July 10, 2005


U.N. Eager for Progress, and a U.S. Envoy: Diplomats wait out an impasse over the nomination of John R. Bolton that could lead to tough choices for the Bush administration. (Maggie Farley, July 10, 2005, LA Times)

"We don't know what his weight will be in the administration," said a Security Council ambassador who asked not to be named because he might soon have to work with Bolton.

He and others expressed discomfort with Bolton's reputation for pushing the boundaries of his negotiating instructions and his unsparing rhetoric, a kind rarely heard in the U.N.'s hallowed halls. After Bolton called North Korean leader Kim Jong Il a "tyrannical dictator," the regime in Pyongyang declared him "human scum" and banned him from talks about its nuclear program in 2003.

"We need to be sure that what he says represents exactly what his government's position is," the diplomat said.

But others say that governments make policies, not the ambassadors, and Bolton appeared to have strong backing from Vice President Dick Cheney, and thus Bush's ear. "I know that he has very good connections in the White House, so it does not matter so much what his relationship with the State Department is like," Wang said. "As long as he has the connection to the big boss, he can do his job."

Largely, Security Council ambassadors say that they will deal with whoever is sitting in the U.S. seat. And despite broad respect for Deputy U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, they agree that an ambassador is necessary to deal with pressing issues, such as expanding the Security Council, that will be on the agenda of a world summit at U.N. headquarters in September.

"I don't think it is any of our business whether he has a recess appointment or not," Romanian Ambassador Mihnea Motoc said. "We will work in a collegial manner. But a permanent representative is needed in this particularly intense period."

There can't really be anyone left who doesn't realize that the President considers Kim Jong-il to be human scum.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 10, 2005 6:42 AM

And heaven forbid anyone should call Kim Jong Il a tyrannical dictator"! Now I know Bolton is off his rocker, and completely disqualified for the job. After all, this is a seriously PC world, and speaking the truth is just not allowed.

It occurs to me how the left loves to call administration people "liars", yet they scream the loudest when the truth is spoken. Ah, such a strange world...

Posted by: DL Meadows at July 10, 2005 11:11 AM

I know it sounds extreme, but Bush should threaten withdrawal from the UN unless there is an up or down vote.

He should follow through, of course.

If the Dems though he was serious, there would be a vote in the first ten minutes of the next session.

Posted by: BB at July 10, 2005 12:26 PM

BB - I like how your mind works.

Posted by: erp at July 10, 2005 1:14 PM