John Bolton & American Values

by on July 27th, 2006

In an exhaustive review of his performance as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, The Heritage Foundation’s Nile Gardiner and Bret Schaefer make a strong and evidentiary case for the Senate to vote to confirm this exemplary voice for principled leadership and accountability.

Mr. Bolton has been a sharp but thoughtful critic of the U.N., where the level of waste, fraud, and abuse can’t be measured in terms familiar to most Americans. Add to that calumny the fact that U.S. taxpayers pay more than $3 billion annually to the organization and you have a source of justifiable frustration and anger.

Among Mr. Bolton’s more prominent actions was to lobby hard for the U.S. to not become a member of the newly constituted Human Rights Council, which was nothing more than a reconfiguration of its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights. True to its membership, the council’s first work involved a one-sided, prejudicial resolution condemning Israel and acquiescing to the aggressors, the Palestinians.

Underlying the U.N.’s remarkable record of mismanagement and apparent inability to make meaningful distinctions between totalitarian and democratic regimes is a value system that mysteriously exempts the most egregious offenders of human rights from the rules of the civilized world.

Those values, which have wantonly led the U.N. to ignore human suffering on virtually every continent and have dithered while the lives of innocents were needlessly lost, while coddling and abetting dictators over the past quarter century, are the most hostile manifestation of the modern moral sensibility we have ever had to confront.

Each generation has struggled in some degree with correctly indentifying and confronting evil, but in each there has always been a unifying and consensual understanding that it does, in fact, exist. This generation appears to be the first to be paralyzed by the mere exercise of determining a simple taxonomy of evil in our world, due to its culturally induced moral confusion.

Indeed, when Kofi Annan accuses the only democratic regime in the Middle East of deliberately targeting the four U.N. peacekeepers who were tragically killed yesterday it reflects a profound misappraisal and vilification of the one nation in the region that abides by international law.

Europe itself is similarly suffering from the same moral malaise as it habitually assigns guilt to the innocent, law-abiding nations while effectively exonerating the rogue belligerents. Their ability to invert good and evil knows no bounds and has resulted in the U.S. being the sole nation willing to even discuss meaningful action against nations and regimes that are in the iron grasp of tyrants.

When we excise the virulent hatred that many have for President Bush, when we control for the liberal instinct that willingly sacrifices national security for political gain, the picture becomes clearer. Evil does, in fact, exist, and it has been and remains the charge of the U.S. to make good faith efforts to check its tendency to metastasize.

If we can’t count on international bodies such as the U.N. to be predictable in their discernment of good and evil, the ambassador we choose to those bodies becomes all the more critical. In that regard, it is critical indeed that John Bolton is confirmed, which would be an affirmation of the U.S.’s commitment to the democratic values we hold dear, in a world that has often displayed an astounding indifference to them.

Philip Mella