Cover Story

Take your mark

"Take your mark" Continued...

Issue: "John Bolton: Take cover!," May 7, 2005

CEO Charles J. Brown was an official in both the Clinton administration and with Amnesty International. Board chairman Mark Epstein is the former World Federalist CEO and deputy director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a nuclear disarmament lobby that opposed the war in Iraq.

Citizens for Global Solutions launched its campaign against Mr. Bolton at an April 4 National Press Club briefing, where it publicized a 71-page briefing book on Mr. Bolton and launched a website, stopbolton.org. Citizens also is airing anti-Bolton TV ads in targeted areas-primarily in Rhode Island and Nebraska-to incite pressure on vulnerable Republican lawmakers (Sens. Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska) to vote in committee against Mr. Bolton.

Other groups opposing Mr. Bolton include American Progress Action Fund, a George Soros-funded lobby, and United Nations Association, or UNA-USA, a group whose members come primarily from the ranks of former UN officials. A UN-registered NGO, the group receives funding through the UN Development Program.

MoveOn.org, the Democratic lobby made famous by presidential candidate Howard Dean, weighed in with a mailing that targeted states with members on the Senate panel. In it, president Eli Pariser said nominating John Bolton was "a little like nominating a felon to be police chief."

In addition to the lobbyists, 60 former U.S. ambassadors-career appointees along with Democratic senator-turned-ambassador-turned-presidential contender Carol Moseley Braun-signed a letter to the Senate panel protesting the Bolton nomination.

Mr. Bolton, who declined to be interviewed at the request of the White House, is not without his own supporters. In addition to White House nods, 90 foreign policy experts-including five former secretaries of state and former heads of the CIA and Pentagon-sent a formal endorsement of his nomination to the Foreign Relations panel.

His work for the persecuted church as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom prompted 100 leaders of faith-based organizations to send a letter of support.

On April 26, 43 former colleagues at the American Enterprise Institute wrote to committee Chairman Richard D. Lugar (R-Ind.). They described Mr. Bolton's in-house style as "demanding" but "clear, consistent." They said allegations of "Mr. Bolton's management style and conduct in other organizations and circumstances are radically at odds with our experiences in more than four years of intense, frequent, and continuous interaction with him."

Michael A. Ledeen, AEI Freedom Scholar, told WORLD: "This person that is being described by hostile sources is not a person we recognize."

If anything, the anti-Bolton campaign shows the organizational savvy of diplomatic careerists less interested in office decorum than protecting their turf at a time when the UN and Secretary-General Kofi Annan are under intense scrutiny for mismanagement of $64 billion tied to the Iraq Oil for Food program.

Those groups are well aware of Mr. Bolton's penchant for confronting UN and State Department elitism. During the 1999 NATO-sanctioned Kosovo bombing campaign, Mr. Bolton challenged the "Annan doctrine" after the secretary-general warned that the world was on the brink of anarchy unless the Security Council were restored "to its preeminent position as the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force." Mr. Bolton called Mr. Annan's declaration "sweeping-indeed breathtaking" and pointed out that the UN Charter describes the secretary-general as merely "a chief administrative officer."

Behind the fusillades Mr. Bolton hides a deceptively simple philosophy: "Explaining America to the world is a difficult and never-ending process," he wrote in 2000. The most pervasive misconception made by other nations "is that the United States is not really all that different from other governments."

At the UN he is likely to insist that it is. Judging by his public record, Mr. Bolton will argue against additional UN levies from the United States, against a global tax to fund UN programs, against more blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers, against controversial social programs like population control, and against an en vogue proposal to expand the Security Council, thus diluting U.S. power.

Protecting U.S. interests looks like xenophobic madness to globalists, but to Mr. Bolton it is the only way to run a foreign policy shop. "I would say Republicans are adults on foreign policy questions, and we define what we're willing to do militarily and politically by what is in the best interest of the United States. That's the only question that matters," he said.

Mindy Belz
Mindy Belz

Mindy travels to the far corners of the globe as the editor of WORLD and lives with her family in the mountains of western North Carolina. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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