Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bush Gives the UN the Finger

Bush Gives the UN the Finger
David Corn
03/07/2005 @ 4:55pm

If you were sitting in the Oval Office and George W. Bush asked, "Hey, tell me, who could we appoint to the UN ambassador job that would most piss off the UN and the rest of the world," your job would be quite easy. You would simply say, "That's a no-brainer, Mr. President, John Bolton." And on Monday Bush took this no-brain advice and nominated Bolton to the post, which requires Senate confirmation.

Bolton is the rightwing's leading declaimer of the United Nations. He once said, "If the UN Secretariat building in New York lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference." And when the Bush administration failed to persuade the UN to back its war in Iraq, Bolton observed that was "further evidence to many why nothing should be paid to the UN system."

Bolton has expressed much more vitriol for the UN than those two (representative) remarks, for he has been a UN-basher for years. Sure, the UN has many flaws and deserves reform. But what message does it convey to the UN and the world to send to the UN a fellow who has essentially called for total defunding of the institution? And this move comes right after Bush went to Europe to mend fences and after he has started working closely with France in an admirable effort to push Syria out of Lebanon. The Bolton appointment is unfathomable--except if viewed as a payback to the neocons. his band of Bush-backers were considered the losers when Bolton, formerly an undersecretary at the State Department, was not appointed to the number-two slot at Foggy Bottom when Condoleezza Rice took over the State Department. But this is some consolation prize. Imagine Jerry Falwell being placed in charge of marriage in Massachusetts.