JOHN BOLTON UPDATE….Over at Democracy Arsenal, Suzanne Nossel provides a short but thorough summary of the John Bolton debacle unfolding at the UN. Despite the fact that Condoleezza Rice and her staff have been working on the upcoming UN reform program for months, Bolton has suddenly produced a phone book-size set of amendments at the last minute that basically guts the whole thing:
Contrary to other speculation, the very public Congressional inquiry into Bolton’s style and his penchant for antagonizing others does not appear to have prompted any change in approach. Bolton has come out swinging. If his goal was to build support for American positions, Bolton would have worked to quietly build consensus around a handful of the issues considered most important. Instead he’s launched a broadside against the whole enterprise of reform, targeting head-on matters that are hot-buttons to most of the membership.
Reed Hundt, who knows Bolton well, was even blunter over at TPMCafe:
I know John Bolton; I went to school with him; I like him personally; his views are sincerely and passionately held….He is the champion of long-held deeply sincere views of the right about the United Nations. The goal is the extinction of the organization;second place is its near-death; third is undermining it so severely as to make its existence irrelevant. The constitutionally permitted time for this ambassador is adequate to make a lot of progress toward these goals given the intelligence, zeal, and energy of the ambassador. Those in the Senate who favor the continuation of the United Nations and a constructive role for the United States in the UN had better act very soon.
I’m not sure I’m quite as pessimistic as Hundt, but then again, I’ve never met Bolton. He has.