By Will Durst
April 14, 2005
The 56-year-old State Department chief of arms control, a hard-liner with a suspicious view of U.S. arms control treaties, is also on record to have said if you lopped off the top ten floors of the U.N., "it wouldn't make a difference." Oh yeah, let's have HIM run our diplomatic corps. Because who knows more about mending bridges than the guy planting the charges in an attempt to set fire to them? What does the administration have in mind for future appointments? Howard Stern to head up the FCC? Michael Jackson as official envoy to UNICEF? Kenneth Lay as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Laugh at the first two, the last is not so funny.
Supporters describe Bolton as a blunt, straight-talking, tough-minded, tell-it-like-it-is, not-afraid-to-ruffle-foreign-feathers-while-putting-America's-interests-first kind of a guy. But we already got one of those kind of guys in charge of the White House. And Bush ain't too internationally-minded either. If the Ambassador Nominee's function is to be the designated Rottweiler, I could understand, but we already got a kennel full of Rottweilers, most of whom appear to have missed the paper-training course in obedience school. "Tough Love" is one thing. "Rabid Frothing at the Mouth with an Unattached Ear Hanging Out Between the Teeth" is another.
His detractors insist Bolton is an abrasive, confrontational, insensitive, kiss-ass, prudent-as-a-flatulent-porcupine, abusive-with-analysts-who-disagree-with-his-views kind of a guy. Obviously, politics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but in terms of ideologues, this Administration has developed a serious case of conjunctivitis. And in a bullying Cyclops, with a bigger army than the rest of the world put together, that kind of pink eye can become diplomatically distracting.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not sure I totally disagree with all of Bolton's assessments of the U.N. Such as it's as useless as cellophane underwear. And corrupt. And hopelessly entangled in red tape. And guilty of fostering anti-American attitudes while monopolizing the seafood stand at our all-you-can-eat buffet and discarding their used oyster shells on our nice clean carpeting. But whatever happened to good cop/ bad cop? Bush plays: bad cop/hothead brandishing a multi pronged taser in the dark. What part of the word "diplomacy" does the president not get?
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