Saturday, March 12, 2005

Bolton: The enemy within

The enemy within
How an Americanist devoted to destroying international alliances became the US envoy to the UN
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday March 10, 2005
In the heat of the battle over the Florida vote after the 2000 US presidential election, a burly, mustachioed man burst into the room where the ballots for Miami-Dade County were being tabulated, like John Wayne barging into a saloon for a shoot-out. "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count," drawled John Bolton. And those ballots from Miami-Dade were not counted.
Now that same John Bolton has been named by President Bush as the US ambassador to the UN. "If I were redoing the security council today, I'd have one permanent member because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world," Bolton once said. Lately, as undersecretary of state for arms control, he has wrecked all the nonproliferation diplomacy within his reach. Over the past two decades he has been the person most dedicated to trying to discredit the UN. George Orwell's clock of 1984 is striking 13.
The euphoria that Bush's European trip marked a conversion on the road to Brussels is fading. For it was Bush himself who decided to reward Bolton with a position where he could continue his crusade as a "convinced Americanist" against the "globalists," especially those at the UN and the EU.
Bolton made a play to become deputy secretary of state after the 2004 election, but was blocked by Condoleezza Rice, who understood that his love of bureaucratic infighting would have undermined her authority. Dick Cheney privately promised Bolton that if all else failed he would give him a job on his vice presidential staff, but that proved unnecessary when Bush nominated him to the UN post. Rice announced his appointment, symbolically demonstrating that he reports to her. But Bolton has deep support within the White House, and Rice is very much a work-in-progress. With Bolton's appointment, the empire strikes back....