Oliver North

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The first week of June has been remarkable in our nation's history. It was this week in 1776 that a congressional committee was formed to start drafting a Bill of Particulars for King George to consider. Just a month later, it was ratified as the Declaration of Independence.

 It was during this week in 1942 that the battle of Midway -- the turning point in World War II in the Pacific -- was fought. Within days, Congress was deliberating appropriations for more carriers. In 1944, this was the week during which hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers were hurled ashore at Normandy, beginning the liberation of Europe. Shortly thereafter, both the House and Senate began to examine how Europe would be rebuilt after the war. Now, ponder the history that Congress has made this week in 2005. It's pathetic.

 Thanks to a Senate more concerned about its own petty "perks," personal privileges and arcane procedures, we still don't have an ambassador in Baghdad. Though we have been without one for three months now -- a constant hindrance to coordination between American and Iraqi forces in the midst of a war -- the Senate is in no rush to act. Apparently the solons, secure in their sinecures, aren't bothered by the casualty figures.

 Few Americans see the United Nations as anything but hopelessly corrupt, woefully incompetent and unabashedly ambitious. Yet, the U.S. Senate, proud of its shiny new "filibuster deal" and operating in its own alternate universe, can find no reason to expedite the confirmation of the hard-nosed John Bolton as head of our U.N. mission. Sen. George Voinovich, an erstwhile Republican from Ohio, was so anxious about sending a steel-spined ambassador into the U.N. kleptocracy that he got as teary-eyed as an unwed mother getting a new car from Oprah. Barbara Boxer couldn't have done it any better.

 Even John McCain, not exactly known as a "team player" in GOP circles, tried to goad his colleagues into action: "The U.N. needs the presence of a tough, hard, dedicated individual. I think we realize it's time to move ahead with the people's business."

 Nice try, John, but it didn't work. We ought to have someone there to look after our interests and the billions of our tax dollars being squandered by Kofi & Co. But our senators aren't concerned enough to hasten Mr. Bolton's arrival in Turtle Bay.

 Nor do these people who seem to do so little appear to care much about how the rest of us get to work. Have any of them noticed that while they dither, we're paying near-record prices for gasoline, electricity and diesel fuel, as the Senate sits on the energy bill?

Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.