Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bush's Shake-Up-the-World View

Much has been written and said about Bush's nomination to the UN and World Bank. The usual leftist suspects are all in a dither about them. Take for example, Peter Beinart, editor of the New Republic, writes in a Washington Post article that Bolton is the wrong man for the job.

"John Bolton owes his recent nomination as ambassador to the United Nations to an analogy. It goes something like this: In 1975, when anti-Americanism was on the march, Gerald Ford chose a distinctly undiplomatic diplomat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, to represent the United States at the United Nations. Unlike his predecessors, who had listened politely while America was defamed, Moynihan denounced the tin-pot dictatorships running wild at the United Nations. And a new movement called neoconservatism -- of which Moynihan was a leading voice -- made its entrance onto the international stage. Six years later, Ronald Reagan gave the U.N. job to another prominent neocon, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and she proved equally blunt.

Bolton -- a fierce U.N. critic -- is the supposed heir to that tradition. When Condoleezza Rice announced his nomination, she specifically invoked Moynihan and Kirkpatrick. Numerous right-leaning commentators have done the same. To some members of Congress, sending a man who has repeatedly trashed the United Nations to be America's representative there seems perverse. But for neocons with a sense of history, that's precisely the point.

Problem is, the history's misleading. Moynihan and Kirkpatrick were effective because their oppositional styles suited the time -- a time when there was little the United States could do at the United Nations other than oppose. Today the United States has an opportunity to lead. And by choosing Bolton, the Bush administration may be squandering it."
No Peter, the UN is still the same as far as opposing the US. Only the names of the players have changed. Considering the recent UN scandals, tough liove is needed here, not the niceties of tea drinking diplomacy.

Fred Barnes, the editor of the Weekly Standard,
in his article at OpinionJournal.com, has an enitrely different take on these nominations.
"Anyone shocked by the nominations of Messrs. Wolfowitz and Bolton doesn't understand the president's approach to multilateral organizations. The conventional idea is that these organizations are wonderful, though perhaps flawed and infused with too much anti-American sentiment. And the chief task of U.S. representatives is to get along amicably, not buck the system and cause problems. This idea is popular in the press, the State Department bureaucracy and diplomatic circles, and with foreign-policy "experts." But not with Mr. Bush.

The president's idea is simple: No more Mr. Nice Guy. He believes international organizations have failed largely and must be challenged and reformed. He was miffed when outgoing U.N. Ambassador John Danforth rushed to the defense of Kofi Annan in the midst of the Oil for Food scandal. Mr. Annan opposed the war in Iraq and even declared it illegal. More important, he's viewed by Mr. Bush as part of the problem at the U.N."
On Mr. Bolton's nomination Mr. Barnes has this to say:
"Mr. Bolton will bring a sharp focus to corruption, waste and left-wing ideology at the U.N.--precisely the matters the U.N. would rather not dwell on. His supporters insist he'll serve, once confirmed, in the tradition of Ambassadors Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeane Kirkpatrick, both sharp critics of the U.N. Mr. Bolton, however, is even more hostile to business-as-usual at the U.N. than they were, is considerably more conservative, and is a tough political operative besides."
The bottom line here is that the US has tried the "nice guy" diplomatic approach and has seen the UN spiral into a cesspool of non-action and scandal. It is time for a new apprrach, much along the lines that Moynihan and Kirkpatrick took. - Sailor

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