Monday, August 22, 2005

The right man for the job

John Bolton, Boy Reformer and Graduate of the Terrell Owens School of Diplomacy and Negotiation, introduces himself to his new colleagues:

US sets last-minute drive to scrap UN reform plan

The United States has launched a last-minute drive to scrap much of a draft plan for comprehensive U.N. reform just weeks before it is to be adopted at a world summit, Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

One option put forward by Washington would be to return to square one and launch line-by-line negotiations on the document, the diplomats said, insisting on anonymity so as not to anger Washington.

But another top diplomat involved in the negotiations dismissed the others' concerns, saying the initiative was a negotiating tactic the United States fully expected would be rejected by U.N. General Assembly President Jean Ping, who is leading the talks.
...
It also falls two weeks after the arrival at U.N. headquarters of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, President George W. Bush's contentious choice to press for U.N. reform despite his inability to win U.S. Senate approval for the post.
...
The aggressive and sometimes abrasive Bolton is a longtime U.N. critic and a skeptic on the value of multilateral action who was accused by Senate Democrats of seeking to twist intelligence findings to advance Bush foreign policy goals.

The U.N. document, intended to serve as a blueprint for bringing the world body into the 21st century, touches on a broad range of issues from U.N. management reform -- a top U.S. priority -- to eliminating poverty, protecting human rights and ending the spread of nuclear arms.

Diplomats involved in the drafting process said they feared such an extensive rewrite at this point would reopen many contentious issues thought to be settled, and could end up sinking the document altogether.
...
The United States has been a regular participant in the negotiations, and diplomats involved in the drafting said Washington has had a major impact on the document to date. They said that was why they were surprised to learn that the United States had at this stage circulated a document that proposed eliminated most of the latest draft and suggested starting line-by-line reconsideration with all 191 U.N. members invited to the table.

Mr. Preznit, Dr. Rice, my sincere apologies for insisting during the disconfirmation process that Bolton was an inappropriate candidate for his new job. If you insist on sticking with the Playground Bully approach to foriegn policy, it only makes sense to hire a guy who can execute it with a contemptuous sneer.

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