Yesterday, on CNN’s “Late Edition” program, Senator Charles Schumer indicated that John Bolton’s nomination as Ambassador to the UN will unlikely face a filibuster by the Senate. Although Schumer disapproved of the nomination last year, he is now considering approving the nomination.
New York’s senior senator said he was weighing Mr. Bolton’s backing of Israel against his unwillingness to work with other countries at the United Nations. “There’s a good part of Bolton. He’s been a staunch and very good defender of Israel,” Mr. Schumer said on CNN’s “Late Edition.” “There’s a bad part of Bolton. He seems to have a ‘go it alone’ attitude at a time when we need the nations of the world on our side. We’ve seen that in Iran and North Korea.”
Mr. Schumer’s comments yesterday serve as an acknowledgement that the war between Israel and Hezbollah may bolster Mr. Bolton’s confirmation. One Republican critic of the ambassador, Senator Voinovich of Ohio, changed his mind earlier this month.
I am disappointed that Senator Schumer has chosen to back this nomination on one deciding factor, a factor that is already standard within the current administration. They have voiced their support of Israel many times; any nominee for the UN Ambassor position would have the same view.
Diplomatic skills do not seem to be high on the list of Bolton’s credentials. After all, a diplomat needs to act “diplomatically”.
He was in a hall filled with diplomats gathered to discuss tightening the U.N.’s management. According to the account in The New York Times, Bolton pulled out a cordless mike and proceeded to berate envoys from the developing world for weakening his proposals. A gavel fell, telling Bolton that he was out of order. He threw up his hands and said in a huff, “Well, so much for trying something different.
They’re still talking about it at the U.N.
Children and John Bolton think that they can say whatever’s on their mind. Bolton’s 1994 foreigners-don’t-matter speech should have ended his prospects for an ambassadorship to anywhere. “There is no such thing as the United Nations,” he said, voice growing more agitated as he went along. “There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that is the United States when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along.”
Bolton’s in the habit of talking about foreign policy in the first person. When asked whether America might support European efforts to offer incentives to Iran, he came out with one of his little-man-with-a-gun quips: “I don’t do carrots.”
From the LA Times:
Bolton’s sledgehammer diplomacy has poisoned an already tense relationship between the U.S. and other countries, including our most important allies. U.N. members see American reform proposals not as ways to improve the organization but as hidden attempts to enhance U.S. power. This helps explain why Bolton has largely failed to achieve his stated goals — or much of anything else.
And from the Washington Post:
Mr. Bolton has embarrassed himself most recently by his mishandling of U.N. management reform, a cause supported by U.N. officials and the richer member states. Mr. Bolton came up with the idea of threatening to cut U.N. funding unless the management reforms were adopted, and his spokesman insists that this brinkmanship was helpful. But South Africa’s U.N. envoy called it “poison”; Germany’s ambassador called it “wrong”; his British counterpart said it was a mistake to hold the budget hostage. After six months the budget threat was dropped.
This type of “diplomacy” does not help to improve the anti-American view that is sweeping across the world.
How does our junior senator feel about Bolton’s nomination?
New York’s other Democratic senator, Hillary Clinton, supported a filibuster of Mr. Bolton last year but has not said which way she will vote this time. A statement from her office yesterday, after a week of silence, indicated that she is leaning against Mr. Bolton over the document issue.”Senator Clinton remains concerned about the administration’s continued refusal to produce documents to the Senate that are critical to conducting a full and proper evaluation of his nomination,” it said.
Senator Schumer, you were elected to represent the interests of your constituents in New York State and the citizens of the U.S. One issue, that you agree with, should not be the “litmus test” as to whether or not you should change your mind as to the qualifications necessary for this position.
If you feel inclined to contact Senator Schumer to voice your opinion regarding John Bolton’s nomination as UN Ambassador, here’s how to contact him: