At half past nine this morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will meet to begin considering the nomination of Big Bad John Bolton to be our next ambassador to the United Nations. The mere thought of Bolton being our UN ambassador has driven the Mooron Dems into a frothing rage. They can't stand the thought of an ambassador to the UN who isn't a shill for Kofi and the rest of the Turtle Bay crime family.
UNconvinced? Just look at the New York Times' condemnation of Bolton. Its opposition editorial of April 8 said that Bolton was unqualified for the job because, "at a minimum, the United States representative to the United Nations should be a person who believes it is a good idea." UNsurprisingly, this is the principal argument the "Citizens for Global Solutions" organization makes in its anti-Bolton "briefing book" published on its "Stop Bolton" website. The CGS -- actually the old one-world government whackos operating under a new name -- is, naturally, more crafty and dishonest about it than the Times.
Last week, on Greg Garrison's radio show, I interviewed Mort Halperin (he of Pentagon Papers infamy, now an employee of George Soros), who is leading the hard left's campaign against. He said that President Bush has decided to support the UN and work with Kofi Annan, so Bolton can't be the ambassador because he opposes Bush's policy. Huh? Mr. Bush picked Bolton precisely because he is a severe critic of the UN, having said things such as, "There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the UN building in New York lost ten storeys, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." The CGS "briefing book" says, "Part of the ambassador's job is to champion the UN to those skeptics and bring them on board." In other words, our UN ambassador should be representing the UN's interests, not America's. Sorry, boys. Them days is gone, at least until you can get Nurse Ratched elected.
Set aside the foundational truth: that whoever is our next ambassador -- be it John Bolton, John Kerry or Jerry Seinfeld -- the UN won't really change. Kofi Annan, having overseen the downfall of the organization, and hearing Bolton's approaching footsteps, is making a half-hearted effort to create some credibility for the UN. Annan pronounced that the Human Rights Council -- famously dominated by such human rights stalwarts as Saudi Arabia, China and Sudan -- might be better were it comprised of nations that don't impose slavery and totalitarianism on their citizens. That proposed mini-reform was quickly quashed by China, a veto-holding member of the Security Council. So will all others that are aimed at correcting the moral, intellectual and financial corruption of the UN. But it is precisely because the UN is broken and can't be fixed that we can't afford to see the Bolton nomination fail.
UN skeptic John Bolton can, as ambassador, do what hasn't been done since Jeane Kirkpatrick represented us to the Mad Hatter's Tea Party on East 46th Street. He can expose the failures of the UN to the harsh light of publicity. When Amb. Kirkpatrick led America out of UNESCO -- the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization which was so laughably corrupt its chieftain, one Amadar M'Bow, built a Paris penthouse for himself with UN funds -- she made it far less comfortable and profitable for the UN rabble. Mr. Bolton can do the same on a much broader scale. By forcefully advocating the principles of representative democracy, he can expose its opponents, be they French EUnuchs, Arabs, Russians or Chinese.
Imagine, for a moment, a U.S. ambassador who is not captive to the UN's agenda. He could introduce Security Council resolutions to define terrorism in accordance with the existing Geneva Conventions and to remove the diplomatic immunity from prosecution that protects former Oil-for-Food-for-Bribes-for-Weapons program head Benon Sevan. He could introduce others to stop the funding of UN "peacekeeping" operations whose operatives harbor terrorists or rape young Congolese girls and to remove French as one of the official languages of the UN debates. None of them would pass, of course, but they would all force the members of the UN to spend the time and effort to defeat them usually reserved for bashing America and obstructing its international goals. And Bolton could, with an uncharacteristically cheerful smile, veto everything else. Everything.
If the Bolton nomination makes it to the Senate floor, he will be confirmed. But because the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has too many wobblies and RINOs, confirmation remains a big "if." That's why the hardest-core lefties are working feverishly on Lincoln Chafee (RINO-Rhode Island) and the ever-wobbly Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Committee Chairman Dick Lugar of Indiana isn't a tower of strength either. If the vote on Bolton fails in committee, it is possible that Lugar could try to bring the nomination to the floor with a negative vote, but that would face a certain filibuster. Would Bill Frist risk the nuclear option to save Bolton? We may find out.
Hagel will be the determinative vote on Bolton. If he votes in favor, Lugar will be able to report the nomination on a straight party-line vote. (Not counting Chafee, a UN-ophile, who is a lost cause and should be as ignored as Canada's PM, Paul Martin.) Hagel, who aspires to the 2008 presidential nomination, is the subject of the Soros organizations' television ad campaign against Bolton. Countering this, Hagel should hear a simple but forceful message from the President and every other conservative. If you don't back Bolton, your presidential ambitions will be opposed by every one of us with as much money, as many votes, and as much public scorn as we can muster. Should the Bolton vote be a -- shudder -- litmus test for Republican presidential aspirants? Yes, and there will be many more between now and 2008.
TAS contributing editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004).
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