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April 06, 2005

Bolton in His Own Words

Democracy New provides interesting commentary by U.N. ambassador nominee John Bolton from an event called “The Global Structures Convocation” held on February 3, 1994, in New York. Many of these comments have already been widely publicized, but it is useful to see them in their original context.

    JOHN BOLTON: The point that I want to leave with you in this very brief presentation is where I started, is that there is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that's the United States, when it suits our interest, and when we can get others to go along. And I think it would be a real mistake to count on the United Nations as if it is some disembodied entity out there that can function on its own.

Here is another clip from that event.

    JOHN BOLTON: The League of Nations was a failure because the United States did not participate. The United Nations would be a failure if the United States did not participate and, in fact, I remember as vividly as though it were yesterday, right after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Jim Baker said to me, we’re going to make this United Nations work, or we’re going to find out whether it is the League Nations or the UN. And that's the fact. And if you don't like it, then I’m sorry. The United States makes the UN work when it wants it to work, and that is exactly the way it should be, because the only question, the only question for the United States is what is in our national interest. And if you don't like that, I’m sorry, but that is the fact.

 And one more excerpt from that event more than a decade ago.

    JOHN BOLTON: If you think that there is any possibility in this country that a 51,000 person bureaucracy is going to be supported by most Americans, you better think again. The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories. If you lost 10 stories today it wouldn't make a bit of difference. The United Nations is one of the most inefficient inter-governmental organizations going. UNESCO is even worse. And others go down hill from there. The fact of the matter is that the international system that has grown up, and again, I leave out the World Bank and the IMF because I do think that they're in a separate category, has been put into a position of hiring ineffective people who do ineffective things that have no real world impact, and we pay 25% of the budget.

Posted by Bob at 12:13 PM in National | Permalink


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what he says makes sense to me.

Posted by: The Troll | Apr 6, 2005 1:03:42 PM

The problem for supporters of the UN is that his statements are ABSOLUTELY true. Most people just dislike him because he points that out.

Posted by: JMoore | Apr 6, 2005 7:21:16 PM

Is it Bolton's aim to prove that the UN only works when the US wants it to, and only then in the US interest?

Why does Bolton want this job in the non-existent inefficient UN? Which storey will his office be on?

Posted by: Apian | Apr 7, 2005 2:30:01 PM

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