Wednesday, April 27, 2005

An Interesting Bolton Endorsement

As I said in the comments section, I am increasingly convinced the crusade against John Bolton may have peaked too early. Republicans, no thanks to the incompetent Senator Frist, have banded together and finally put the case for Bolton forward into the public eye. Ridiculous charges of Bolton's "meanness" pale in comparison to his talents and the scale of the reform effort required if the U.N. is ever to reestablish it's credibility.

Now more evidence that those celebrating the character assassination of John Bolton might have popped their champagne corks a bit early. This morning's Boston Globe, an unlikely source to say the least, endorses Bolton for ambassador. In their endorsement the Globe's editors point to one anecdote that illustrates how Bolton's penchant for hard headed principle can make a difference in the amoral world of the U.N.

In May 1991, while serving as assistant secretary of state for international organizations (which included the UN), Bolton was privately briefed by analysts on whether the United States had enough votes to reverse the UN's Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with racism. He believed to his core that this resolution was an insult to the intelligence of the civilized world, and in that belief he was supported by the secretary of state himself, James Baker............ ............By late fall, the entire State Department had come together, and success, literally unthinkable only a few months earlier, had become a probability. By the time the tally was finally taken, on Dec. 16, 1991, the UN's General Assembly repealed Resolution 3379 by a vote of 111-25 (with 13 abstentions and 17 delegations absent or not voting). American leadership was restored to the General Assembly, and this stain on the prestige of the UN had been removed. But more important, a terrible wrong had been righted, and a critically important and historic principle had been vindicated.

In a body where the U.N. Human Rights Commission is chaired and populated with some of the worst offenders of human rights in the world, a principled ambassador is critical to reform. Make no mistake, the nomination continues to maintain a precarious hold on life support, but we may be in the early days of recovery. Lets hope the Republicans get their act together fast enough to recover.

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