Leaked Document Exposes Bolton’s Reforming Genius

So the verdict seems to be in: John Bolton’s charm offensive is proving every bit as effective at the U.N. as it was with the Senate, which President Bush had to bypass to install him as ambassador.

As the London Independent put it:

Any hopes that John Bolton, the new US ambassador to the United Nations, would have been chastened by the way he was elevated to his position have been dashed by the emergence of a leaked document detailing his negotiating demands for next month's UN summit.

No wonder that the leaked 38-page document [pdf] gutting so many proposed reforms has been causing great turmoil at the State Department. As Steve Clemons asked:

Condi -- When does the "supervision" promised to Senators Voinovich, Hagel, and Chafee begin?

Virtually every change made in the reform document seemed designed to undermine important goals.

Here is perhaps the most immoral deletion:

Provide, as a priority, assistance for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment in African countries on a grant basis, and encourage pharmaceutical companies to make anti-retroviral drugs affordable and accessible in Africa and ensure increased support for bilateral and multilateral assistance to combat malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases in Africa. (p.14)

Then there are the deletions in the climate change section intended to leave the impression that the jury is still out on global warming. You know, we really shouldn’t come to any hasty conclusions about this, or, god forbid, act on any such conclusions.

...taking into account the Rio principles, inter alia the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. We recognize that climate change is a serious and long-term challenge that has the potential to affect every part of the world.…


Undertake concerted global action to address climate change, including through meeting all commitments and obligations under the Kyoto Protocol…and other relevant international agreements, increase energy efficiency, technological innovation, and to initiate negotiations to develop a more inclusive international framework for climate change beyond 2012, with broader participation by both developing and developed countries, taking into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. (p.8)

And here are just a few other highlights:

We rededicate ourselves to support all efforts to uphold, as enshrined in the United Nations charter…and the right of self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation... (p.1)

I can’t imagine what could possibly be Bolton’s problem with “colonial domination and foreign occupation".

We reaffirm the vital importance of an effective multilateral system, with a strong United Nations at its core, in order to better address…challenges and threats confronting our world and to achieve progress in the areas of development, security and human rights, and commit to spare no efforts in promoting and strengthening the effectiveness of the organization and implementation of its decisions. (p.1)

I thought “strengthening the effectiveness of the organization and implementation of its decisions” were the explicit reasons Bolton’s reforming genius was so badly needed at the U.N.

We agree recognize that current developments and circumstances require that we build consensus on major threats and challenges. We commit to translate that consensus into concrete action, including addressing the root causes of those threats and challenges. (p.2)

We recognize, but god knows we don’t agree with it, which, given Bush’s history of “consensus-building,” is pretty consistent.

We pledge to make the United Nations more relevant, more effective, more efficient, more accountable and more credible and to provide the Organization with the resources needed to fully implement its mandates. This is our shared responsibility and our common interest. (p.2)

It takes a lot of chutzpah to pledge to make the United Nations “more relevant, more effective, more efficient, more…” while crossing out the line about providing it with the resources to achieve these goals.

The list goes on and on.

Clearly, Senator George Voinovich knew what was coming when he gave his emotional speech on the floor of the Senate:

"This appointment is very, very important to our country. At a strategic time when we need friends all over the world, we need somebody up there that's going to be able to get the job done. I know, some of my friends say, 'Let it go, George. It's going to work out,' I don't want to take the risk. I came back here and ran for a second term because I'm worried about my kids and my grandchildren. And I just hope my colleagues will take the time and...do some serious thinking about whether or not we should send John Bolton to the United Nations."