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Bolton: There's no such thing as the UN

9 April 2005

Just when we were getting used to the bizarre idea of Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, Citizens for Global Solutions remind us it's last chance to oppose the nomination of John Bolton for American UN Ambassador. It's one of those internal US decisions, which could become a real headache for the whole world. Democracy Arsenal offers top ten reasons why Bolton should not be named. And here are some of the interesting comments Bolton has made throughout his career:

“There is no such thing as the United Nations. 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.''
John Bolton, 1994, Global Structures Convocation, New York, NY.

"Renouncing the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court “was the happiest moment of my government service."
John Bolton, The Wall Street Journal, 2002.

I'm not sure this counts as constructive criticism. And it doesn't smell like diplomacy either. But not everyone thinks it's a bad idea. Doug Bandow from the Cato Institute says Bolton is right man for the job, and says he was surprised at how measured Bolton was in a chapter of a Cato book they both contributed to: "He did not call for closing the U.N. offices, dismantling the building, and deporting the diplomats," he says.

So maybe we're lucky after all.

On Obsedian Wings, a very thorough overview of who is for and against Bolton's nomination in Washington. "If [Bolton detractors] spent similar amounts of time and energy exposing the crimes and mismanagement at the UN, such as written about here and here and here, perhaps there'd be a new Secretary General by now and the UN would be in a better place," goes the argument.

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