Perhaps the best reason to support John Bolton's confirmation as our nation's United Nations ambassador is that his approach to foreign policy is radically different from John Kerry's, as illustrated by their exchange during Bolton's confirmation hearings. It is a shame anyone had to miss this delicious slap-down.
Bolton said that for the United Nations to be effective on Iran, North Korea and Lebanon, the 15 members of the Security Council (and particularly the "PERM 5,") would have to reach policy agreements concerning those countries.
Kerry's reflexive response was: "And isn't it fair to say that we're sort of the odd person out on most of those policies?"
You don't need an interpreter to understand Kerry's message: The United States is the problem; it is the obstacle to meaningful policy consensus. This is the same theme Kerry and other Democrats advanced in blaming President Bush for not building a broad enough coalition to attack Iraq when they should have been questioning the reasonableness and motives of the "allies" who refused to join us.
And, as Bolton noted, Kerry was way off-base. Everybody's on the same page but Democrats and North Korea. The Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1695 condemning North Korea for test-firing ballistic missiles and demanding that it suspend all such activities. And it just now passed a resolution giving Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face economic and diplomatic sanctions.
The next blank Kerry fired was the hackneyed liberal line that our failure to iron out our problems with North Korea is Bush's fault because he refuses to engage in bilateral talks.
Bolton corrected Kerry again, pointing out that the reason the United States insists on six-party negotiations is that, "the disagreement is not fundamentally a bilateral disagreement between North Korea and the United States. It's a disagreement between North Korea and everybody else about their pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability."
Why do Kerry and his ilk insist on playing into Kim Jong Il's hands? Why don't they blame the little tyrant, who is obviously just using the bilateral carrot as an excuse not to discontinue his nuclear program? Why are they covering for his obvious scheme to place the United States in the position of being scapegoated for the inevitable failure in negotiations should bilateral talks eventuate?
Besides, as Bolton said -- to the embarrassment-resistant Kerry -- such vaunted bilateral talks failed under the Clinton administration "since the North Koreans violated the agreed framework almost from the time it was signed."