Tuesday, August 02, 2005

if ya can’t beat em, ignore em


I’ve learned over the past year that due to the polarized nature of America’s media, if I want the comprehensive-and-relatively-unbiased skinny on the headlines emanating from across the pond I have to resort to logging on to BBC.com …


Bolton appointed US envoy to UN

US President George W Bush has formally appointed John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations, without waiting for approval from the Senate.

Mr Bush said Democrats had forced him to bypass Congress by using "shameful delaying tactics" to prevent a vote.

"This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about UN reform," Mr Bush said.

After being sworn in in Washington, Mr Bolton went to New York to start work.

At times a stern critic of the UN, he will serve there until 2007.



To summarize … depending on how you look at it,

Thrower/Putter= Dubya.

Spanner/Cat = Mr Bolton.

The Works/The Pigeons = the UN.

49%/51% = the Mandate.

I’m sure I’m not the first to ask this, but are we REALLY supposed to take a guy with one colour hair and another colour moustache seriously?

6 comments:

Buffalo said...

Ah, I'm not sure what this pinhead looks like since I have eliminated the news from my diet BUT as a man gets older it is not uncommon to have hair of one color and a mustache another color. Eventually, unless the hair is died, it evens out to about the same color. Unless he is a smoker. Then the mustache will have a bit of nicotine stain.

James Howard Shott said...

As a person with brown hair and a mostly white beard, I can state unequivocably that your hypothesis is, to be kind, faulty.

Following is a response to an email I received on this subject:

Yes, I support the recess appointment, because, as I said before, they’ve had five months to consider the nomination and vote on it, and that’s long enough.

The people – Middle America – elected Bush to run the country; they did not elect the Senate to run the country. The Constitution lays it all out pretty plainly: It is the President’s prerogative to appoint the people he wants, and unless there is something more serious than that a bunch of Senators just don’t like the nominee, the President ought to have his way.

You know as well as I that the Democrats are not going to like anybody Bush nominates. They would prefer someone selected by Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Kofi Annan, or Jacques Chirac. Now I realize that Bolton is a controversial figure, but that really is not relevant. He’s the President’s choice, and that is the issue. The Senate is obstructing, plain and simple. They will likely try to do the same thing with John Roberts.

As for Bolton’s characteristics, he has been in the State Department for a long time. He knows the territory. It is irrelevant that he does not possess the magic to straighten out the U.N., because nobody possesses that magic. Someone like Bolton, however, who sees the mess that the U.N. is in, and will speak plainly and forcefully about what needs to be done, is just what the doctored ordered.

JL Pagano said...

Firstly, my apologies to anyone I may have offended with the moustache comment - it was a cheap shot, I will gladly admit.

Secondly, Mr S, I think your emailing friend needs to be reminded that the America that President Bush has been elected to serve is preceeded by the words "The United States Of" and not "Middle". He has an electoral mandate that is tentative at best and it is one that fully justifies a proper scrutinization of major decisions by his opponents.

And as for terms like "straightening out the UN" and "what needs to be done", well we all know what that means - nothing to do with corruption or oil-for-food, it's about the organization becoming a rubber stamp for US foreign policy. I'm afraid the international community is just never going to let that happen. You just have to put that down to human nature.

The UN needs people that are willing to work with the organization, not against it, and Bolton's track record suggests he will fall under the latter category.

James Howard Shott said...

I was not "really" offended by your comment, so don't loose any sleep over the cheap shot.

Perhaps it's because you don't live here that you misconstrue the meaning, Mr. P, but the term "middle America" describes the beliefs/cultural preferences of the majority of Americans. It is not supposed to indicate that Mr. Bush has a preference for one group over another.

Those who don't like Mr. Bush are fond of citing the "mandate" issue. They complain that he certainly didn't have a mandate in 2000, when he lost the popular vote. And in 2004, where he won by a respectable margin, he still doesn't have a mandate, to his critics. But he doesn't need a "mandate" to move forward with his agenda. What kind of President would follow his opponents agenda while in office? No, Mr. Bush ought to do exactly what he is doing, which is to follow his agenda. Sure, the opposition is going to scrutinize what he does, but they would do that anyway, and if he were trying to compromise with them because he didn't have a mandate, they would criticize him because he didn't compromise enough.

The U.N. is a corrupt, inefficient and virtually useless organization. If you truly believe that George Bush has no concern for fixing it, you have fallen for the scam that the Left puts forth. I think it is interesting that the U.S. provides one-fourth of the total funding for the U.N., but is held in low esteem by that organization's members, or a significant number of them. The U.S., despite its high funding level, has no more influence than the other members of the Security Council. It's hard to imagine that even if Mr. Bush wanted the U.N. to rubber stamp U.S. policies, that he would expect that to happen.

I happen to agree with John Bolton's published criticisms of the U.N. I believe his opinion is shared by a lot of people in the U.S. Heretofore, however, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. has been someone who has merely blended in with the present culture of the U.N., all smiles and go-along-to-get-along attitude, and that is certainly no way to change things. Putting someone who will forcefully promote ideas to improve the U.N. as Ambassador is, indeed, the right course.

I think it is interesting that the Left in the U.S. adopts as a strategy the confrontational approach to national politics of people like Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy, but prefers that President Bush nominate/appoint to the U.N. position someone who will be meek and mild.

JL Pagano said...

The reason for your last paragraph is very simple.

National politics is more prone to confrontation as you have less people arguing over how just one country is run.

The UN is all about diplomacy, so that over 200 nations can determine how a global organization is run.

If you don't bring willingness to compromise to the table, you will cause nothing but disruption.

From what I can gather, Mr Bolton is unaware of the meaning of the word compromise, and as I have already said has been appointed to try and transform the UN into a puppet organization of the US, rather than sort out corruption so that the UN can be a body that will benefit the international community at large.

James Howard Shott said...

I don't agree with your comment on national politics. I won't point fingers, but the national dialogue is nasty and dirty because some can not bring themselves to behave any other way.

You're right, of course, that compromise is an essential tool in negotiation ... up to a point. I'll bet you can make a list of things you won't compromise on, and I would hope it would be a substantial list. Some things cannot be compromised at all, and other things ought not to be compromised beyond a certain point. I think that is the issue: too much compromise and too little action in some areas. If John Bolton, as George Bush's appointed representative to the U.N., delivers a forceful message that the U.S. is not willing to compromise beyond a certain degree on issues that the U.S. feels strongly about, I do not see how that can be a bad thing.

"... and as I have already said has been appointed to try and transform the UN into a puppet organization of the US ..." You are entitled to your opinion, regardless of how off the mark it might be.

As screwed up as the United Nations is, I fail to see how John Bolton can do any more harm to it, and since, as GWB's representative, he will strongly put forth the U.S.'s ideas and initiatives, perhaps some essential reform will result. That's his job, as it was the job of U.N. Ambassodors who preceded him, and as it is for the Irish U.N. Ambassador. Is Ireland trying to turn the U.N. into a puppet? England? Germany? France? All nations act in their own best interest. The U.S. is no different, and the U.S. is not evil for doing so any more than the other nations are.

There's a lot of jealousy and envy of the U.S. because it is a big, wealthy and powerful nation. It became that over a relatively short period of time. Along the way the U.S. has helped billions of people in other nations who were unable to help themselves. But many still hate the U.S. because people act more on their jealousy than on the good works the U.S has done. I suppose that is human nature.

But regardless of how many people hate us, the United States of America must chart its own course based upon the elected President's agenda and the support of the people through Congress. Over the decades the decisions our government -- sometimes controlled by Democrats, sometimes by Republicans -- has made has put the U.S. in a strong position in the world, so we must be doing something right. At this time, the Republicans are charting the course.

I can't tell you how glad I am that the person who is President is going to strongly lead this country in the direction he believes it needs to go, despite the naysayers and the critics. That takes a strong person who really believes he is doing the right thing.

The U.S. needs a forceful presence in the U.N., and I think John Bolton will do a fantastic job.