Friday, July 28, 2006

Suffering Fools Twice

How would you like to be John Bolton right now? Or for the past year and a half?

You're a skilled diplomat but also an unapologetic patriot. You believe in international institutions and want to see them reformed into what they were originally meant to be rather than abandoned to what they've become. You've served with loyalty and distinction in George W. Bush's (sort of) State Department, working on such productive and innovative projects as the Proliferation Security Initiative. And you have more intelligence and eloquence than the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee combined.

As both a reward for your adept service and to use your courageous voice and nationalistic integrity in a place that is in desperate need of both, the President appoints you to the prestigious post of Ambassador to the United Nations. In that role you would join the ranks of Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Daniel Patrick Moynihan as frank, idealistic, indominable appealers to the "international community's" better nature. Assuming, of course, that it still has one.

As punishment for all of the above, you are subjected to confirmation hearings before a committee ostensibly controlled by your own political party but which are effortlessly hijacked by the pompous, deranged, idiot minority which proceeds to live up to its well-earned reputation for partisan extremism by turning you into an effigy of your president. As such they make fun of your appearance, personally smear you as a "bully" to your subordinates and a "kiss-ass" to your superiors, and dismiss you as "unqualified" for the job of representing America before the world because you won't...well, be a kiss-ass to the rest of the "international community" that wants to put a perpetual "kick-me" sign on Uncle Sam's back, even while it picks his pocket with perpetuitous impunity.

Despite that breathtakingly stomach-turning circus, you make it out of committee, though with one RINO defection, and though you have majority support for confirmation, the pompous, deranged, idiot minority mounts another abusive filibuster to prevent a final vote. Because the "international community" is too important to have an assertive America standing for truth, justice, and "all that other stuff," and otherwise overturning all its corrupt, kleptocratic, anti-Semitic applecarts.

However, the President installs you at Turtle Bay anyway via recess appointment to get on with the job at which you are so sorely needed, as well as to provide prima facie evidence, as though any were truly needed, that the pompous, deranged, idiot minority is to wrong what Colonel Sanders was to feathers.

Over the course of the next year you exceed the wildest expectations of your boss and supporters. You represent the U.S. with distinction, defend her interests with apolmb, stand up unswervingly for what's right, and do your level best to promote the wholesale reforms that could resurrect the UN from facilitator of and accomplice to corruption, repression, hatred, terrorism, and aggression, to exemplar of freedom, democracy, and genuine peace. You don't succeed in that sisyphian task - you aren't Superman, after all - but you've planted a seed that, with time to water and nurture, can grow into the vision of a better world.

It is with that track record of vindicatory success that the President officially reappoints you to your job for Senate confirmation so that the promising beginning you've created won't be needlessly truncated by the end of your recess appointment. By rights the pompous, deranged, idiot minority shouldn't even have the nerve to show up for your second round of hearings, much less have anything to say to you about your performance and qualifications. Indeed, a second round of hearings shouldn't be necessary at all.

Instead, with Islamist lunatics trying to wipe our closest ally in the Middle East off the face of the planet and the "international community" doing everything it can to run interference for the former, when continuity in U.S. representation at the UN couldn't be any more crucial, John Bolton has to trudge back up to Capitol Hill and put up - again -with this:

"My concern is that at the moment of the greatest need for diplomacy in our recent history, we are not particularly effective at it," said Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, the Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat.
Depends on how you define "effective," doesn't it, Senator? You think diplomacy means capitulation to whatever the rest of the "international community" wants, because robust defense of American allies and interests is anethema to you. You want to keep kicking the can of confrontation down the road, keep feeding the proverbial crocodile in the hopes that it'll never get around to devouring us, defer the detestable inconvenience of having to face the unpleasant realities of a war with Islamic theofascists that we cannot escape, preserve that Land of Make-Believe for as long as humanly possible, and woe unto any "neocon" who dares to pop that comforting delusionary bubble.

By your definition of "diplomatic effectiveness," Ambassador Bolton probably doesn't measure up, Senator. But then again your definition of diplomatic effectiveness has about as much connection with the real world in which we have to live as the Skinny Dippin' Wolf Women of Planet Heineken. And even less honor.

And that was just the beginning. Behold the unmitigated stupidity of Christopher Dodd's attempt at....what do you call this? Backhanded flattery? Squaring both ends against the cynical middle? Tying his corpus collossum in knots?

My objection isn't that he's a bully but that he's been an ineffective bully and can't win the day when it comes, when it really counts. For example, prior to a vote earlier this month on the UN Security Council resolution intended to sanction North Korea for its provocative Fourth of July missile launches, Mr. Bolton publicly assured anyone who would listen that he could get support for a resolution with teeth with his so-called chapter seven obligations. Turns out, of course, he couldn't. The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council fell well short of that. [emphasis added]
Didja get that? Before the Dems' knock on Ambassador Bolton was that he'd be a "bully" who wouldn't "play well with others" and would "alienate our allies" with his "cowboy unilateralism" and "blunt talk." Now Dodd knocks him for not being enough of a bully, when it is beyond obvious that if Bolton had done what the Connecticut Donkocrat says he should have vis-a-vie Russian and ChiComm intransigence, Dodd and his comrades would have been the first and loudest in screaming bloody murder per their original "bully" meme. Yet if you were to ask Senator Dodd to follow the logic of his criticism of Ambassador Bolton and drop his party's demands for bilateral talks with the NoKos, abandon the stalled six-nation negotiations that are going nowhere, and militarily confront both the Kim regime and its protectors/ sponsors in Moscow and Beijing, he'd sputteringly backpedal faster than Larry the Cable Guy from a negligeed Janet Reno armed with a box of condoms and a gallon of Crisco.

And then there's this piece d' resistance (the French phrase should be a telegraph the size of the Chrysler Building):

Democrats like John Kerry have vowed to fight the nomination (of John Bolton). Kerry showed up at the very last minute of today's hearing and it turned into a barbed exchange between the Bush Administration's attempt to engage North Korea in six-party talks:

KERRY: This has been going on for five years, Mr. Ambassador.

BOLTON: It's the nature of multilateral negotiations, Senator. (What Bolton was thinking: No shit, Sherlock. Negotiations with a government that has no interest in, and therefore no intention of, actually negotiating in good faith, to the extent they aren't a futile waste of time, require patience, diligence, and viligance if we are not to get fleeced - especially when getting fleeced means losing entire cities. Or perhaps you'd like to lend me your magic hat for the next go-round?)

KERRY: Why not engage in a bilateral one and get the job done? That's what the Clinton administration did.

BOLTON: And, very poorly since the North Koreans violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed. (What Bolton was thinking: Clinton got fleeced, dumbass.)

You know what proves that John Bolton is a diplomat par excellence? The fact that he's putting up with this nonsense, this dimwittery, this mental bovine bowel evacuation without going postal. It also demonstrates his love of country that he knows what's at stake right now and is willing for the sake of all of us AND the rest of the world (whether they appreciate it or not) to suffer this gauntlet of pompous, deranged idiocy - kind of the Beltway equivalent of the Klingon Rite of Ascension - in order to return to his mission and, perhaps, still make a difference.

Okay, one more butt nugget from Senator Dodd:

[Dodd] cited recent press reports on Bolton's interactions with other U.N. officials as evidence that Bolton "clearly has an aversion, in my view, to building consensus."

Senator, this is the existing consensus at the United Nations. The Oily Food scandal is the existing consensus at the United Nations. Shielding North Korea and Iran while they build nuclear arsenals to use against us and our allies is the existing consensus at the United Nations. The job of a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is not to "go along" with that consensus in the interests of "diplomacy"; it is to challenge that consensus and change it to one that defends the principles and ideals with and on which the UN was originally founded. And if we can't change it, then we should get the hell out, and take all our money with us.

There's no man or woman alive today better suited to that task than John Bolton. Just look at his opening statement to the committee:

We are actively engaged in New York to identify lasting solutions to bring about a permanent peace in the Middle East. To do so, however, requires that we have a shared understanding of the problem. The United States has held the firm view that the root cause of the problem is terrorism – and that this terrorism is solely and directly responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today. This terrorism manifests itself, not only in the form of Hezbollah and Hamas, but also in their state sponsors in Tehran and Damascus. We should all take note, particularly Iran and Syria, of the important statement from the Arab League for its courage and conviction in condemning Hezbollah for its role in instigating this latest round of violence.

We take note that some Member States have called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah - but we must ask our colleagues: how do you negotiate and maintain a ceasefire with a terrorist organization, one which does not even recognize the right of Israel to exist? The United States has no confidence that Hezbollah would honor an unconditional ceasefire. History shows us that it would only allow them time to regroup and plan their next wave of kidnappings and attacks against Israel. The United States seeks an end to the violence that afflicts innocent civilians, and for that very reason we are working for the conditions that will make a real cease fire possible and permanent. Our aim is to address the underlying cause of the violence in southern Lebanon – namely, terrorism.

No reasonable, much less serious, person can find fault with a single word Ambassador Bolton said. And that speaks volumes about the pompous, deranged idiots on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who aren't worthy to wax Big John's 'stache, much less tug - again - on Superman's cape.