Relations between the United States and the United Nations are strained at best. Meanwhile President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have slipped to an all-time low a second-term president has ever had. Yet the Bush administration is squandering the little good will it garnered coming out of the general election by nominating a man as ambassador to the U.N. whose attitude toward the organization could not be worse.
John Bolton has served as assistant Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush. His close ties with the Bush family and the neoconservative movement are no secret. It is therefore understandable that the Bush administration wouldn’t mind having him as “their man at the U.N.”
But Bolton has made statements that make him a bad choice for any diplomatic post — let alone one as important as being an ambassador to the U.N.
Bolton has said there was “no such thing” as the U.N. while denoting the United States as the “only real power.” He further ridiculed the U.N. by stating if the 38-level building that houses the U.N. in New York “lost 10 stories today, it woul not make a bit of difference.”
Even more dire are the allegations that he was a “serial abuser” of his power. Former head of the State Department’s in-house intelligence bureau Carl Ford said he was “a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy” whose behavior had ranged from extortion to ridicule, raising “real questions about his suitability for high office.”
The whole confirmation process is becoming so ridiculous that the Los Angeles Times jokingly suggested in their lead editorial Wednesday, “Maybe there is a consolation prize the White House could offer him. How about ambassador to France?”
All jokes aside, Bolton’s nomination does not make any sense, politically or diplomatically. Now the administration will have to decide if it intends to “stay the course” even though it is facing an uphill battle that may cause more political damage than good, or simply come up with a new, more suitable nomination for the U.N. post