Thursday, December 08, 2005

John 'Bushlip' Bolton VS. Kofi 'Da Kid' Annan

Monday should be a very interesting day at the U.N. It seems that Kofi Annan and John Bolton have a disagreement to iron out and a previously scheduled meeting set for Monday will be when the figurative scatological reference hits the veritable instrument used to circulate air.

It seems that Mr. Bolton came out swinging when The U.N. United Nations human rights chief, Louise Arbour, spoke out regarding human rights being sacrificed on the altar of the war on terror.
"The absolute ban on torture, a cornerstone of the international human rights edifice ... is becoming a casualty of the so-called war on terror,"
She never actually mentions the United States, but she does paraphrase Benjamin Franklin rather loosely:
"Pursuing security objectives at all costs may create a world in which we are neither safe nor free,"

Evidently not realizing that Ms. Arbour never actually mentioned the U.S., Bolton opened wide his mustachioed maw and spewed forth the following:
"I think it is inappropriate and illegitimate for an international civil servant to second guess the conduct of what we are engaged in the war on terror with nothing more as evidence than what she reads in the newspapers,"
Keeping in mind, she never mentions America (have I mentioned that already...) it seems to me highly questionable for the American ambassador to hold forth on the issue. To me this is similar to say, the U.N. commissionerr on graft and white collar crime coming out against bribery and corruption in exchange for favorable legislation, and having the Republican congressional leadership let loose an outcry. Sometimes prudence is the better part of valor.

It is obvious who she was referencing in her remarks, yet without actually naming America does it make sense for our ambassador to blow his cool and display such a sensitivity to these remarks. Would it not be better for him to allow the stated policies and remarks of those involved with the policies speak to our innocence? Let us remember, the U.S. denies the practices Ms. Arbour was discussing. George Bush says we do not torture detainees. Condoleeza Rice just announced that we do not "render" suspects to other nations in order for them to be tortured, and America abides by international law in these regards. So in effect, by blowing his stack, Bolton has implicated us by protesting too loudly. What gives here?

And who is John Bolton as the ambassador to the U.N. from America, the great purveyor of international freedom and democracy, to lecture the U.N. on which of it's employees should be allowed to say what to whom? Being the head of the U.N. human rights division, it is entirely appropriate and useful for Ms. Arbour to voice her opinion when she sees human rights being trampled. I do not recall Mr. Bolton coming unhinged when the U.N. cited China for it's abhorrent record on human rights. We profess freedom of speech and for all the world to follow our democratic example, yet when Bolton does not like what he hears he chides the speaker.

Let me forestall an attack I can see developing from the right on this issue. Those who agree with me are not saying that Bolton does not have the right to say what he said. We are not pulling the same stunt he did. We are simply using the same right he has to voice our opinions regarding something he said. Bolton is the one saying someone should shut up when it comes down to it, not those who respond to what he said.

Well Kofi Annan is having none of it, and good for him. John Bolton is intrinsically a bully and I hope with great fervor that Annan gives whatever Bolton b.s. thats dished out back in spades. I would absolutely LOVE to be a fly on the wall in that meeting. We can only hope that Bolton does not entirely lose his cool resulting in him chasing Annan about the U.N. or some such unpleasantness. If history is our guide however, I would suggest Annan wear his running shoes.

When it comes to the UN and Annan, I will likely find few things to agree on with my Democrat friends. Remarkably there are a couple of things this time but, even that will likely be overshadowed by the differences.

I agree that John Bolton is a bully. I've seen his kind before. He will stomp on anyone to get what he wants. He prefers to crush others in his way. We need a tough and firm person in that position to deal with the UN but, he is not the best choice.

I agree his choice of words were poor but, for a different reason. I also think that Bush isn't being honest about torture and Condi is telling a lie about the rendering issue. Obviously, Condoleeza Rice intends to run for higher office. I've always defended her but, here she's being too much of a team player. Although, in her defense if she wants backing, she has little choice.

That is where the agreement ends and you will find I am usually at odds with the UN in general. I consider it an abomination compared to the organization it should be.

Bolton- "I think it is inappropriate and illegitimate for an international civil servant ..."

Translation: Bolton considers this woman to be a peon unworthy of questioning anything at all. She should speak only when spoken to.

Bolton- "to second guess the conduct of what **we** are engaged"

Translation: Bolton's self-deluded ego puts him on par with the Secretary of State and even the President.

Bolton- "in the war on terror with nothing more as evidence than what she reads in the newspapers,"

Translation: Ignore the tripe beforehand as this is the only portion of his commentary that has any merit.

Ken/Bhfrik, you ask:

"Would it not be better for him to allow the stated policies and remarks of those involved with the policies speak to our innocence?"

I would disagree. It was as you mentioned obvious that she meant the US and that was precisely why a response was needed. Always call your opponent on their Sh*t. As they say, "define yourself or be defined by others". I also disagree that calling someone on what they are doing does NOT amount to "protesting too loudly".

What Bolton should have said:

"I can appreciate the interest that the head of the UN Human Rights Division would have on the topic of torture. However, I do recognize that her remarks are a commentary on her perception of US policies. I call her on this and point out that she has no evidence to back up these severe allegations other than what can be read in the newspapers. A further outrage would be to question that the US is in a 'War on Terror'. Criticism on how the war is carried out can be debated and backing evidence should be customary. However, the 'so-called war on terror' comment was beyond the pale. Lastly, the division head paraphrases Benjamin Franklin regarding an issue the US categorically states is not a reality."

Blow your top? Certainly not. Call them on a cheap shot? Hell yes. Personally I would bet we do render and torture. Ms. Arbour would have been better served asking about why the US maintains that they do not torture or "render" when the US administration has repeatedly requested that the CIA be exempted from US laws regarding said pratices.

Did I just help the Democrats and the UN talking heads? Ooops! I'll just send them a bill requesting my consultancy fee. Hehe.
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