Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bolton Gets to Steam Roll U.N.

(AP) Fresh off the U.S. media’s burying the June 1st United Nation's Independent Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission report, America’s U.N. representative John Bolton threatened to bury the United Nations itself. As an opponent of many of the strategies outlined in the Commission’s report, John Bolton might like nothing better than to discredit it and what better way to do so than by sinking the whole organization.

On June 6th, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations lamented the silence in the heartland regarding the United Nation’s role in managing world problems. Mr. Malloch Brown attacked the U.S. for too much “U.N. bashing and stereotyping over too many years”. He spoke of the United State’s active engagement with the United Nations in many of the current hot spots in today’s world, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, and Palestine. Mr. Brown went on to say “but that is not well know or well understood, in part because much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News”.

John Bolton’s furious reaction came quickly. He called Mr. Brown’s comments:

“the worst mistake by a senior UN official” that he had seen in many years and would damage the world body.”

“condescending, patronizing tone about the American people”

“Fundamentally and very sadly, this was a criticism of the American people, not the American Government, by an international civil servant . . . It’s just illegitimate.”

Warned Mr Annan of the “potential adverse effects these remarks would have on the organization”.

With Mr. Bolton sufficiently incensed, he asked the Secretary General to reign in his number 2. Kofi Annan’s reply on June 7th provided little solace for the enraged diplomat. “The Secretary-General stands by the Deputy Secretary-General and agrees with the thrust of his speech,” Mr Annan’s spokesman said last night. “The speech was not a mistake.”

John Bolton finds the two U.N. leaders actions “a very, very grave mistake” and “even though the target of the speech was the United States the victim, I fear, will be the United Nations”. The fact that Kofi Annan did not repudiate his Deputy gives Bolton the opportunity he likely will relish, inflicting damage on the United Nations.

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