Friday, July 28, 2006

Bolton Nomination a Small Skirmish in U.N. vs. U.S. Battle

The current fight in the U.S. Senate over John Bolton’s permanent nomination to serve as America’s United Nations ambassador, matters little. Whoever is chosen for the role, will serve as the United State’s hammer against the U.N. and most of the rest of the world on most issues. Consider the recent facts:

The U.S. blocked a Security Council Resolution condemning Israel’s incursion in the Gaza Strip.

Within hours, the U.S. participated in a G-8 resolution calling for cooler heads to prevail in Israel’s assault of Lebanon.

The United States stood alone as the only country not seeking a cease fire in Lebanon until Tony Blair somehow softened his position the last 14 days. Combined with the warring country only the U.S., Israel, and Britain are not pushing for an immediate cease fire in the conflict. U.S. allies in the region Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia all called for an immediate cease fire.

With the last 2 days the following positions have been taken by the respective parties in the U.S./U.N. war.

The United States insisted on watered down wording condemning the Israeli killing of four United Nations observers in Southern Lebanon. The facts showing virtually constant communication between the U.N. party and the Israeli military requesting the cessation of bombing in that zone apparently carried little weight with the U.S.

Prior to the bombing a United Nations official, Jan Egelund called Israel’s military incursion into the Gaza Strip “a disproportionate use of force”.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission took square aim at the United States saying it needed to close immediately any secret detention centers around the world, urging the U.S. to end the death penalty, and taking the administration to task over its treatment of Hurricane Katrina victims. It said the U.S. needed to do more to ensure the rights of poor and black Americans. Just a week prior that same commission called for an investigation into war crimes in Gaza.

Over two weeks into Israel’s attack on Lebanon the United Nations Security Council has taken no position on this dramatic escalation of violence producing over 600,000 refugees. The inability to take a position is due to the United States blocking a motion favored by all other members of the Council.

America’s ally Israel nixed any U.N. involvement in a peace keeping force in Southern Lebanon. Israel recently called the U.N. racist in its dealings with their country. It also has ignored over 35 U.N. resolutions identifying problematic behavior by the Jewish state.

While the U.S. denudes the United Nations of any voice on the current situation, other groups are taking up the slack. The G-8, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperative Alliance, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have or will be taking up this issue. Reporters without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned Israel’s incursion two weeks ago. Numerous religious organizations have called for an immediate cessation of violence.

So the Bolton nomination is simply identifying which officer the Bush team wants to send to battle on its behalf in the U.S./U.N. war. Does it really matter? The group approving the nomination just weighed in heavily on behalf of Israel. So they want someone to do their bidding. Bolton is a combative, obstructive, obstinate and divisive person and likely will attack the United Nations quite well.

The problem is the United States needs partners to reduce the threat of widespread conflict and destruction around the world. The current U.S. perspective ensures America will be alone standing in a field with our two friends, Britain and Israel. The question is who surrounds us and their intentions. With Bolton on the front lines they likely want to do a little butt chewing, hopefully not worse.

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