Saturday, April 23, 2005

One Republican's Take on the UN

My fellow blogger over at Booking Rising linked to my post on Friday about John Bolton. One person decided to comment. Here is part of what he said:

I find it strange that his opponents are all in favor of someone critiquing our own government in general, and this administration in particular, but maintain the UN as sacrosanct.

Hmmm. I don't like when people assume they know what I think, so I will tell him what I think.

First, I don't think the UN is above being criticized. I think it has a lot of problems. As someone said, it hasn't really been effective since the first Gulf War. On subsequent crises like the Rwandan genocide, ethnic cleasning in Bosnia, and the current sitiation in Darfur, the UN's record has been abysmal. Also, it is disconcerting to have nations with woeful human rights records chairing human rights committees at the UN which has been the case. The UN has problems. By the way, David Brooks has an excellent column on the limits of the UN.

So, no I'm not one of these people who think the UN is beyond criticism. Why I now think that Bolton is not the right man for the job is because he is being appointed to a diplomatic position. You have to have some sense of decorum and willingness to persuade people who may not agree with you to come over to your side. Of course there are times you need to basically use the big stick as Brooks comments. But, I wonder if Bolton knows when to use the big stick and when to not. I don't think he can.

Just because anyone has reservations on a appointee doesn't mean that they blindly follow the UN. I want someone to shakeup the UN, but not at the expense of souring relations with other countries. We need someone to can find the balance between shaking things up and being a diplomat.

I doubt that will make sense to the partisans. But that's my explanation and I'm sticking to it.


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