12 Apr Bolton: Soft on the U.N., Law of the Sea Supporter
Despite relentless attacks from establishment media like the NYT (who called him the “worst of some bad nominees”), it looks like John Bolton will be confirmed as U.N. Ambassador. Curiously, very few of the news reports of his testimony yesterday highlighted the ways in which this so-called hardliner has adopted pro-internationalists positions. The FT is the only account I’ve seen that points out that:
But Mr Bolton professed considerably more sympathy for UN affairs than some critics may had feared.
He argued in favour of paying the US’s financial dues and said he supported many international legal instruments, including the Law of the Sea, and believed Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, should stay on.
Mr Bolton even acknowledged, somewhat to the concern of Norm Coleman, the Republican senator who has called for Mr Annan’s resignation, that member states bore as much, if not more, responsibility as the secretariat for failures, as in the oil-for-food programme.
“We must never lose sight of the reality that ultimately it is member governments that must take responsibility for the UN’s actions, whether they be successes or failures,” said Mr Bolton.
This sounds very reasonable to me, and I don’t understand why that would be very unreasonable to any progressive internationalist-types, who should be thrilled that the administration’s so-called hardliner far-right diplomat is stuck with a number of very pro-internationalist positions that he can’t really back away from. The yelling here should not be on the pro-internationalist left, but on the anti-internationalist right.