With United States National Security Advisor John Bolton offering his warrior-like take on nations like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and others, I thought that a look back in time was in order.
Back in the Bush II era, you may recall that George W. Bush and his right-hand man, Richard Cheney, appointed the moustachioed war hawk to represent the United States at the United Nations. The long-time critic of the UN who made the comment in 1994 that if the the 38 story United Nations building lost ten stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference, could not achieve the needed confirmation by the United States Senate to take his post as UN ambassador. As salve to his wounded ego, Mr. Bolton was offered a recess appointment on August 1, 2006 which meant that his term as ambassador to the United Nations expired when Congress concluded on January 3, 2007.
What you may not have been aware of was the fact that a very significant number of former American ambassadors signed a letter opposing John Bolton's nomination to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In this time of political polarization and given that Mr. Bolton can best be described as an ideological conservative, it is interesting to see that 46 out of 59 of the signing ambassadors and politicos served in Republican administrations including the Nixon, Reagan and Bush I Administrations. Imagine that happening today!
Here is a copy of the two page letter which is addressed to the leadership of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
Here are the signature pages (excluding the three individuals on page two of the letter) showing how widely concerning the appointment of John Bolton was to the American diplomatic community and to politicos who had negotiated key arms control treaties for the United States:
I would like to pick out key excerpts that are pertinent given Washington's recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or INF:
"John Bolton has an exceptional record of opposition to efforts to enhance U.S. security through arms control. He led a campaign against ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Today, the administration is pressing for development of new types of nuclear weapons.
As chief negotiator of the 2002 Moscow Treaty on withdrawing U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons from field deployment, John Bolton structured a treaty without its own verification regime, without required progress reports from both sides, without the requirement to destroy warheads withdrawn from deployment, and without provision for negotiating continued reductions. Under his guidance, the State Department repudiated important consensus agreements reached in the year 2000 Review Conference of the Non-proliferation Treaty and has even blocked the formulation of an agenda for the next review conference to be held in May 2005." (my bolds)
Apparently in Washington today, it's just business as usual for Mr. Bolton.
As you can see from this posting, John Bolton has had an inordinate amount of control over America's nuclear weapons policies, control that he has had for over two decades and that he still retains in the Trump Administration. Given his penchant for blustering and bullying, this unelected, multi-administration Washington insider is a man to be feared. However, there is one thing he must be credited for – he certainly is a force for global insecurity. Unfortunately, we are the ones that may end up paying for his rabid views.
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