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Raging Moderate

Cyclop's Pink Eye
By Will Durst


April 14, 2005

President George Bush's nomination for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is John Bolton, a well known critic of that very organization. And to say he's a critic of the U.N. might be an understatement on the order of saying the Swift Boat Veterans were not John Kerry's biggest fans. Bolton has gone so far as to declare that as far he's concerned the U.N. doesn't exist. Call me wacky, but shouldn't the guy who's going to represent us at least accept the institution's existence? And does this skepticism extend to the structure itself? If so, how's the man going to get to work? Is he destined to wander aimlessly around the East Side of Manhattan querying strangers as to the location of his own personal Brigadoon?
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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?


Political comic Will Durst thinks the president ought to give the Mary Poppins soundtrack a listen: paying special attention to "A Spoonful of Sugar."

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television. His two CDs are available at Look for Will's collection of columns "Raging Moderate" in a bookstore near you soon.
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©2005 Will Durst.

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