Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bye Bye Bolton

There's nothing like starting your work week off on the right foot. And theres nothing more right than seeing the proud, arrogant, hand-picked policy drones of the Bush administration being forced to accept reality as they are being handed their walking papers and shown to the door. And John Bolton's reality this week? His 15 minutes are up. He has burned all the bridges he can burn for now, and since no one at the UN likes him. well, maybe the Chinese ambassador likes him, just a little, he has pretty much worn out his welcome. And for a diplomat, thats as real as it gets.

Back in March of 2005 when John Bolton was nominated to the stately position of U.S Ambassador to the United Nations by President Bush, he was already the subject of extensive criticism. Complaints from coworkers and subordinates dotted his resume, and he seemed perhaps the most unlikely candidate to serve in any position requiring diplomacy or statemenship. But President Bush knew better.

Now, after just over a year of service at the United Nations, Bolton is disliked and even despised by representatives from many other countries, and is described as being rude, arrogant and undiplomatic. In fact, the North Korean ambassador referred to him as "such human scum and bloodsucker", after Bolton openly insulted the North Korean President, Kim Jong Il during the 2003 6 party nuclear proliferation talks. Not exactly what one would normally call "diplomatic" but that didn't stop Bolton. Many republicans admire him for his frankness in speaking his mind. But those who do are missing the point.

He wasn't there to insult our neighbors and their leaders. He wasn't there to tell people "what he thought". He was there to work with representatives from other nantions in open and genuine dialogue that is designed to strengthen international relationships and ease tensions. He was there to "avoid" wars and make friends, and calling the leader of another country a "tyrannical dictator" is probably not the best way to accomplish that. I bet you knew that, didn't you?

Well try and tell him that. Like most Bush appointees, and indeed like Bush himself, Bolton seemed to feel he"knew it all", and no one was going to tell him otherwise. Not while still expecting to keep their jobs anyway. Bolton had mastered that amazing "my way or the highway" smuggery that is signature within the Bush regime. And Bolton also shares his leaders affinity for supporting wars in which one has no intention of fighting in. During the Viet Nam era, John Bolton was a strong supporter of the war. At least vocally. But instead of taking that support for the war and turning it into real action, like Bush, Bolton chose to instead enlist in the National Guard, and opted to avoid the actual combat of the war he so strongly tauted his support for. In fact, Bolton wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost".

And this is the man Bush thought should represent us in a position of diplomat to the world. This is what passes for "character" with George W. Bush, and his administration. After all, it mirrors his own. But fortunately for the rest of the planet, Boltons time is up. His lame duck President can't hold back the tides any longer, and smug, arrogant "chickenhawks" are having their wings clipped on an almost weekly basis now. Rumsfelds out, and now the bully Bolton is following him out the door. Who's next? Rice? Rove? We'll see.

But in the meantime, lets all open a cold beer, light up a good cigar, and wave old Johnny B, bye bye. In fact, lets throw a party. A celebration to acknowledge the leaving of a diplomat who had not one diplomatic bone in his body. We might as well. After all, we know they're rippin it up in the UN building this morning.

Mr Bolton. Your "shoot first and ask questions later" approach was just not welcome in an organization designed to facilitate discourse and comprimise between nations. So Bye Bye Mr Bolton. You were fun to watch, kind of like Yosemite Sam with a necktie, only not as funny. But now, thankfully, your 15 minutes are up and its time for you to go. So go.

Oh and in parting, I'd like to remind you sir, to not let the door hit you on your backside as you exit the building.