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."
Most annoyingly, Kerry attempted to lecture Bolton on what liberal think-tank "intellectuals" believe is the reason behind our failure to make headway with North Korea. Kerry said, "Most of the people that I've talked to spent a lot of time in various thoughtful institutions thinking about these issues -- a career -- believe that what North Korea wants more than anything is an assurance that the United States of America wasn't going to have a strategy similar to Iraq directed at them."
That's right, we're the bad guy and the mistreated dictator needs assurances from us that we're not going to nuke him. In Kerry's world, the dictator is reasonable in being suspicious of the United States because we attacked Iraq based on WMD that Kerry says didn't exist, we employed a "preemptive strategy of regime change" and we are pursuing our own nuclear weapons, including bunker busters. Bolton exposed Kerry's sophistry here by explaining that any assurances North Korea required from us -- the thought of which is ludicrous -- could be communicated in six-party talks just as easily as bilateral ones. But Kerry wasn't finished bashing America. He said that all you have to do to understand how bad the United States is to "talk to any leader anywhere in the world" and you'll "run headlong into the isolation of the United States and the divisions that exist between us and our allies on any number of issues."
Next, for good measure, Kerry shared his opinion of the moral equivalence between the United States and the Soviet Empire (aka "the Evil Empire") in pursing nuclear arms during the Cold War. So, just like the benevolent Soviet Union, North Korea is simply another good faith player on the international stage trying to protect itself against that global bully and pariah, the United States.
Sure, John Kerry doesn't blame America first; he just has contempt for those who don't.