« Germany's Diplomacy is Paying Off | Main | Blog Recommendations »


Hey Ray,

I think it's time for another WWII argument, like, uhm, US saved all of Europe from Stalin or sth. like that. I really miss a WWII parallel.

Yeah, Mr. Bolton really is a great diplomat just like Jack the Ripper was a great surgeon.


Note from David: In all modesty, JoeII, I wrote the piece, not Ray.

No, the US didn't save "all of Europe" from Stalin. But they saved West Germany from Stalin, and that was no "sth. like that" - because it gave me a chance to grow up in freedom. May not mean much to you, but it mattered to me...
Glad to notice that Mr. Bolton apparently raises you blood pressure. Doesn't improve the quality of your comments, though...

In Berlin here, BZ has its headlines and a short description of the news on little TVs on the Underground/ Metro network. BZ usually has an OK editorial line but these are just little quick news reports. Yesterdays was a classic on this exact topic.....I cant rememeber the exact wording, something like:

"Bush selects new representative at the UNO. He chose John Bolton a strong critic of the UN and a republican hardliner."

I could almost see the people reading "strong critic of the UN" and thinking UN= good US= bad, then "republican" = very bad and "hardliner" = fascist! Most people i talk to in Germany are still unaware of the Oil for Food and Palaces scandal or the child and sexual abuse scandals in Africa and almost everybody here sees the UN in an almost holy light. Even if they do know about Kofi´s son fiddling a bit here and there then they tend to believe that these things have always happened, that the UN is actually very clean and that these scandals are only being brought out now as the UN stands in the way of Bush´s war plans.

Because of this love for the UN and ignorance of its failures, because of this irrational hatred towards the US and the idiotarian and racist love for different cultural dictatorships and because the German govt wish to get a security council seat, any attempts by the USA to reform or change the UN could be the next chapter in anti-Americanism here. Those of us who dont want that to happen had better get ourselves informed. It wont be long before we have articles claiming that Bolton´s supporters or electoral base wave banners like "unAMERICAN" or "US out of UN, UN out of US" and compare this to Italy and Germany´s pulling out of the league of nations....

BTW I know that I am generalising above and there are of course well informed Germans who would like reform or changes to the UN and who understand the US frustration with it. This is just my guess of how i feel that the average bod on the U-Bahn thinks about this..

"... the United Nations has an outstanding role to play, as it possesses an indispensable resource, and this is legitimacy. Only the United Nations can justify the use of military means ... The UN, with its numerous subsidiary organizations, has at its disposal the instruments needed to bring about security, peace and development. It has over the decades acquired experience of conflict prevention, crisis management, nation building and reconstruction. Today a great African statesman, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is the face the public associates with the credibility and experience of the United Nations."

Oh. My. God.

Did Fischer say all of this with a straight face? The only thing I can conclude is that he is trying to suck up so that he'll have someplace to get a job once his head is booted out of orfice...er, once his butt is booted out of office.

Watching UN Security Council meetings is going to be fun again!

One cannot be radical enough when it comes to applying common sense.
I therefore applaud Bolton's nomination.
The simple fact that he couldn't get along with Colin Powell is a good sign.

And then there's the added benefit of making me forget all about that other Bolton ...

"The UN, with its numerous subsidiary organizations, has at its disposal the instruments needed to bring about security, peace and development."

Really, Mr Fischer. Tell us about Rwanda and how the UN used its instruments, in place on the ground to bring about security, peace and development there and not allow a brutal genocide to occur. (waiting....waiting....waiting....)

the other Bolton.. you mean the no talent ass clown Michael Bolton..
Make sure to see the movie 'OFFICE SPACE'.. tears him up big time.

@amiexpat / Kim

or perhaps Bolton Wanderers the football / soccer team?

There was a comment in the German FT, which I cannot find any support for... It is

Für die US-Diplomatie wurde er durch diese Haltung in vielen Fällen zu einem Störfaktor. Als die USA und Großbritannien mit Libyen über die Beendigung von dessen Programmen zur Herstellung von Massenvernichtungswaffen verhandelten, bestand London darauf, dass Bolton nicht an den Gesprächen teilnimmt. Die Briten sahen den Amerikaner als Risiko und fürchteten, seine Beteiligung könnte die Verhandlungen scheitern lassen.

Interference factor Bolton
For the US diplomacy it became by this attitude in many cases an interference factor. When the USA and Great Britain negotiated with Libya about the completion from its programs to the production of massenvernichtungswaffen, London insisted on the fact that Bolton does not participate in the discussions. The British saw the American as risk and were afraid, its participation could let the negotiations fail.

If any of you can find such a reference I would appreciate it greatly.

I think I like this guy. :-)

Sometimes I think what distinguishes Europeans and Americans most is the fact that Europeans lack any common sense. The have just lost it at some point in history...

While American politicians identify problems and search for ways to adequately deal with them, Europeans seem to be be somehow detached from reality. They seem to live in some kind of idealistic dream world, unable to cope with the problems of our time.

American Politicians are surely no geniuses, but they have preserved an ability, that europeans have lost. To see reality how it is and to apply common sense and logic.


I noticed that too. The rest of the paragraph about N.Korea refusing to talk to him and China possibly having problems with his views is also not surprising and speculation respectively. The only things I can find straight away from google that have anything to do with the talks do not mention this at all, if anything they imply co-operation:

An example: http://www.state.gov/t/us/rm/34675.htm

"QUESTION: Could you elaborate on the role played by … (inaudible) Kim of Korea University. I want you to elaborate on the roles played by the U.K. in the negotiations between Libya and the U.S. and, particularly, whether you have some kind of relevant application of the role in the case of North Korea, for example, whether Japan can play such a (inaudible)-taking role in the negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea.

UNDER SECRETARY BOLTON: I think the role played by the United Kingdom was critical. In fact, it was the United Kingdom that Libya first approached just a very short time before the onset of military force against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, saying basically that he didn’t want to have happen to him what was about to happen to Saddam Hussein. So, really the role of the British was most important from the outset. Of course, the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom with respect to Libya had a number of elements in common, not the least of which was the fact that the Pan Am 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, and that a number of unfortunate civilian victims were killed on the ground as well as U.K. citizens killed in the crash itself. We had worked very closely with the United Kingdom over the years in trying to resolve not just Pan Am 103, but a range of other terrorist actions that the government of Libya had committed.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom was the joint work that our intelligence communities had been doing for several years and following the Khan proliferation network and watching its intimate connection with Libya and other countries and the danger that the continuing activity of Khan’s network posed. So that our action through the Proliferation Security Initiative to interdict the shipment of uranium centrifuge equipment bound for Libya in late October 2003 was a critical element in convincing Qaddafi that we knew what he was doing.

I think the most significant political aspect was that the United States and the United Kingdom came to share the judgment that the Libyan government had made this strategic decision to give up the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. It was that shared assessment that allowed us to stay closely together in the negotiations. I think it’s fair to say that, so far, in the case of Japan and the Republic of Korea in particular, there’s a shared assessment on the position that the North has taken in the negotiations and the position that we have that we want the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North’s weapons of mass destruction programs. "



I did the same thing. Got more or less the same results.

I some times wonder if all of the M$M in Europe sings the same songs in just different keys. This seems to an effort to undermine not only the US and POTUS but to in a way reinforce Europe for the coming storm, as Europe is more of a champion of the UN than the US. Again this position comes more from their collective weakness than from any strenght they might have. You will notice when the Europeans, think they have an advanage in a particiular situation be it internal to Europe or extenal, they are quick to push their own positions. Examples. france and the Ivory Coast, Germany and the stabilization pack.

An interesting UPI piece on Bolton's views about the UN can be found at this link.


What I think is going to be fun will be the confirmation hearing. Watching the demo's defending the UN and our "so called allies".

I truly hope the Republicans will find unity of purpose and confirm him as he will follow in a line of actually very good ambassors who have at one time or another served in this position.... think here of Jeanne Kirkpatrick and the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. These two ambassors make things very unpleasent for many at the UN.

If this is upsetting to the euro's that is unfortuante. Then again the euro's are themselves at times unfortuante in their actions too and equally upsetting. They do seem to live in wonderworld of their own creation.

@Ulan Bator

It's all about Leftism. You see, in the U.S., elected officials are still fairly responsive to the desires of the people who elected them, and society is free to develop in response to it's environment. In the Lefist People's republics of Europe, the Leftist elites decide for the people what the people desire, whether the people want it or not. In order to justify such idiocy, they eventually have to decide for themselves what reality is; hence, the drift into the dream world you mention. And when things really start to go south, that's when the purges, reeducation camps and mass murders begin - see Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, etc...


So that's Bolton's crime, he argues like an American.

here are two quotes I've seen:
"If the U.N. Secretariat Building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

speaking of withdrawing US signature from the ICC treaty "the happiest moment of my government service."

Yes, thing are going to be fun.

Shame on you Bolton! How dare you as a politician speak out your mind so clearly, pick a side on any issue or even actually do what you promised? That's so... so... un-intellectual. We Europeans can only laugh at such lack of diplomacy skills ;-)

this one is good from 2003.
Yes, Europe is going to hate this guy and from this article they know who he is and hate him already.

Fischer: "The UN, with its numerous subsidiary organizations, has at its disposal the instruments needed to bring about security, peace and development."

Then why haven't they done so? They've had half a century, longer than most of the people on the planet have been alive. Yet, Africa and South America are not noticably better off today than they were in 1950, and in some ways they are very much worse off.

It looks like Bolton has been studying at the School of Jeanne Kirkpatrick. I'm starting to like this guy.

The Captain Kangaroo caption is priceless.

Interestingly at an event in Brussels last night as a complete non-sequiter comment Tod Lindberg, editor of Policy Review said,
"I am prepared to bet that John Bolton will refer the Dafur case to the ICC within the year".

"So that's Bolton's crime, he argues like an American."

He wins like an American. He's one of our best. It's no surprise that the world's worst don't want to see him in the game.

If you missed it, Slate had the best headline (concerning Bolton):

"Bush to UN: Drop Dead!"

Looks like W didn't get too soft or too "nuanced" while in Mainz.

Oh, by the way, has anyone asked Bolton about what he thinks of Germany's quest for a seat on the Security Council?

This is actually a reasonable strategy. You gotta take action where it suits your needs and leave the unattractive and costly wars to the UN. In the likely event that the UN fails, make your "told you so" face and do nothing. It's a win-win situation :-)

Obviously my understanding of history has some huge voids.

What war has the UN fought? Do you mean Korea?

Since the formation of the UN, there have been two wars which were fought with UN approval: Korea, and the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.

That was really cute. Even the unsigned troll, in his trolling, typed: "In the likely event that the UN fails..." Priceless.


Yes I was aware of those two. I thought there were some I missed.

Maybe this is about future wars, wars we do not yet know about. What do you think?

If there is a war, I have to wonder who is going to fight them under the banner of the UN?

Must be those European Legions Kerry kept talking about that would deploy if he was elected President.

Kofi as Commanding General surely would make Brussels smile with glee.

wasnt afghanistan approved by the UN? (the liberation, not the soviet invasion ;))

No, that was after the fact.

gasp.. you mean Germans took part in a NON UN approved war? how unilateral

Kosovo didn't have UN approval either.

Yes BUT Kosovo was a GOOD war.

It was in the interest of the euro's. When that is the case UN approval is not required.

@ Joe

Not being argumentative here , but I am not sure why you called the unsigned post a troll. Looked like good sense to me. Not every mess in the world is important enough to the happiness and safety of Americans that it is worth American blood and treasure. I'll happily let the world community take care of those messy problems around the globe that have little effect on America. Of course you, I, and anonymous all agree that the world community will fall flat on its face, but letting it do that a few times might a) induce a little realism among some people who today are all dewy-eyed, or b) force some institutions to become more effective, or c) both. If the EU, the WTO, or the ICC can solve Kashmir, why I am all in favor of a solution, but I am not holding my breath until those institutions succeed.


Different Joe.

But otherwise I am in complete agreement with your post.

I for one think the US needs a strong Europe who can also be a partner.

I believe probably the best way to do this is to disolve NATO as we know it. (To think finally something the Chancellor and I can agree on.)

Europe then could provide for its own defense, build the legions Kerry spoke of and become the major player it believes itself to be.

I find this option more satisfactory than the current direction which Europe is taking in its efforts to arm China.

This article from CANOE has just been posted at LGF. Thought it was interesting and on topic here:

"MADRID, Spain (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Thursday for a world treaty on terrorism that would outlaw attacks targeting civilians and establish a framework for a collective response to the global threat.

Although the United Nations and its agencies already have 12 treaties covering terrorism, a universal definition has been elusive.

World leaders and officials have had deep disagreements over whether resisters to alleged oppression — for example, Palestinian suicide bombers attacking Israeli targets — are terrorists or freedom fighters; and whether states that use what they think is legitimate force might be branded terrorists.

But Annan was categorical in his address Thursday to terrorism experts and world leaders from 50 countries, including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“The right to resist occupation ... cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim civilians,” Annan told the conference on democracy, terrorism and security. The United Nations, he said, must proclaim “loud and clear that terrorism can never be accepted or justified in any cause whatsoever.""

Is US policy towards the UN a factor behind this statement?

I always find the charge "unilateral" entertaining....

1 country = unilateral
2 countries = bilateral
3 or more countries = multilateral
30+ countries in Iraq = multilateral
90+ countries in the GWOT = multilateral

Is "unilateral" simply a nation looking out for its interests? Is multilateral simply a call for political cover to say "no" or to logroll? When I hear complaints about the US and Kyoto, the ICC, etc... the claim that the US "pulled out" is simply wrong - we never joined! We didn't join when Clinton was in office because he couldn't get it through the Senate, and Bush simply stated what Clinton did not - that these "multilateral" instruments would not be good for the US. Last time I checked, the Euros keep wanting to be able to say no. These are cases when the US did.

Maybe Amb. Bolton will make some of these points.

just a clarification..
the President can sign treaties until the cows come home.. doesn't make them valid.
all treaties must be ratified by the Senate.
been that way since 1789
Kyoto was rejected by the Senate almost unanimously in 1997.
Brian's point is correct, the US never withdrew, because it was never really 'in'..
Bush didn't kill it, he just announced its death.
In a way he did the proponents of action on global warming a favor. Kyoto til that time was a non issue... No European countries had (up to that point in time) ratified the treaty. If Bush hadn't made it an issue, everyone probably would have kept on ignoring it.
Bush handled the issue in a poor way, but to blame him for 'the US pulled out of Kyoto' is not correct..it's black and white thinking, and we all know only GWB and the Amis do that ;)
Greetings from Steve in FFM/Köln..

The one thing that Bolton's candor makes a certainty is that everyone who comes under Bolton's criticism at the UN will be candidates for anti-Americans to leap to their defense, if not wholesale apologies. Even more anti-Americans will be thrust into apologizing for tyrants and authoritarians just so they could be on the opposite side from America's policy that Bolton is effectively going to be a spokesman for (I hope).

And that will be quite comedic if it weren't so historically worrying.

I can't let Amani's comment "Yet, Africa and South America are not noticably better off today than they were in 1950, and in some ways they are very much worse off." go unchallenged. S. American has made huge progress towards democracy and prosperity since the 1950's (I don't have anything handy to quote but I think this is a consensus opinion in N. America anyway). It is only Africa that has regressed.

@ JF

I think it is fairly obvious that Latin America is far more democratic today than it was 50 years ago. But most people in North America are not aware of how prosperous parts of South America were 50 years ago. At least relative to the rest of the world, Argentina today is behind where it was 50 years ago, perhaps 100 years ago. Europeans were emigrating to Argentina in droves in the first half of the 20th century, proof positive that it was a promising and prosperous place.

Forgot to sign AGAIN Sorry

@ Niko

Actually I think that is the fourth time that Argentina has defaulted on its bonds. Makes you wonder why anyone buys them, but then a sucker is born every minute.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad

April 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29