as at State. Given
Bolton’s record at State, this almost guarantees he will get no
Democratic votes to confirm him. Perhaps even a few Republican Senators
– those who are getting just a little bit tired of Perle, Wolfowitz
and their imperial blueprint for the USA – may vote “nay” as
well.

We should have seen it coming, when Bolton was permitted to remain
at his State post after he lost the neo-con campaign to get him
the job as Condi’s minder. When there was a report he was going
to return to private life and he didn’t, it should have been clear
the Cabal, chiefly housed in the Vice President’s office, was looking
for a good spot for him. What a delicious idea, they must have thought,
to send him to the United Nations, which he has written about with
great disdain over the years. In recent weeks, Bolton pulled out
every stop to try to block Mohammed ElBaradei from getting a third
term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Why?
Because Baradei had refused to play ball with the neo-cons in their
scheme to persuade the White House that Iran should be dealt with
harshly for having nuclear weapons programs. Bolton spread the word
that maybe even Israel should bomb Iran the way it bombed Iraq’s
nuclear power plant in 1981. As I told the NATO workshop, Baradei
is probably the most respected official of the world’s international
agencies, the most honest and effective, which is why the neo-cons
wanted him out. Bolton thought he could buy off the votes he needed
to drive a stake through Baradei’s heart, but a survey of the IAEA
board showed he could only get one or two votes of the 35 he needed,
the U.S. being one of them.

In the Clinton years, Bolton cooled his heels at the American Enterprise
Institute in Washington, D.C., AEI being the think-tank
of the Military-Industrial Complex
and the hangout of Richard
Perle. I know, because I hung out at AEI during the Cold War,
and I know how it all works. AEI would have vanished a long time
ago, I believe, if it were not for the generosity of major corporations
– those that make things to blow up other parts of the world
or those who rebuild them after they have been leveled, all with
taxpayer dollars.

When President Bush chose Colin Powell to be Secretary of State
in 2001, the neo-cons who control the Veep made it a condition that
Bolton be given the #3 post at State, the “arms control” post. An
arms-control chief at Foggy Bottom would normally be expected to
support all efforts to support the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to
contain the spread of nuclear weapons. Not Bolton. If diplomacy
would have worked to keep North Korea and Iran from threatening
the U.S. with nukes, what would there be for the warriors to do?
So Bolton’s instructions were to irritate Pyongyang and Tehran,
both signatory to the NPT, so they would become mean and ugly.

If you look back to the early days of the Bush administration, before
9-11, you will find Colin Powell talking nicely about our relations
with North Korea and the prospects for diplomacy in the region.
The same was true with Iran, with moderates coming into the Tehran
government and sounding like they were ready to come to peaceful
terms. It was at that point the neo-cons dished up the “Axis of
Evil,” an in-your-face aggressiveness that made it clear our President
was going to kick butts, and that Colin Powell was going to go along
for the ride. We now know that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons
of mass destruction, and France and Germany and China and Russia
were correct in opposing the use of force to overthrow Saddam. Diplomacy
worked and the rest of the world could see it. But war it was anyway,
with the neo-cons saying we don’t need the United Nations or the
IAEA, and maybe they should be dissolved. The United States of America
has enough muscle to rule the world, without worrying about backtalk
from anyone. Is it any wonder that North Korea and Iran wish they
had nukes, to prevent from happening to them what happened to Iraq?

At the Lisbon conference over the weekend, the paper I presented
was one I wrote in 1995, which was never published, because it was
commissioned by my old neo-con pals because they loved the title,
“An American Empire.” It was supposed to run in an early edition
of Rupert Murdoch’s new political magazine, The Weekly Standard,
but the editors of the magazine were horrified at the essay I submitted.
It came down to the idea that in a world at war, force should be
backed by the opportunity for diplomacy, but in a world at peace,
should trouble arise, diplomacy should be backed by the threat of
force. There is not much business there for a military-industrial
complex, so Bill Kristol, who had commissioned the piece, had his
secretary call to say they could not use it. It is available
in three parts
on this website, and reads as if it were written
just yesterday, but here is the one early paragraph I read to the
workshop:

These
trial-and-error strivings for perfection continue today around
the planet, but for the moment the United States alone dominates
the entire world’s experimentation in organization. Without exception,
every nation-state looks up to the United States as the
undisputed leader in history’s long march. Each wishes to know
what we have in mind. How shall we proceed to organize ourselves
in this new American empire? What is the nature of the new world
order that accompanies the first singular leader in all of history?
How shall we go about determining the limitations on our powers
and the extent of our responsibilities? The questions are different
than any we have ever encountered, requiring that our people think
about the world differently than we ever have before. There is
no historic guidebook to help us at this frontier of boundless
opportunity. All the rules have been written for a world of adversarial
divisions. This means we must think through with extraordinary
care the steps we take and the paths we choose. Major missteps
can only mean we will lose this preeminence and find new power
pyramids forming to challenge our leadership. To avoid that possible
occurrence, we might first do well to think through where we have
been.

 
I’d hoped the Democrats might get into the act and put in a word
now and then for diplomacy, and I did cast my vote for Senator John
Kerry in his presidential bid, as weak as he was on these issues.
My optimism about the future is now being sorely tested, though,
with the Bolton nomination so dreadful that I’m afraid after all
these years I am in danger of becoming a professional pessimist.

March
8, 2005

Jude
Wanniski [send him mail]
runs the financial/political advisory service Wanniski.com.

Jude
Wanniski Archives

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