As I previously telegraphed, the topic is John R. Bolton.
Why him? Why now? Why are some legislators that I otherwise respect (e.g. Sen. John McCain) supporting him? And just... why?
When I think of the United States' Representative to the United Nations, I picture a kindly gentleman schooled in the subtleties of statesmanship. I imagine an atmosphere of negotiations, where an economy of international relations is transacted in the coin of prudently chosen words of goodwill.
The stark reality callously betrays my idealism.
I did some diggin' around on the 'net. At first I wasn't sure where to start. I'd been following the story in the NYT, and outside of overt support from the left (esp. Cheney) there hasn't yet been any significant reasons given why this thug should be Representative to the United Nations. Without a clear motive and no significant clues in the news articles I had little to start with. I didn't bother trying conservative websites, they'd only rehash the say-nothing tagline the White House has been using. The past usually makes a good starting point for understanding the current situation. So, who were the previous Reps to the U.N.?
A quick search reveals that John C. Danforth was the last Representative, with a tenure of 6 months (????), and before him John D. Negroponte. Those are interesting names, and we got more Johns' than a whorehouse already!
Go ahead and read up on Negroponte first, I'll wait right here.
All of a sudden his new job as Spook Master makes more sense, doesn't it?
The important part for this discussion is that for 2001-2004 (when, for his faithful dervice, he got shipped off to darkest Iraq!) he was W's point man for trying to bully the Security Council into going along with resolutions against Iraq. Aha! The plot thins! Now Bolton makes sense! Also bully-boy would be helpful to the Neo's for the upcoming expansion of the U.N. Security Council. More members means the U.S.'s influence on the council will be diminished. So the conservatives came up with a plan - we'll support you as a candidate for the Security Council if you agree to not gaining veto power until a later date. Much later.
Here's yet another situation at the U.N. Bolton should be well prepared for.
Danforth doesn't fit this picture though. I like this guy. He's written several opinion peices since resigning from his U.N. post. Often suggesting that conservatives are only hurting themselves by going along with the Christian extremists.
Here's an article that I found really interesting though:
It has been an important time to be in this position, especially as we attempt to enlist greater U.N. participation in the future of Iraq, and as we advance the interest you have personally shown in helping the desperate people of Sudan."
"the interest you have personally shown" ???
Having read this man's writings, and thinking what I do about W - I think that was a swipe!
W is personally interested in not being accused of ignoring the Sudan conflict, but otherwise I am sure his attention flags.
It seems clear that Danforth's experience as a mediator in the Sudan was poor preparation for the dissonance of the U.N. I rather think he would have resigned (or been asked to resign) from the U.N. had his wife not been ill.
So that's why Bolton.
W needs someone who can bully the security council and threaten the Islamic nations that think that terrorism is a 'right'. If he has any spare time, he can go back to trying to force Dr. El Bardei, ther head of the IAEA to resign. Man's gotta have a hobby I guess.
The good news is that, much like Negroponte, Bolton doesn't have much hope of being appointed by the Senate. They only caved on Negroponte a few days after 9/11.
So there's still some hope for a bright future.