Eli Pariser / MoveOn.org – 2005-03-11 23:33:43
(March 11, 2005) — It’s a little like nominating a felon to be police chief. Yesterday, President Bush nominated John Bolton, one of the most active opponents of US multilateralism and diplomacy, to be ambassador to the UN.
But Bolton doesn’t believe in international law, or in the UN. In 2000, Bolton said, “If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member [the United States] because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world.” And he’s gone on record saying that all international laws are invalid, meaningless attempts to constrict American power.
The whole idea of the UN, of course, is that it’s a place for the world community to work together on the problems that face us all. And at a time when we need other nations’ goodwill and cooperation to deal with the mess in Iraq and to fight al Qaeda, confirming an inflammatory unilateralist like John Bolton as our ambassador to the rest of the world is a terrible idea.
Even Republicans on the Foreign Relations committee in the Senate are nervous — according to the New York Times, Senator Lugar, who chairs the committee, advised Secretary of State Rice not to nominate Bolton.
If all the Democrats and one Republican on the Senate’s Foreign Relations committee vote against Bolton’s nomination, it’ll stop there. But the committee will vote soon, and your Senator alone could make the difference. Please take a moment to call Senator Boxer at the number below today and ask her to oppose the nomination of John Bolton as UN Ambassador.
Here’s Senator Boxer’s number:
• Senator Barbara Boxer
DC Phone: 202-224-3553
After you call, please help MoveOn.org track the volume of calls by reporting your call here
Bolton’s take on foreign policy is so far out of the mainstream, he even makes Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly look pretty good. Here’s an excerpt from their 1999 conversation on The O’Reilly Factor:
O’REILLY: And I find it difficult to stand by and watch another Cambodia, another Rwanda, unfold. And I believe the United States has a responsibility here.
BOLTON: Let me ask you this, Mr. O’Reilly. How many dead Americans is it worth to you to stop the brutality?
O’REILLY: I don’t think I would quantify that because…
BOLTON: I think you have to quantify it. I think if you don’t answer that question…
O’REILLY: … I think if you’re going to be a superpower…
BOLTON: … you’re ducking the key point that the commander in chief has to decide upon before putting American troops into a combat situation. We are now at war with Serbia. And the president has to be able to justify to himself and to the American people that Americans are about to die, or may well die, for a certain specific American interest.
BOLTON: I believe…
O’REILLY: … I do not believe in standing by while people are slaughtered.
BOLTON: … Our foreign policy should support American interests. Let the rest of the world support the rest of the world’s interests.
If John Bolton is confirmed as UN ambassador, he’ll be one of the primary links with the international community. Please call your Senator today and ask her to vote against John Bolton as UN Ambassador.