Saturday, June 24, 2006

revoltin bolton

* The Nation :
" Clinton approved the International Criminal Court in principle, for example, but pandered to the Pentagon by having his emissaries water it down in negotiations, and then did not sign off on it until he was leaving office. It was a classic diplomatic application of Clinton's "smoking but not inhaling" approach. Equally typically, Bolton promptly unsigned the attenuated treaty setting up the court.
But emblematic of the difficulties that brute prejudice has when it clashes with reality, Bolton is now trying to force Sudan to cooperate with the same ICC in its investigation of what the US claims is genocide.
In contrast, the Bush Administration calls events in Darfur genocide--because that is what the evangelical Christians call it--but it argues that the Genocide Convention does not actually require signatories to intervene.
It is time to rally the too-silent majority of Americans to redeem their nation's plummeting international credibility--and to insure that the world body that is still the bedrock of international stability is not lumbered with a Bolton clone for the next five years, or even ten years. We really do not want to perpetuate this Administration's creative application of chaos theory to world affairs."
* scripps:

Bolton's latest contretemps involves Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan for reform. Annan developed a series of quite radical proposals, aimed at eliminating useless work and assigning staff where they were most needed. Poor nations rejected key parts of Annan's plan, fearing they would dilute Third World power in the organization. So Bolton responded that if they continue to resist reform, wealthy countries (which pay for a huge percentage of the budget) should stop paying for the United Nations.

Ultimatums usually don't work, and that is particularly true at U.N. headquarters, where consensus is the traditional path to action. The result of Bolton's ploy has been paralytic crisis. Poor nations have their backs up, and Bolton won't budge. Yet the deadline for agreeing on reforms looms at the end of June. Everyone is worried that U.S. and Japanese financial support will be cut off, leaving U.N. agencies unable to function.

An essential part of Rice's job at State is containing the damage that Bolton can cause anywhere he applies his boorish bluster. The best thing would be to sack Bolton and let him slink off to a think tank. At the least, he needs to be put on a short leash and forced to wear a muzzle.

Rice should arrange a fitting for those devices early this morning, even as she withdraws the threat to withhold U.S. funding and upbraids opponents of reform."

(thnx kathleen)

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