July 27, 2006


The Bolton Nomination, Act II: Bush Presses Anew for Confirmation of Controversial Envoy (Colum Lynch, 7/27/06, Washington Post)

U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton's blunt diplomatic style has made him a political rock star among conservative Republicans who relish his routine exposure of U.N. foibles and criticism of its bureaucrats.

But international diplomats, including several from countries closely allied with the United States, complain that he has furthered U.S. isolation here and undercut U.S.-backed efforts to reform the sprawling bureaucracy of the United Nations. [...]

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins hearings Thursday on whether to make Bolton's temporary appointment, which will expire in January, permanent. His appearance in Washington, where Democratic leaders have vowed to oppose Bolton, is expected to be as polarizing as his presence at U.N. headquarters.

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said, "Mr. Bolton's performance at the U.N. only confirms my conviction that he's the wrong person for this job." He suggested that Democrats may filibuster a Senate vote unless the Bush administration releases documents Biden believes detail Bolton's use of National Security Agency intercepts involving U.S. citizens. [...]

Israel's U.N. envoy, Dan Gillerman, said Bolton's arrival has been a "breath of fresh air at Turtle Bay precisely because he's not your typical diplomat."

"I'm certainly not going to tell the Senate or House of Representatives how to vote, but if John Bolton were to be confirmed by the Israeli Knesset, he would get all 120 votes," Gillerman said.

Are Democrats really going to oppose a neocon with Israel at war? Their hysteria over Mr. al-Maliki's visit suggests they're in a kowtowing mood.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 27, 2006 8:34 AM

As usual the democrats are keen to promote the interests of other Countries, including our enemies, over those of the US.

The UN den of vipers probably have tons more respect for Mr. Bolton than we realize. They are loath to admit such and would prefer someone easier to bluff. Screw them!

Posted by: Tom Wall at July 27, 2006 12:03 PM

I read the Israeli lobby gave the Dems the nod for a yes on Bolton. Maybe they really do rule the universe.

Posted by: erp at July 27, 2006 12:51 PM

"undercut U.S.-backed efforts to reform the sprawling bureaucracy of the United Nations" such as the Human Rights Commission, starring China, Saudi Arabia, and various sundry tin pot autocrats and authoritarians?

Posted by: ic at July 27, 2006 2:11 PM

They seem to be trying to play both sides of the street right now, courting Jewish voters with their protest over the speech to Congress while trying not to ruffle the Kos crowd's feathers by holding firm on Bolton. But if push comes to shove, the majority will still throw the netroots crowd under the bus before they scuttle their longtime Jewish Democratic supporters (a few might still vote "no", but only if he's already assured of at least 60 votes for a filibuster-proof confirmation).

Posted by: John at July 27, 2006 5:16 PM

I saw about 10 minutes of JF Kerry questioning Bolton today (couldn't take any more than that). Kerry was complaining that the Russians weren't involved in the Security Council decision to sanction the Norks on their rocket launches - Bolton replied simply, "Well, they voted for it, Senator".

What a hoot! Kerry has moved beyond France and Germany to Russia (in his global template), and can't even thank Bolton for getting them to vote in favor of a resolution condemning a state that really deserves it. Does anyone think the Russians would have supported such a vote in 1997/98? Kerry is a poltroon.

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 28, 2006 12:48 AM