Tags: John | Bolton: | Following | Moynihan's | Footsteps

John Bolton: Following in Moynihan's Footsteps

Monday, 14 March 2005 12:00 AM

I draw from Bolton's statement that he is highlighting the realities of world geo-politics. Today the U.S. is the country that is urging and encouraging the flowering of democracy everywhere. France, Germany and a host of countries at the U.N. are far less concerned about that vital issue. They prefer to leave the heavy lifts in Iraq primarily to the U.S. and Britain.

The Forward, a newspaper concerned with issues affecting the Jewish community throughout the world, did not choose between candidates in the 2004 presidential election, but it has made clear its distaste for President Bush's positions, writing on October 29, 2004: "This newspaper has made no secret of its criticisms of the Bush administration's performance in a host of areas. We've used the word ‘catastrophic' to describe its fiscal policy, its unilateral stance on the world stage and its conduct of the war on terror, and we stand by those assessments."

In commenting on the Bolton appointment, it yelped, "Given Bolton's richly documented hostility to the world body and its ways – he once joked tastelessly that it wouldn't matter if the U.N. building ‘lost 10 stories' – his nomination is being taken as a slap in the face by America's European allies, and understandably so."

I think that particular quote, perhaps made at the time the U.N. Assembly voted by resolution to equate Zionism with racism or some other outrage, is pretty mild. Immodestly, let me cite two of my references to the U.N. when I was mayor of New York City. One was "a cesspool" and the other "a monument to hypocrisy."

I have no doubt that these critical statements made by Bolton, myself, and many others were merited at the time they were made. I have also said, as most critics have, that notwithstanding its current failures in responding to the ongoing crisis in Iraq and the Sudan, if the U.N. did not exist, we would have to invent it so as to have an immediate place for the countries of the world to meet, talk, and on many occasions, take appropriate action.

I know that I am simply theorizing, but I suspect that if the editors of The Times and maybe the Forward could, they would inch closer to a world government run out of the U.N. That would eliminate the nationalism which they probably believe to be a dirty word. But that nationalism protects the U.S. from the Third World nations, most of which oppress their own citizens.

Those nations would like to emasculate the U.S., which stands up against them and against the democratic countries that resent us, like France and Germany, perhaps because they owe us so much in having saved them, and even worse for some to bear, having eclipsed them in the hierarchy of world power. Are there many Americans who still hunger for a world government? I doubt it.

If and when George W. Bush reads the editorials of these two papers, does he really care what they say? I think he probably recalls The Times editorial of October 17, 2004, endorsing John Kerry with the phrases: "There is no denying that this race is merely about Mr. Bush's disastrous tenure," and "his disrespect for civil liberties and inept management," and "The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages."

In view of The Times characterization of President Bush and his administration, which won the reelection campaign on the very issues that The Times before the election and now raises in its editorials, why would the President pay any heed to the current denunciations of The Times? Similarly so with respect to the Forward.

Democracy seems to be starting to flower in the Mideast with elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Gaza, and the West Bank, and indication of changes in policy by repressive governments, e.g., Libya, Syria, Iran and North Korea. With all of these unexpected U.S. victories in support of democracy, George W. Bush may very well go down in history throughout the world after he has left office as the president who reasserted the influence and impact of America on foreign affairs in a very positive way.

What his critics thought was his vulnerability - foreign affairs - is turning out to be his major strength. The critics gnash their teeth at his successes abroad. They were certain that his new Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who made the grand tour abroad shortly before he did, would fail and that she and he would fall on their faces.

Instead, almost everyone reporting on their recent diplomacy travels abroad to meet and greet the heads of state throughout Europe, and for Secretary Rice the mid-and-far east as well, has written kudos, many reporting smashing successes.

The Times, a great institution and supporter of good government, had an editorial on March 10 that truly shocked me.

The public's distaste of politicians in great part stems from its disgust at those they elect who run on positions advanced during an election only to jettison them after the election victory. In President Bush we have someone who says what he means and means what he says. His appointment of John Bolton and seeking to open 2000 acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's (ANWR) 19.8 million acres for oil exploration is consonant with his pre-election commitments.

The Times in its editorial opines, "We had hoped when Mr. Bush was reelected that he'd rethink his goals once the next campaign was no longer an issue." Shockingly, The Times is conveying its support for the usual politician's stratagem: run one way and after victory reverse positions. Isn't honesty preferable to misrepresentation, especially in presidential elections?


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I draw from Bolton's statement that he is highlighting the realities of world geo-politics.Today the U.S. is the country that is urging and encouraging the flowering of democracy everywhere.France, Germany and a host of countries at the U.N. are far less concerned about...
Monday, 14 March 2005 12:00 AM
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