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20 years

ust as no one could have predicted the intensity of the firestorm that greeted the nominations of either Robert H. Bork or Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court, President George W. Bush had no way of knowing that former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton would become the same type of lightning rod when he nominated him as UN Ambassador. Bush picked Bolton, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said "...because he knows how to get things done. He is a tough-minded diplomat [and] he has a strong record of success, and he has a proven track record of effective multilateralism." She added, "John Bolton is personally committed to the future success of the United Nations, and he will be a strong voice for reform at a time when the United Nations has begun to reform itself to help meet the challenging agenda before the international community."

Bolton drew fire from Democrats in 1994 when, speaking at a Federalist Society forum, he said "...there is no such thing as the United Nations." What Bolton meant when he spoke was that there was nothing that could be construed as "united" about the United Nations since the UN did not function in the manner prescribed by its charter. When Rice said that Bolton was committed to the future of the UN, it was not hyperbole.

When Reuters reported Bush's nomination of Bolton, the announcement drew fire from UN Security Council member nations who expressed both surprise and concern that Bush would name someone with a published antipathy towards the United Nations as UN Ambassador. A senior envoy—speaking only on condition of anonymity—remarked that "...[i]t's like the Palestinians having to negotiate with Ariel Sharon."

Defending her boss' choice, Rice said that Bush chose Bolton for the job rather than a career diplomat because Bolton's tough and because the president wanted to strengthen America's role in the UN. The fact that Bolton is not a diplomat was one of the reason's Bush wanted him. When you need a cowboy for the job, you don't send a tenderfoot city slicker.

Websites denouncing John Bolton sprung up virtually overnight. The tone of most—even those launched from within the United States—reflected the modern New Age socialism espoused by the anti-free enterprise advocates of the Third Way in Europe who view the UN as the global forum of the emerging world government in which the United States is a muted voice with no more power than France—or Haiti.

Among those drawn to the lightning rod like a big ugly moth to a bug whacker was left-wing social-issues advocate and Stanford University law professor Marjorie Cohn. A regular columnist for the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal, a news consultant for CBS News who provides political commentary for the BBC, CNN, and NPR, Cohn also writes an online column. On Truth Out.org. Cohn compared Bolton as UN Ambassador to a comment made by the American commander in charge of the destruction of Ben Tre during the Vietnam War when he said [he] had to destroy the village to save it. Bolton, she felt would destroy the UN in an attempt to "save it." Of course, in Cohn's mind, and the minds of the Third Way advocates in America, there is nothing wrong with the UN that a little more liberal-styled totalitarian democracy wouldn't fix.

The United Nations cannot continue to function as a "good ol' boys" club for third world dictators and the governments of Europe who have profited immensely from their tawdry association with the third world tyrants and despots who have been granted the right to sit on the Human Rights Commission of the UN rather than be investigated by it. Bolton acknowledges that he has been critical of the UN in the past. "As you know," he told the media on March 7 when he was nominated, "I have, over the years, written critically about the UN. Indeed, one highlight of my professional career was the 1991 successful effort to repeal the General Assembly's 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, thus removing the greatest stain on the UNs reputation."

Let's face it. The UN is a joke and the world knows it. It is only because of pressure applied by the United States on the other members of the Security Council—including China which has the most dismal human rights record in the world—that nations like Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria and several Africa nations will no longer be able to sit in judgment of the human rights practices of other nations until their own human rights abuses are corrected.

And that, precisely, is why the utopian liberals in the UN and in the US Congress fear John Bolton and why they are now lobbying so hard to kill his nomination. "As UN Ambassador," Cohn wrote in her April 4, 2005 online op-ed piece, "Bolton would make the world a more dangerous place. Bolton spearheaded a successful campaign to prevent the Senate from ratifying the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty..." (This was a treaty the Soviets would not ratify, but the liberals in Congress demanded that the Bush-43 Administration adhere to anyway because the US Senate had ratified it. START I was concluded during the Bush-41 Administration. Start II—which also penalized only the United States—was ratified to jumpstart Start I. When the Republican Revolution steamrolled the Democrats and the GOP took control of the House and Senate, they were smart enough, when they ratified Start III, to write into it a provision that exempted the United States from the terms of the treaty until the Russian Duma ratified it. The Soviets ratified Start I only when they realized they could stop Bush-43 from creating a missile umbrella over the United States under that treaty.

Throughout the Clinton years the Soviets continued their weapons buildup with American dollars. According to Cohn, that merely meant that Bolton "...[cleared] the way for increased testing of nuclear weapons." In point of fact, during that period, using IMF trade loans to finance the modernization of their military, the Soviets dismantled obsolete weapons systems and, using American lend-lease technology, upgraded the guidance systems. The net decline in the total number of missiles aimed at America or Europe over the last decade has proven to be negligible, while the cost to the American taxpayers for Russian "compliance" has been staggering. Tragically, China was never made part of that pact. Now, stupidly, as the United States continues to downsize its nuclear arsenal, China—and Russia—continues to build theirs.

The unaccounted-for warheads from deactivated Soviet nuclear missiles are not "missing"—nor were they "stolen" for sale to rogue Islamic terrorist groups. They were simply transferred from obsolete 1970-era Soviet missiles to Russia's new 21st century intercontinental missile systems. Only those warheads that were becoming unstable were destroyed. The myth that warheads from nuclear missiles had been stolen by dissident military officers when the Iron Curtain collapsed is just that—a myth. That is not to say that a few warheads may not have been stolen or confiscated by the governments of the emerging Eastern European "democracies." Periodically rumors surface that suggest Osama bin Laden is trying to buy a nuclear weapon, and rumors have surfaced that Islamic terrorists possess a suitcase nuke, but there has never been any substance to the rumors. Clearly, if bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had a suitcase bomb in the five years that the rumors have been circulating, they would have used it by now.

It is more likely that reports of the widescale theft of warheads for conversion into suitcase nukes were smokescreens to deflect attention from the fact that Russia, like China, persisted in selling banned weapon systems and materials to rogue nations like Iran and North Korea throughout the Clinton years—with every high-ranking official in that administration being required to wear rose-colored glasses so as not see or say anything that would disturb the status quo.

It serves the financial interests of the military-industrial complex in both the United States and Russia to fan the myth. And, it serves the prurient interests of the transnational industrialists, global businessmen and the cartel of international bankers as well since the borders between the nation states will dissolve only if the governments of those countries believe no threat to their national security exists.

The fear of the liberals—who want the American people to view the world through those proverbial rose-colored glasses—is that realists like John Bolton don't play by the politically-correct utopian rules. He's not afraid to call a corrupt world agency corrupt, nor is he afraid to brand as enemies of the United States those who pose as trading partners while selling missile technology to Islamic regimes intent of waging Jihad against the United States; or as opportunists who want to see a nuclear 9-11 in America. Cohn remarked that Bolton keeps a bronzed hand grenade on his desk, noting that it "...symbolizes his reputation as a bomb thrower." I had one, too. You know what it symbolized for me? It was an interesting conversation piece—and a nifty paperweight.

It's for that reason and not because Bolton might be a "serial abuser" of underlings (i.e., verbally abusing subordinates by yelling at them and calling them "stupid." Bolton is accused of being a managerial-bully with a history of berating subordinates who disagreed with his positions on issues. Initially, the only thing the Democrats could find to withhold their support of him for the UN job were his negative comments about that organization. Because Bolton is amply qualified, the Democrats could not successfully challenge his credentials. So their attacks necessarily targeted his temperament.

The "serial abuser" label came from a highly respected former Bush-41 Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence, Carl W. Ford, Jr. who cannot be called a partisan liberal even though he can be called a Colin Powell loyalist (since Powell's word went a long way with Ford ending up with that job). And since Powell was secretly working behind-the-scenes to kill the Bolton nomination, I am forced to ask whether or not Ford's testimony was a quid pro quo for past political favors at Foggy Bottom. (In Washington, DC, favors are permanent chits that require repayment—on demand. Those chits can be called in at any time. If the recipient of past favor wants to continue playing the inside-the-beltway money game, he or she is obligated to honor the chit. As the Executive Vice President of Cassidy & Associates—one of the nation's premier lobbying firms with very close ties to Jimmy Carter's former press secretary, Jody Powell through Powell TateFord is very much a player on Capitol Hill. And Ford's financial ties are tethered to the liberal bureaucracy even though many of the high profile officers of Cassidy & Associates are former GOP congressmen and senior level staffers.)

Last Friday as four Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee bolted from Bolton, Colin Powell emerged from the shadows as the "lobbyist" who convinced them to keep from sending Bolton's name to the floor for a vote, telling the lawmakers that while Bolton was a smart guy, he would be problematic as UN Ambassador. When he was asked to do so by Rice, Powell was the only one of 7 former Secretaries of State who refused to endorse Bolton for the job. Powell's Chief of Staff, Lawrence Wilkerson was quoted by the New York Times as saying that Bolton would be an "...abysmal ambassador."

Not one of those opposing Bolton found anything derogatory in his resume that would make him ineligible to serve—other than a growing consensus that Bolton was a managerial bully with a history of berating subordinates and firing anyone who disagreed with him on key policy issues. When Ford testified, the public caught a glimpse of the real reason for the torturous hearings—the ongoing political war that pitted hawks like Dick Cheney—who apparently picked Bolton for the job—and Bolton against overly-cautious, institutionaized liberal career intelligence operatives in the State Department bureaucracy who have mastered the art of viewing the world through the utopian's rose-colored glasses and seeing nothing.

Ford, who has worked with Bolton at the State Department was rather circumspect in his praise of the man's political instincts but openly critical of his temperament. Ford called Bolton "...a kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy...[who] abuse[d] his authority with little people." Ford said Bolton belittled subordinates who were so far down the political food chain that they had no way to fight back. Ford compared him to an 800-pound gorilla devouring a banana. Ford added that Bolton was a "...serial abuser." Just before he retired from government service last year, Ford said he when he called Bolton about something, Bolton said to him, "I'm glad you're leaving," —and hung up on him.

Scrambling to find other "victims" who could support Ford's allegation that Bolton was a serial abuser, one such opportunist—Lynne Finney—who is hawking a website on how to overcome the trauma of abuse, stepped forward with a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA] in which she said that when she was a legal adviser to the US Agency for International Development [US-AID] Bolton attempted to bully her into modifying the UN codes that restrict the marketing and promotion of dry infant formulas in the emerging nations. When she refused, claiming that using those types of formulas could result in sickness or even death for children in the developing nations since the mothers would mix the formula with unsafe river water. Bolton, who was Finney's boss in the 1980s, screamed at her: "You're fired." When he was interviewed by USA Today reporter Barbara Slavin, State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said that "...no one at US-AID at the time has any recollection of any such incident..People who are opposed to the nomination," Ereli added, "are using vague memories and personal charges to attack what is substantively a strong nomination."

(By the way, within the bureaucracy of Washington, DC, tenured civil servants can't be firedthat's why so few of them actually work. To get the paperwork done, the government has been forced to spend your tax dollars on independent contractors who are not government employees and can be fired if the work doesn't get done. Aren't you glad Uncle Sam spends your money so wisely?) Thus, Lynne Finney could not be fired. Instead, she was moved to an office in the basement of the State Department so Bolton would not have to deal with her. Today Finney is a motivational speaker. Her route to success within the bureaucracy died when she was detoured to the basement.

Finney retired and returned to graduate school. Earning a Master's Degree in clinical social work, she became a psychotherapist. Now she consults over website, teaching people how to use New Age spiritual techniques to overcome life's challenges (that she claims to have learned from Tibetan monks and from a disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi). She also claims that she did not come forward to enrich herself through the notoriety that would lead the curious to click on her website. She insisted she wrote the letter to Boxer only because she is concerned about world peace—and she wanted to defeat Bolton's nomination. Finney is a stereotypical New Age globalist. She is also the proverbial "woman scorned" if her motives are to be believed.

Also protesting Bolton's brusque behavior was another US-AID worker, Melody Townsel—who heads her own public relations firm in Dallas, Texas. Townsel complained about a government contractor, whom she alleged was mishandling his company's contract in Kyrgyzstan. Townsel was a subcontractor with US-AID. Bolton was an attorney representing Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly—the firm that hired Townsel's company to publicize the privatization of formerly state-owned entities in that former Soviet satellite country. Townsel testified to the Foreign Relations Committee that Bolton was sent to force her to withdraw a complaint she filed about the contractor's company. She claimed that Bolton chased her through the halls of a Moscow hotel in August, 1994, throwing things—in particular a file folder and a tape dispenser—at her as he made remarks about her weight and her sexual orientation. Asked by a reporter why she didn't come forward in 2001 when Bolton's nomination as Undersecretary of State was being considered, she replied that there were no witnesses to the incident so it would be her word against his—even though, she added, she told several people what Bolton did.

Like Finney, Townsel is a self-described liberal Democrat with an axe to grind not only against against President George W. Bush personally, but against the Bush agenda. She was one of the grassroots organizers of the Dallas chapter of "Mothers Opposing Bush." While Finney sent her letter offering to rip Bolton a new one to Barbara Boxer, Townsel sent hers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat, Joe Biden [D-RI]—and by email to every member of the Committee. The State Department investigated Townsel's allegations and believed they, like Finney's, were unfounded. "The stuff just didn't happen as far as we know," a State Department official told the media.

The Bolton smear, engineered by the bureaucracy itself to discredit a man whose intellectual credentials are impeccable, is reminiscent of the attempt by Senate Democrats to smear and discredit Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas—whose confirmation was stalled in the Judiciary Committee on October 6, 1991—when allegations of sexual harrassment was leveled against him by a former legal assistant, Anita Hill. The hearing was televised live from October 11 to 13, 1991 with no evidence presented by the Democrats that Thomas had conducted himself inappropriately in what was reduced to a live TV he-said/she-said soap opera. In the end, Thomas won confirmation. Senate insiders who see too many similarities between the Thomas smear and the Bolton smear are confident that Bolton, like Thomas, will prevail and will be confirmed when Bolton's nomination is placed on the Senate floor.

As Colin Powell worked the phones calling the Republican members of the Foreign Relations Committee like a skilled lobbyist, it appeared that he had singlehandedly stalled the nomination. Four GOP members of the committee who were ready to send the nomination to the Senate floor for an up or down vote, backed down when Powell told them the Bolton nomination was a bad one. It became obvious that at least three of them—Senators Lincoln D. Chafee [RI], Lisa Murkowski [AK] and Chuck Hagel [NE] might even cast their votes against Bolton in a floor fight where the likelihood exists that two other Republican Senators, Olympia Snow and Susan Collins from Maine, will vote against Bolton. If Chafee, Murkowski and Hagel also vote no, Bolton's nomination would be defeated by a 51 to 49 vote. If Sen. George Voinovich [OH], who prevented the final vote that would have sent the nomination to the floor and Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter, and Foreign Relations Committee chairman Richard Lugar also vote against the Bolton nomination, Bush would have a stinging defeat as a war hawk nominee he campaigned for lost 54 to 46 in the GOP-controlled Senate.

For that reason the White House has ratcheted up its own rhetoric, questioning why Senate Democrats were trying so hard to protect a very corrupt organization that is in desperate need of reform. The White House has insisted all along that Bolton, more than anyone else in the country, is the right person, at the right time, for the job precisely because of his in-your-face management style. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Richard Lugar [R-IN] who is a staunch supporter of the UN is also not a supporter of John Bolton. When Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was preparing to name Bolton as Deputy Secretary of State in February, Lugar quietly advised her to nominate someone else since Bolton, he said, would never be confirmed for the job.

The Democrats largely believe there is nothing inherently wrong with the UN, and aside from a little needed tinkering around the edges to shore up the ethics questions resulting from the discovery of rampant graft in the Iraqi oil-for-food program. It is the liberal view that the UN is ready to assume is role as the center of governance for the emerging world economic system.

The free enterprise capitalists who actually financed the creation of both the League of Nations in 1920 and its transformation into the United Nations in 1945 have been watching the socialist trending of the UN with growing trepidation as the human-capital rich emerging nations (who have only recently realized their financial value to the transnational industrialists, business giants and bankers), began demanding more equitable power-sharing arrangements in the UN hierarchy. As socialism (the unelected bureaucracy) and free enterprise capitalism blend into the "Third Way," the population-starved, wealthy, predominantly Caucasian industrial nations risk losing not only their identity—but their vote—to the "minority" nations of the world (who are actually, overwhelmingly, the global population majority) when global government is achieved before the end of this decade. The task before the Bush Administration is to "fix" the problems, drive the graft-riddled hierarchy out of office and restore integrity of the organization before the UN assumes its 21st century role as the global arbitrator of national disputes and as the legislator of record for the world.

It was for that reason the White House shifted its focus away from the lightning rod to the organization itself. Detailing the corruption uncovered by former Fed Chairman Paul Voulker (who is also a Kofi Annan senior aide)—and the rose-colored glasses whitewash that Voulker's committee engaged in to protect several senior level UN officials—including the Secretary General and his son—White House press secretary Scott McClellan recited a litany of questions and observations of why the UN backers in the Congress where stalling Bolton's nomination.

McClellan's denunciation of the obstructionist Senate Democrats prompted one reporter to ask if the White House was saying that Senate Democrats were opposed to Bolton because they are opposed to UN reform. "That's what this issue boils down to," McClellan replied. "A vote for John Bolton is a vote for reform at the United Nations. A vote against him is a vote for the status quo at the UN."

Nevertheless, the assembled reporters from the mainstream media ignored both the oil-for-food scandal and the sexual abuse of African girls by UN peacekeepers as they continued to hammer Bolton's verbal abuse of subordinates. McClellan deftly sidestepped the landmine by saying "...[t]hese are side issues that distract from the real issue. The real issue here is, are we going to move forward on reform at the United Nations, or are we going to accept the status quo?" Every president since Harry S. Truman (who signed the ratified UN Treaty) have blindly accepted the status quo and, as a result, America has allowed the United Nations to drift aimlessly to the left like a wayward iceberg in search of the Titanic since its inception. "John Bolton," McClellan concluded, "is someone who brings a lot of experience and a lot of passion—and sometimes a blunt style—to this position. But those are exactly the kind of qualities that are needed in an agent of change to get anything done, particularly at a place like the UN."

Chairman Lugar predicted that on May 12 when his committee meets again, that they will approve Bolton's nomination and send it to the floor for a vote. In the end, Lugar said, it was more important that the president be allowed to appoint for "advise and consent jobs" people in whom he had confidence. "We will have a vote that I believe will be favorable, and the committee will report the nomination to the floor." The up and down vote is not quite as certain. For that reason the White House is arranging a sit-down meeting between Bolton and Voinovich. To be safe, the Bush people need to be arranging individual sitdowns between Bolton and Voinovich, Lugar, Specter, Chafee, Snowe, Collins, Hagel and Murkowski. Because if Bush loses this one, he becomes a lame duck president from that moment. By betting so many chits on this one, Bush risks losing not only the fight on judicial appointments but Social Security reform as well. However, if he wins this one, the odds are pretty good he will win them all—and the Democrats will lose two more votes in the Senate next fall.

 

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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