Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The nuts and bolts on Bolton

Believe it or not, Reuters actually has a pretty informative article on John Bolton. Though biased and full of the usual twittering from Bolton's detractors it does give us an enticing glimpse into the man who will be representing us for the next 17 months. Some excerpts:

Bolton has a long history of criticizing the United Nations, has sometimes doubted that European and Asian allies could be counted on to back U.S. positions and has often spoken out so bluntly he was considered political dynamite.

Exactly what we need.

Former Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms, a conservative Republican from North Carolina, once called Bolton "the man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon" and another admirer described him in the Wall Street Journal as "the most dangerous man at State."

During Bolton's unsuccessful Senate confirmation fight, one former U.S. official who had tangled with him described him as a "quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."

But Bolton himself enjoys throwing rhetorical hand grenades and keeps a defused real one in his office, along with a copy of the "most dangerous man at State" article.

Where has this guy been all our lives?

Now let's hear from one of the critics:

Bolton "has overseen this administration's flawed proliferation policy that has seen North Korea quadruple its nuclear arsenal and seen Iran take dangerous steps toward the development of nuclear weapons," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Attempting to defuse opposition, Rice has extolled Bolton's previous service as the assistant secretary of state who dealt with the United Nations and his successful 1991 campaign to persuade the international body to repeal a resolution that equated Zionism with racism.

Notice how the writer leaves Harry Reid's quote untouched while making darn sure we know that Rice was "attempting to defuse opposition" when she sang Bolton's praises.

The writer then ends the article by countering Condi's praise:

But Bolton also led the U.S. withdrawal from International Criminal Court jurisdiction and encouraged U.S. opposition to Europe's decision to lift its arms embargo on China, two initiatives that fanned tensions with allies.

Hmmm, these actually seem like...y'know...good things. But then, I'm no Alec Baldwin when it comes to understanding world events.