Tuesday, March 08, 2005

They are not playing soft ball

President Bush has announced that his nominee for US ambassador to the UN is Under Secretary of State, John Bolton, subject to a Senate confirmation.

The International Herald Tribune foresees some controversy as Bolton is known as a “hawk”, whatever that might be in modern, as opposed to Cold War, politics. He is highly critical of the UN and the President and Secretary of State Rice clearly see him as the man who would lead a strong campaign for the reform of the UN. Quite what the UN should be reformed into is not obvious.

John Bolton has led the critical chorus against Mohamed ElBaradei, the Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for its slack attitude towards Iran’s nuclear build-up.

He was a prominent negotiator in the building up of the coalition of the willing and thinks that a tougher line should be taken against the various rogue states.

If he is appointed there will be fluttering in the EU dovecots as well. For some years, through various positions, John Bolton has been one of the most critical American politicians and political analysts of the integration of Europe. Clearly, he prefers to deal with individual countries and sees America’s international strength in a network of direct alliances. (One wonders whether he whispered a word or two into President Bush’s ear before the visit last month. But no, goodness me, of course not. It was the Telegraph wot did it.)

For those of us who oppose the tranzi system of world governance through a network of unelected, unaccountable great and the good, the appointment of John Bolton would be very good news. Let us hope it is confirmed by the Senate.

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