Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kansan attack on Bolton misleading, sophomoric

Here's an open letter to the KU newspaper's opinion page and my riposte to a typical strawman, misleading op/ed piece contained therein.

Miss Kimball,

A few things to consider that might temper your near-rabid excoriation of John Bolton and his appointment to the UN: The US provides a quarter of UN general funding (over four times that of France, Britain, or Italy, and eight times that of Canada or Spain) and a majority of the special agencies and programs of the body are picked up by the American taxpayer, yet many of the most despotic, illiberal members consistently vote against US interests, and a recent Rasmussen poll showed that 42% of Americans have a unfavorable view of the UN compared to only 37% who have a favorable opinion of the organization, while an opinion/dynamics poll showed that 40% of Americans believe the UN is anti-American while only 31% held that it was amiable to the US.

Perhaps you are aware of the UN's atrocious failings in enforcement/intervention: Failing to condemn slavery in Sudan, the disaster in Somalia (which led to the impotence in Rwanda), the Hutu massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda that Dallaire was forbidden by the UN to stop, the racist policies of Robert Mugabe and the subsequent deterioration of the already-troubled Zimbabwian economy, ignoring atrocious human rights abuses in North Korea, the slaughter of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, the inability to keep the feeble Taliban government in Afghanistan from pillaging Buddhist relics, countless resolutions targeting Israel (not surprising given the slew of antisemitic sentiment in many of the member nations nor is Bolton's indignation of this fact to be surprising given that he is an Ashkenazi Jew himself), and the dereliction of duty in regards to enforcing any one of the seventeen UN resolutions Hussein thumbed his nose at (of course, Kofi Annan's own son was taking a cut so who is to be surprised?), just to name a few--certainly not an exhaustive list. Instead, countries consistently circumvent the UN to get things done (which Bolton alluded to on several occasions).

As for the most blatant prevarication concerning UN reform, allow me to supplement your opinion: A vast majority of world opinion (including, of course, the US) believes the UN is desperately in need of reform, in no small part a reflection of disgust at the seismic oil-for-food scandal that has implicated several of the pooh-bahs that work on the top ten floors of the organization's headquarters.

And of course, a majority of Senators did support Bolton, as evidenced by the 54 to 38 vote to end debate (ie filibuster, which historically has not been used for Presidential ambassador appointments) and bring Bolton to a vote (which he would have won, as those same 54 would have given him the thumbs-up). He did not get to the floor because 60 votes are required to bust the filibuster. Thus, he received a majority of the US Senate's confidence to be placed into the position deemed suitable by President Bush, who was elected by the majority of the American population.

The UN can serve humanitarian functions if adequately reformed with the addition of a permanent and independent oversight committee. But the UN Security Council rules make it impossible for any enforcement to take place, as alliances within it almost inevitably lead to stagnation among the members while the peoples or nations in question burn. Only when something so blatantly and universally wrong occurs, like Saddam's invasion of Kuwait can the UN take a united stand (lead, of course, by the US). Too much is at stake to rely on the blue helmets. I am no fan of Bush or the Iraq reconstruction effort, but the purblind, partisan attacks make you look silly, and your presumption that someone highly skeptical of the UN is largely scorned by the American public is demonstrably incorrect.


Anonymous said...

I feel better then I have in Years.

Audacious Epigone said...

John Bolton is not actually Jewish. That was an error on my part.

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