Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bully Bolton

Journalist Ian Williams had some interesting insight into UN Deputy Secretary Mark Malloch Brown's speech criticizing "the Bush administration's attempts to simultaneously use and abuse the United Nations" and Ambassador John Bolton's subsequent apoplexy:

"Far from being anti-American, his speech was a call for American leadership in the organization. But he was being old fashioned, referring to the type of leadership that listens, and pulls a team together, rather than its modern Washington version of team play: beating up the other players and running off with the ball whenever the rules do not suit...."

"Ambassador Bolton currently has to persuade the other members of the Security Council, whose votes he has dismissed as irrelevant, to make the UN that he thinks the US should quit, enforce international law, in which he does not believe, against Iran for non-existent breaches of a Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty that he himself had been trying to sabotage in his previous position as head of disarmament affairs at the State Department.

"Of course Malloch Brown was not so crass as to name Bolton. The clever thing to do would have been to ignore the speech, but since Bolton has all the diplomatic skills of a Bull elephant on heat, he rose to the bait and angrily denounced the Deputy Secretary General, thus reinforcing the latter's credibility with the non-aligned delegations. The Ambassador angrily demanded a retraction from Kofi Annan. The Secretary General happily backed his deputy. I could almost imagine him saying, 'I wished I had said that.' We hope he will."

"Actually, many other, American, speakers at the conference were far more scathing, listing example after example of Washington's refusal to accept international law and conventions. It was a Thoughtcrime Fest that almost had me wondering why Homeland Security wasn't rappelling through the ceiling and kicking in the doors to arrest all, or at least most, of the participants."

There's more, and it's an excellent read.

Quotes of the Day:

"I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count."
-- John Bolton, bursting into a Tallahassee library during the Florida 2000 election recount.

"People ask what [job] John should get. My answer is, anything he wants."
-- Dick Cheney, after thanking Bolton for his work in Florida.

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