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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 22, 2006 / 28 Menachem-Av 5765

Bully Pulpit

By Martin Peretz


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John Bolton slays them in Turtle Bay


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The last nominee for ambassador to the United Nations about whom The New York Times was frantic was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In fact, it was frantic about him twice. The first time was in November 1970, when Moynihan's name was, for a brief moment, floated as a likely candidate. The Times was quick to declare him the "wrong man for the u.n." The right man was Charles Yost, a foreign servant for nearly four decades so discreet as to be almost invisible.


Moynihan never made clear why he did not then take the post. Did he initially decline it because of the opposition mustered against him on West 43rd Street? Who knows. In the end, President Nixon, who had asked Eugene McCarthy to take the post before Moynihan, sent the name of George Bush père to the Senate — and, as Moynihan quipped in his book A Dangerous Place (which is what he considered the United Nations), the Times did not say he was the wrong man.


After serving (quite magnificently) for two years as ambassador to India (in the tradition of John Kenneth Galbraith), Moynihan was named to the U.N. post by President Ford. Again, the Times found fault with the designee: "[T]he prospect of Mr. Moynihan at Turtle Bay has aroused among some friends of the United Nations genuine doubts about United States policy toward the world organization, and especially toward third world countries." The Times was carrying on what one could only call a vendetta against Moynihan for what were then surprising insights on race but are now — forgive the metaphor — white bread. But Moynihan was confirmed. I can still recall the bitter derision of the foreign affairs elite at Moynihan's insistence on putting the United States "in opposition" to the malevolent bargains the Soviets were then making with "the nonaligned," that label itself a lie.


The present envoy to the United Nations, John Bolton, has served as a recess appointment since the summer of 2005, not because he couldn't get a majority of the Senate to back him (he could) but because the majority leadership couldn't manage the 60 votes to block a filibuster. (When I was a child, liberal Democrats saw the filibuster as antidemocratic and reactionary.) President Bush is once again dispatching Bolton's name to the Senate. And, once again, the Times is apoplectic. Last year, it editorialized, "[T]his may be the first time a world superpower has used its top United Nations post as a spot for the remedial training of a troublesome government employee."




But the fact is that Moynihan and Bolton were cut from the same cloth: a bit pugnacious in their patriotism, realistic about the moral and practical limits of world-organization diplomacy, clear-headed about the fact that some nations sitting across the table from us at the United Nations are actual enemies. Bolton understands, as Moynihan did, the futility of the U.N.'s. grand bureaucracies and plastic procedures. When there is a crisis, the U.N. apparatus is mobilized to pass a resolution. A resolution is almost the be-all and end-all of the United Nations. No one seems to pay much attention to the consequences or whether there are consequences at all. Like Resolution 1559, passed two years ago. It stated quite clearly what was supposed to happen in southern Lebanon — namely, the disarming of Hezbollah and all other militias. And let us not forget its requirement that the secretary-general make a report "within thirty days" on progress toward the resolution's goals. Of course, he couldn't have reported more than nothing. This instance of impotence is not an exception to the rule; it is the rule.

An honest U.S. ambassador recognizes the logic of U.N. decision-making. Fred Iklé called it "semantic infiltration." You undermine your position by adopting your adversaries' language. What the U.N. is most often discussing is wording — wording that bridges positions. But these wordings that bridge positions are, as Moynihan understood and Bolton understands, often deep falsifications.

The internationalization of decision-making through the United Nations is said to be the only basis for legitimate decision-making, especially when it comes to the use of force. In Darfur, just as one instance, the internationalization of the process has thus far meant no U.N. force at all. I'd bet that last week's decision not to put Resolution 1701 explicitly under Chapter 7 guidelines will mean that no one will disarm Hezbollah. Verbal compromise turns out to be the refusal to act, or the refusal to act decisively. In any case, Bolton has rejected the basic proposition about the internationalization of decision-making on several occasions. His point was that political legitimacy derives only from democratic processes. Since so few of the states in the United Nations operate through these processes, there is little legitimacy in the United Nations at all, particularly on extreme questions like force.

Now, Bolton has made an issue of the Oil-for-Food scandal, management reform, membership in ancillary agencies (for example, whether notorious human rights-abusing states — like China and Cuba — should be elected to the new U.N. Human Rights Council; they were), and other matters like corruption, the sexually abusive behavior of U.N. peacekeepers, et cetera. It is not that he hasn't accepted compromises. He has. But the American U.N. lobby (there is one) is content, even eager, to leave the bloated, corrupt, and often unethical norms of the organization be. It certainly doesn't want a searchlight focused on them. This lobby is very hostile to Bolton's confirmation.

It is really quite unseemly for the Democratic minority to be stalking Bolton's nomination. It isn't as if the U.N. post is a judicial appointment, where the separation of powers implies greater senatorial prerogatives in exercising "advice and consent." The U.N. ambassador is really a representative of the president in international affairs. Of course, most Democratic senators oppose the president's foreign policy. But they are in the minority. And do they have the right to sabotage a nomination that expresses — for better and for worse — the president's views?


In the year he has served, Bolton has been exemplary on many issues, the most significant of which are the Security Council's attempts to persuade North Korea and Iran to suspend their nuclear adventures. His work resulted in unanimity among the five permanent members of the Council. He has riveted the attention of member states on elections in the Congo and the deteriorating circumstances in Burma. He continues to press for more effective initiatives on the genocidal situation in Sudan. Bolton's dexterity resulted in the establishment of both budget and management reforms that were very long overdue. Quotidian, you might say. But his ability to address high issues and routine ones is a rarity in the bureaucracy.

Alas, Bolton was one of James Baker's gang who went to Florida to snatch the state's electoral votes from Al Gore. I personally resent those who engaged in that venture. But the fact is that Bush is now president, and his administration is peopled by many of his enthusiasts who flew to Tallahassee after November 7. Florida is no longer relevant.

Still desperate to finish off Bolton's appointment, his antagonists have fixed on matters of character. He is a "bully," they say. And, indeed, some accounts of his brusque treatment of government intelligence analysts are troubling, if true. But that's now old news. His handiwork in Turtle Bay — co-writing resolutions with France, to take the most recent example — is hardly the mark of a blustering zealot. And do the Democrats imagine that the Clinton administration was all geniality? Do Democrats see Hillary Clinton as amiable? Which brings me to another former U.N. ambassador, Richard Holbrooke — one of the most accomplished diplomats of our time. I hope that the next Democratic president appoints him secretary of state. But, if Bolton is rejected because he's a bully, let me tell you that Holbrooke will have trouble, too.


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JWR contributor Martin Peretz is editor-in-chief and chairman of The New Republic. Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, Martin Peretz