In another gesture of perverse irony, the Bush administration has appointed John Bolton, a longtime anti-UN ideologue, as ambassador to the UN (replacing John Danforth, who is stepping down). Currently State Department undersecretary for arms control (where he has exhibited unhelpful tough-guy posturing on North Korea, Iran and Cuba, and helped to virtually gut the Biological Weapons Convention), Bolton had actually argued against the U.S. paying up on its outstanding UN dues back in 1998: "Moreover, many Republicans in Congress – and perhaps a majority – not only do not care about losing the General Assembly vote but actually see it as a ‘make my day’ outcome. Indeed, once the vote is lost, and the adverse consequences predicted by the U.N.’s supporters begin to occur, this will simply provide further evidence to many why nothing more should be paid to the U.N. system." (Washington Times, Oct. 24, 1998)
At a 1994 panel discussion sponsored by the World Federalist Association, Bolton claimed "there’s no such thing as the United Nations," and stated ”if the UN secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” (Quotes from a Council for a Livable World page opposing his 2001 appointment to the arms control post)
Bolton is a member in good standing of the elite club of extremoid wonks who have set the agenda for the current administration, and was a longtime advocate of the Iraq war. He is a vice president of the pro-corporate American Enterprise Institute, and a longtime spokesman for the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, in whose pages he recently asked "Is International Law Really Law?"
Former far-right Sen. Jesse Helms, an overt racist, is an old friend, who has this to say: "John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world.” (IPS, March 7)