Monday, March 07, 2005

John Bolton Nominated to be UN Ambassador

When Bob Zoellick was named Deputy Secretary of State, it was largely viewed as a triumph of the internationalist "realists" over the unilateralist "neocons" in the Bush State Department. That conclusion may have been somewhat premature. Today it was announced that John Bolton, a prominent neocon and current undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, will be nominated as US Ambassador to the United Nations. While Bolton solidified his reputation as opposing many multilateral institutional arrangements (most notably the ICC, which he helped make into US policy with the "unsigning" of the Rome Treaty), he had some success in helping the Bush I administration build multilateral support for the first Gulf War when he was assistant secretary for international organizations under James Baker. But he is by style and ideology no John Danforth. (He is reported to have once uttered, "If the UN building in NY lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.") His confirmation hearings should offer an interesting opportunity to find out where the second Bush administration places the UN and its institutions now that it is, in the words of Secretary Rice, "time for diplomacy."

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