Column no. 71 By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH - August 11, 2005,
I published the first version of this column on March 31, 2005. On the occasion of the recess appointment of Bolton to be Ambassador to the United Nations by President Bush, it seems appropriate to revisit the subject. This column is an edited version of the earlier one, with a few additional thoughts.
In re my column of two weeks ago about Iran and nuclear weapons, it seems appropriate to repeat that the Georgites relish talking about “nuclear options” (or is it “nookyulahr opshuns”?). They do this both in the real and metaphorical contexts, as in their plan for ending the possibility of Senate filibusters in re judicial appointments. (This one may come up again in the context of the Roberts Supreme Court nomination. Unlike Bolton, he is likeable. In every other way, he is the ideal, far right-wing Georgite. For example, his rulings from the bench on the President’s power, claimed by the present Attorney General [!] to amend the Constitution on whim in relation to the Geneva Conventions, show a fascistic trend as least as strong as Bolton’s.) Cong. Tancredos (R-CA) has talked about “nuking” Mecca in response to another London 7/7-type bombing. In my column of two weeks ago, which referred back to material I published in this space in February and March, I discussed the possibility of the very real use of nuclear weapons in Iran, apparently now being promoted by Cheney’s office. As I pointed out then, since US ground forces are in an increasingly parlous state, it appears that the only possible course of US military action beyond “special ops.” with our own and Iranian guerilla troops (not Iranian “terrorists,” of course) would be to use the real “nuclear option.” Now we have another metaphorical example of Georgite thinking along these lines: the appointment of John Bolton to be Ambassador to the United Nations.
There has been much analysis of the inappropriateness of this particular Bush/neocon choice, given Bolton’s long-standing disdain for the institution and his advocacy over time of a variety of anti-UN measures, including the possibility of quitting the body altogether. Beyond his views on the UN, the man does not exactly have a reputation as an accomplished diplomat. To the contrary, two bulls in a china shop seem to be an accurate description of his interpersonal, much less diplomatic, skills. In conventional terms, then, the appointment seems to be un-understandable, inexplicable. However, if one starts thinking about what the true Georgite objectives likely are, naming Bolton to the UN makes total sense. They indeed are symbolized by this appointment.
Bush plaints about “have to fill the vacant post” are (being generous) as disingenuous as are so many other of his statements. Bolton could not get past the Senate. There are a number of qualified Republicans who could easily get Senate approval, e.g., Colin Powell. But Bush was absolutely determined to by-pass the democratic process that he tells us over and over again he wants to impose by force in many other parts of the world, to get his man. Why? It is unlikely that any of the truly qualified Republicans would agree to play Bush’s UN game for which Bolton is uniquely suited, that is to achieve the destruction of the UN.
The “Bush Doctrine” calls for unrestricted US intervention around the world, using force when, as, and if Bush deems it necessary, unconstrained by any treaty obligations. Based on Presidential whim or other motivations, such interventions do not require -- indeed reject to the political extent possible – multi-lateralism and allied involvement. The “Doctrine” is a formula for continued and continuous maxi-imperialist aggression by the Georgite-run United States, using the excuse of the week whether true or not. In such a context, the UN could only be an impediment to carrying out this policy. At best, then, the US would like to find some way to destroy the UN as we have known it since 1945. Next best to destruction, which I suppose only people like Bolton and Cheney could seriously imagine happening, would be to make a conclusory case domestically for US departure from that body.
The Georgite anti-UN campaign, let us recall, began in the run-up to the pre-planned Iraq War. A US Secretary of State formerly held in high regard in many world capitols, knowingly (or perhaps, if he is not as smart as advertised, unknowingly) lied through his teeth on the Iraq reality to the Security Council in February, 2003 (see my TPJ column for March 16, 2004). Powell showed total disdain for the UN in that performance. What followed was a supposed campaign to get the Security Council to pass a resolution supporting the invasion. However, the US put such conditions on the proposed resolution that UN intransigence was virtually guaranteed. That was the Bush/Blair goal, precisely. For in fact the US and its puppet, Blair’s UK, did not want any UN participation, at all. For that would have meant UN involvement in determining war plans and goals and objectives, US/UK military forces under UN command, and UN control of post-war developments. These were three big sets of no-no’s for the Georgites, who have kept the UN at arms-length in Iraq since then.
Since then, too, the Georgites have kept up the drumbeat of anti-UN propaganda domestically, focusing on five (count them) Congressional investigations of the Iraq oil-for-food program. (This in a Congress that investigates little else other than as distractions, e.g., the problem of steroid use in major league baseball.) The UN investigations, of course, have turned out to be all for naught, since the US either knew about or was in the middle of whatever ethical and rules violations and corruption took place. But once again, we must remember that it is simply unfair to confuse the Georgite constituency with facts. The anti-UN seeds have been planted and are being cultivated. Secretary General Kofi Annan already recognizes what is going on as he launches his campaign to make a primary focus of the international body the protection and promotion of human rights, specifically condemning such actions as those embodied by the “USA Patriot” Act.
As Ambassador to the UN Bolton will be an instigator, not a negotiator. (As Andy Borowitz said in his web-based Report of August 2nd, “Elsewhere, in his first day on the job, United Nations Ambassador John Bolton toured the U.N. building in New York to determine which ten stories would be easiest to remove.”) Perhaps there will be demands for his departure on the part of some of the smaller countries which he manages to insult with his chestnuts of anti-UN aggression. The US regime’s domestic clamor to make massive reductions in contributions to the world body will become ever-louder and be echoed with increasing vigor, in the Congress by O’RHannibaugh, and by the rest of the Georgite Privatized Ministry of Propaganda. There will be possible intermediate outcomes. But ultimately, I believe that the Georgites will have built their case at home with their constituency, the only place where it counts for them, to quit the UN and of course to expel its headquarters from this country. To achieve such Georgite objectives is the only scenario that could rationally explain the appointment of John Bolton, a mark of Bush’s desperation as well as his determination to achieve the full agenda of the Republican Religious Right. Time will tell if I am right on this one.