Cyclops Pink Eye

President George Bush's nomination for US Ambassador to the United Nations is John Bolton, a well known critic of that very organization. And to say he's a critic of the UN might be an understatement on the order of saying the Swift Boat Veterans were not John Kerry's biggest fans. Bolton has gone so far as to declare that as far he's concerned, the UN doesn't exist. Call me wacky, but shouldn't the guy who's going to represent us at least accept the institution's existence? And does this skepticism extend to the structure itself? If so, how's the man going to get to work? Is he destined to wander aimlessly around the East Side of Manhattan querying strangers as to the location of his own personal Brigadoon?


The 56-year-old State Department chief of arms control, a hard liner with a suspicious view of U.S. arms control treaties, is also on record to have said if you lopped off the top ten floors of the UN, "it wouldn't make a difference." Oh yeah, let's have HIM run our diplomatic corps. Because who knows more about mending bridges than the guy planting the charges in an attempt to set fire to them? What does the administration have in mind for future appointments? Howard Stern to head up the FCC? Michael Jackson as official envoy to UNICEF? Kenneth Lay as the new Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission? Laugh at the first two, the last is not so funny.


Supporters describe Bolton as a blunt, straight talking, tough-minded, tell it like it is, not afraid to ruffle foreign feathers while putting America's interests first kind of a guy. But we already got one of those kind of guys in charge of the White House. And Bush ain't too internationally-minded either. If the ambassador nominee's function is to be the designated Rottweiler, I could understand, but we already got a kennel full of Rottweilers, most of whom appear to have missed the paper training course in obedience school. "Tough Love" is one thing, "Rabid Frothing at the Mouth with an Unattached Ear Hanging Out Between the Teeth" is another.


His detractors insist Bolton is an abrasive, confrontational, insensitive, kiss ass, prudent as a flatulent porcupine, abusive with analysts who disagree with his views kind of a guy. Obviously, politics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, but in terms of idealogues, this administration has developed a serious case of conjunctivitis. And in a bullying cyclops, with a bigger army than the rest of the world put together, that kind of pink eye can become diplomatically distracting.


Don't get me wrong, I'm not sure I totally disagree with all of Bolton's assessments of the UN. Such as it's as useless as cellophane underwear. And corrupt. And hopelessly entangled in red tape. And guilty of fostering anti- American attitudes while monopolizing the seafood stand at our all you can eat buffet and discarding their used oyster shells on our nice clean carpeting. But whatever happened to good cop/ bad cop? Bush plays: bad cop/ hothead brandishing a multi-pronged tazer in the dark cop. What part of the word "diplomacy" does the President not get?



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