Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Marjorie Cohn: Bolton Nominated to Destroy UN

Bolton Nominated to Destroy UN


By Marjorie Cohn
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 04 April 2005
From: http://www.scoop.co.nz/cgi-bin/default.pl?scone=7443117145
Click To See Video Of John Bolton In His Own Words

John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations reminds me of what a US commander in charge of the destruction of Ben Tre city said during the Vietnam War, “We had to destroy the village to save it.”

Sixty-two former American diplomats, most of whom served in Republican administrations, have signed a letter urging the Senate to reject Bolton's nomination. In their opinion, Bolton's "past activities and statements indicate conclusively that he is the wrong man for this position at a time when the UN is entering a critically important phase of modernization, seeking to promote economic development and democratic reforms and searching for ways to cope better with proliferation crises and a spurt of natural disasters and internal conflicts."

They claim Bolton has an "exceptional record" of opposing US efforts to improve national security through arms control, and charged he has made "unsubstantiated claims" that Cuba and Syria were working on biological weapons.

In 1994, Bolton declared, "There is no such thing as the United Nations." He has also said, contemptuously, "The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

Pulling no punches, Bolton displays not even a pretense of diplomacy or multilateralism: "There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only power in the world and that is the United States when it suits our interest and when we can get others to go along."

As UN ambassador, Bolton would make the world a more dangerous place. Bolton spearheaded a successful campaign to prevent the Senate from ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, clearing the way for increased testing of nuclear weapons. He led both the US withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and the US renunciation of the International Criminal Court. Bolton hailed his announcement that Bush was taking the United States' signature off the ICC treaty as "the happiest moment" of his government service.

His combative stance toward Pyongyang led the North Koreans to denounce Bolton as "scum." When asked why he opposed offering North Korea incentives to abandon its nuclear weapons program, Bolton replied, "I don't do carrots."

Bolton does sticks – big sticks. He is proud of the bronzed hand grenade in his office, which symbolizes his reputation as a bomb thrower.

"John Bolton has been totally unapologetic about his radical prescription for dealing with the proliferation threat," according to Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "The main problem is that it hasn't worked anywhere."

In a bald-faced attack on the long-standing treaty law of the United States, Bolton wrote in a 1997 article in the Wall Street Journal, "Treaties are the 'law' only for U.S. domestic purposes. In their international operations, treaties are simply 'political' obligations." He has also opposed the conventions on land mines, child soldiers, and small arms, and aided and abetted the cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal.

Despite the State Department's conclusion that Iraq had not sought to purchase uranium from Niger, Bolton successfully pushed for Bush to lie about that in his pre-Operation "Iraqi Freedom" State of the Union address.

Ironically, while Bolton decries the efficacy of the UN in furthering US interests, David Kay, former CIA chief weapons inspector, noted that Iraq had apparently abandoned its production of weapons of mass destruction "in large part because of Baghdad's concerns about the United Nations weapons inspection process."

Although Bolton has nothing but contempt for the United Nations, he is a cheerleader for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These two institutions were created under the auspices of the UN, accountable to the General Assembly. But they have taken on a life of their own, outside the UN system and oversight, and are responsible for imposing cruel structural adjustment programs on developing nations, forcing impoverished people to accept social cutbacks in order to receive loans and assistance.

It is no accident that Paul Wolfowitz was selected as the new chairman of the World Bank. He now controls the economic arm of his military-economic blueprint for world domination, first laid out in his 1992 Pentagon Defense Planning Guidance draft.

Bush's selections of Wolfowitz and Bolton are part of a consistent strategy to undermine and cripple the UN system. Bush is also blocking a visit to Washington by the UN Human Rights Commission's rapporteur on the right to food. Swiss-born Jean Ziegler seeks to examine the negative impact the Bush administration's toughening of the anti-Cuba blockade has had on the Cuban people's right to food.

Ziegler said, "the Bush regime wants not only to destroy the commission, reduce it and transfer it to New York in order to control it, but also to exercise state censorship against special rapporteurs [who are supposed to be objective reporters]." He charges that Bush officials want the UN commission to select "special rapporteurs who agree with their world view, including the war against terrorism."

On April 7, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider Bush's nomination of John Bolton.

Former right-wing Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), once chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described Bolton as "the kind of man I would want to stand with at Armageddon."

If John Bolton is confirmed as US ambassador to the United Nations, we will be one step closer to Armageddon.

*****************

Marjorie Cohn, is a contributing editor to t r u t h o u t, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news