James Lileks writes, ‘John Bolton is out as U.N. ambassador, and many folks are singing hurrah: Our long international nightmare is over!”
Bolton didn’t realize the rules of the game, it seems. The object of the U.N. is not to advance U.S. interests. The object is assure a steady flow of money and excuses to various illiberal regimes, to issue gravely worded statements of concern when a member nation starts slaughtering its citizens in numbers that require two commas, and to condemn Israel.
The last point is particularly important. Israel’s mulish refusal to remove itself from the map is a particular affront to the finely tuned sensibilities of the diplomats, and requires weekly condemnatory resolutions, if only to keep the moral faculties limber. Russia could annex the Baltic states and it wouldn’t evoke the same ire produced by a civilian casualty in a Gaza raid.
To paraphrase Stalin: One death is a tragedy; a million will be referred to the permanent subcommittee on statistics.
No, the U.S. ambassador must realize that the U.S. is the problem. It was the goody-two-shoes U.S. that didn’t play along with Oil-for-Food. It was the U.S. that cruelly tricked the U.N. into putting sanctions on Iraq; it was Bolton who attempted to build international consensus opposing Iran’s Atoms-for-Peace program, which was undertaken solely to heat dove nurseries. The man was a pain, and the international community is glad he’s gone.
So who would they like to see in his stead? Let’s consider the candidates.
Read on. And don’t miss Ed Morrissey’s thoughts on Kofi Annan’s farewell address to one his most important constituent groups, the editors of the Washington Post.