Monday, October 10, 2005

Our WYSIWYG U.N. Ambassador

Reuters AlertNet - U.S. blocks U.N. briefing on atrocities in Sudan
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy on Monday from briefing the Security Council on grave human rights violations in Sudan's Darfur region, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.

Bolton, joined by China, Algeria and Russia, prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard.
But Bolton said he had objected to the briefing to make the point the council should be "talking more about the steps it can take to do something about the deteriorating security situation" in Darfur. He gave no new proposals.
Council diplomats who wanted to hear from Mendez said it was a council tradition to give the envoy a platform when Annan called for a briefing from his adviser on genocide.

They noted Bolton had lined up with the three council members -- Algeria, China and Russia -- which have watered down action against Khartoum.

"He's playing into the hands of people who don't want to do anything," said one council diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to irritate Washington.

We all knew what we were getting when Bush shoved Bolton down the throat of the U.N. We knew he would sabotage the institution at every opportunity. But this is still unfrigginbelievable. It's like the new sport of kings is a running competition to see who can make the statement most outrageously inconsistent with their actions. Bolton is obviously a very competitive fellow, and isn't going to let Bush's Katrina and Social Security feints go unanswered.

If Bolton actually proposes action on the genocide in Darfur, I'll eat my words. But the far more likely explanation is the standard Bush-Cheney war on truth here -- silence the facts, live the lie, and who gives a damn if thousands needlessly die.


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