On the way into work today there was a talk radio show on that had lots of callers. Every single one of them took sides but could not say why. According to the callers, either Bolton is part of the Hitler Halliburton neo-con fascist Bushite conspiracy or he is George Washington trying to defend the very freedoms, yea, the very existence of western ideals of liberty in these United States. Of course, as always, the answer lies somewhere inbetween, and I plan on finding out where "inbetween" is.
As an aside, all of the things all of the Senators have said during the hearings on CSPAN are, of course, bullshit. Both parties have lined up and the only hope the Democrats have of blocking the nomination is maybe trying to swing Lincoln Chaffee to switch sides. The usual lame questions come over and over again from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and no one solves anything. That's my job, I guess.
First, qualifications. John Bolton is the Under Secy. of Arms Control and International Security. He was confirmed in May of 2001 and retains that post as of now. Before that he was Senior Vice President of the American Enterprise Institute. Previous public service positions he has held are Asst. Secy. for International Organization Affairs at the Dept. of State 1989-1993; Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Dept. of Justice 1985-1989; Asst. Administrator for Program and Policy Coordination for the US Agency for Int. Development 1982-1983; General Counsel for the US Agency for Int. Development, 1981-1982. He is an attorney and practiced from 1974-1981 and 1983-1985. He also practiced in 1993-1999 as a partner in another law firm. Well, I guess that is an "A" on the qualifications. He knows the law and he knows the international field.
Now that we all know he is qualified, just what exactly is the problem? The problem to those against him is that he is "blunt". There are lots of examples of the press calling him "blunt" speaking. For a sample, check here, here, here and here. OK, so he's blunt. Both sides say he is blunt. Very blunt. I don't see this as a problem, especially when dealing with the UN - that unbelievable ratsnest of corruption and mayhem.
In all of the hearings I haven't really heard any other negative point brought up against Bolton other than Bolton being blunt or ripping the UN and international law and the international kangaroo court of justice. Well, they need to do better than that.
If you click on one link in this whole piece, please make it this one. The International Criminal Court was set up for no other reason than to try to prosecute our service people - generals, privates and others that the "world" feels has wronged them. Most importantly, the ICC wants to bring up for war crimes those who it feels pursue "aggressive" actions. Rightly, Israel fears this as well, as the Six Day War could have been interpreted as "aggressive", although if Israel didn't do anything, it would have been pushed into the sea. Our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq would certainly be called "aggressive" and our service men and women would have to be prosecuted in a court of law that strips them of their US Constitutional rights. Another major point is that there is no check against the ICC. It is just a court, set up to prosecute some vague laws. Of course the Court will only succeed in one thing and that is failure. Bolton sums it up best in this quote:
"Why should anyone imagine that bewigged judges in The Hague will succeed where cold steel has failed? Holding out the prospect of ICC deterrence to the weak and vulnerable amounts to a cruel joke."I fear that if the United States signs on to things like this that eventually our own constitutional rights will be usurped. Maybe the ICC one day will deem firearm ownership illegal everywhere in the world. Maybe you will not be able to read about Pol Pot's terrible crimes in Cambodia. It is imperative that things like this be stopped for our own good. Bolton looks like a perfect candidate for this.
Here is John Bolton in his own words. Interesting stuff. Some highlights:
"If the UN Secretary building in New York lost 10 stories it wouldn't make one bit of difference." He is right. The UN is a sprawling, corrupt bureaucracy with some of the most vicious human rights abusers sitting on it's committees.
"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...". Again, right. Examples? Rwanda. Bosnia. Sudan. North Korea. Iraq. Plenty more if you need.
"Support for the International Criminal Court concept is based largely on emotional needs to an abstract ideal of an international judicial system." Nuff said.
I like all of these quotes. Funny thing is that they are from the stopbolton.org website! I assume they are all taken out of context as well, it being an anti-Bolton website. The best the haters of Bolton can do is take some quotes out of context (Bolton said so in the hearings and Kerry used all of the above quotes verbatim!) and those quotes that they did take out of context - I like.
So the reasons Bolton's opponents cite as bad I think are good. Well, so be it.
In my opinion it is about time we got someone up there that will say things like the UN is a bunch of totally corrupt, oil-for-food scamming, child raping, terrorist enabling thugs. And don't forget the modern day holocausts that the UN ignored.
PS - if you have the time, listen to the hearings on CSPAN and listen to John Kerry try to blame Bolton for his failings along with Clinton and Madeline Albright in North Korea. THEY were the ones that ensured Kim Jong Il would remain in power. NOT Bolton. Unbelievable. Also, Bolton handles himself very well. He cites every quote that was taken out of context and every speech that Biden and Kerry and the others and puts it in proper context, and explains exactly what he meant.