Morning Report 3/8/05
The Neocons' Wet Dream: John Bolton
AMERICA'S REACTIONARIES, AFTER decades of sniping at the United Nations, finally declared war yesterday on the 60-year-old institution, launching neocon nabob and anti-diplomat John R. Bolton at the planet's HQ on the East River.
Resistance is futile. The most prominent Democrat to speak out against Bolton in the past four frightening years was Paul Wellstone. But the outspoken liberal senator from Minnesota is dead, and because of Bolton's appointment as U.N. ambassador, the rest of us have an increased chance of joining Wellstone sooner than we want to.
Please recall that Wellstone was a college wrestler at the University of North Carolina. If his plane hadn't crashed, Wellstone would have continued to be a perfect opponent of Princeton collegiate wrestler Don Rumsfeld, who was known way back when as a "speedy takedown specialist."
What a match. After all, as Wayne Madsen wrote in CounterPunch on the day Wellstone died, Wellstone was the politely confrontational type: At a 1991 White House reception, he urged George Bush Sr.right in the reception lineto spend more time on education and less on making war in the Persian Gulf. To which George Sr. was later heard to mutter, "Who is this chickenshit?"
Speaking of which, John Bolton, as I noted in November, is nothing but an extremist, especially when it comes to the U.N., which he would as soon abolish as anything else. For a trenchant profile of Bolton, check out Bill Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca's July 2002 Axis of Influence report for the World Policy Institute. As Jesse Helmshillbilly North Carolina TV anchor turned inexplicably powerful redneck U.S. senatorsaid about Bolton in January 2001:
- John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world.
I wrote last November, "You may get your chance, Jesse." Too true.
Remember Wellstone? The Minnesota senator (see photo below) voted against the war resolution in the fall of 2002 and then was killed in a plane crash in the upper Midwest less than two weeks later, on October 25.
Apologies to the memory of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, but that was the day the music died. Since then, it seems, all voices have been drowned out by the Bush regime's caca cacophony.
Turn down the volume of the Bush propaganda for a second, and listen to this piece of history retrieved from the memory hole. No one else will do it, so I will.
Go back to May 7, 2001, when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was considering Bolton's nomination as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Here's what Wellstone had to say that day about Bolton:
- He has not supported the critically important role of the United Nations. I agree with him that the U.N. is not a perfect institution. But, it remains the sole forum in which all nations of the world discuss international issues. John Bolton has suggested that we would be better off if the U.N. were decapitated and the top 10 stories of the U.N. building in New York removed.
This blanket condemnation of an international body created to promote peacemaking and mutual understanding is discouraging coming from a former Assistant Secretary of State of International Organizations. As a nation, we have a 50-year commitment to the U.N. As a United States Senator, I will continue to insist that we fulfill this commitment.
The full text of Wellstone's remarks can be found here. I'm going to quote him some more:
- The nominee to this position should be fully dedicated to pursuing multilateral diplomacy. . . . Increasingly, we live in a multipolar world that requires our senior diplomatic officials to be fully aware and sensitive to the concerns of all nations, including the non-aligned and developing countries as well as first world countries. If our officials do not appreciate this world view, they will not be intellectually equipped to provide sound advice on the conduct of American foreign policy.
Wellstone couldn't have known at the time that 9/11 would give the Bush regime's bipolar fanatics the opportunity to get away with acting unilaterally. Here's more from Wellstone that day:
- John Bolton has asserted . . . in 1994 . . . that "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 its suits our interest and we can get others to go along."
In today's world, these remarks are inevitably seen by the rest of the world as arrogant, confrontational, and condescending. They make it more difficult for the U.S. to provide world leadership. I would suggest that President Bush find a more inspiring leader to serve in the new Administration.
Just in case you've forgotten: During the 2000 presidential campaign and until 9/11, the Bush regime was rigidly against intervening militarily on behalf of democracy and stability. (To seize oil and make money for its pals, now that's another matter.) Here's Wellstone reminding us from the grave:
- Regarding Kosovo, John Bolton has demonstrated little appreciation of our national interests in resolving the most violent threat to the stability of Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Indeed, Bolton wrote that President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair's justification for military action is "singularly, and indeed, proudly devoid of any concrete U.S. or UK interests as we traditionally understand the term. Indeed, they justified the instigation of hostilities as a humanitarian intervention." In my opinion, our humanitarian interests are always in our national interests. Senior State Department officials should understand this point unequivocally.
There's more of this from Wellstone, but I'll cut to his conclusion:
- As I reviewed my prepared remarks on the nomination of John Bolton, I could not avoid the conclusion that the Administration has proposed a controversial, highly partisan man to perform a job of utmost sensitivity and importance to our national interests. John Bolton's presence in the inner circle of the State Department may actually undercut the promising start of Secretary Colin Powell, who has demonstrated a deft touch and sound judgement in dealing with the our allies and friends around the world. I believe we do the nation no service by confirming the wrong man for this position.
Well, we know how that turned out. Powell was co-opted, and he lost the battle against the neocons. We're in a frightening situation when fanatical civilians like Bolton and Doug Feith make generals like Powell seem like Mahatma Friggin' Gandhi.
If Bolton was the wrong man before 9/11, he's definitely the wrong man nowalthough you can't tell from the U.S. media.
The original headline spewed by the web version of the Times story, for one thing, was "Bush Nominates Weapons Expert as Envoy to U.N."
"Weapons expert"? Please. "Harsh critic of U.N." is the way the Los Angeles Times described him. The Washington Post simply said: "Critic of U.N. Named Envoy."
Acting more like the recording secretary of a Soviet-era Politburo plenary session than a reporter for a U.S. newspaper in the 21st century, Weisman writes:
- Supporters said Mr. Bolton would be able to convince the Senate and the public that he was committed to a reformed United Nations working effectively.
Don't they call the loss of short-term memory Korsakoff's Syndrome? I forget.