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U.S. Senate will hold hearing on Bolton UN nomination

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  • #16
    John Bolton's prospects to remain the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations dwindled Thursday as Democrats and a key Republican senator rejected attempts to have the still-Republican-controlled Senate confirm his nomination.

    Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-Rhode Island, who holds the swing vote that would determine whether the evenly split Foreign Relations Committee reconsiders Bolton, said he would not support the nomination, which the White House resubmitted Thursday.

    "To confirm Mr. Bolton to the position of U.N. ambassador would fly in the face of the clear consensus of the country that a new direction is called for," Chafee said in Rhode Island. "I have long believed that the go-it-alone philosophy that has driven this administration's approach to international relations has damaged our leadership position in the world."

    When senators blocked Bolton's nomination last year, Bush put him in the position using a special recess appointment that will expire when Congress adjourns this year.

    In September, Bolton's nomination came up again, and Chafee - who had expressed reservations about Bolton's diplomatic style and effectiveness - came under intense pressure from Democrats and Republicans.

    Chafee requested then that the hearing on Bolton be delayed until after the elections, citing unresolved questions about the administration's Middle East policy.

    Chafee lost his Senate seat on Tuesday.

    The White House must now decide how hard it wants to push Bolton for the post in the face of a decisive defeat in Tuesday's elections, and how he could stay in the job without going through confirmation hearings.

    He could technically receive a second recess appointment, but under U.S. law, he then could not be paid for his work.

    Other possibilities include creating a position that would allow him to continue his work at the U.N., such as an ambassador-at-large for U.N. issues, or special adviser to the president for the United Nations, said a U.S. diplomat.

    At the United Nations, reviews of Bolton's performance have been mixed, but most diplomats agree he hasn't turned out to be the destructive force that they feared.

    Bolton unlikely to hold U.N. ambassador post

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    • #17
      UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - John Bolton said on Wednesday that he believed a vote in the full U.S. Senate would confirm him as ambassador to the United Nations, despite opposition from Democrats and a key Republican.

      Last year the Senate Foreign Relations Committee blocked Bolton's nomination from getting to the floor. But President George W. Bush used a temporary appointment for Bolton that expires when Congress adjourns no later than January 6.

      Bush has resubmitted Bolton's name to the Senate.

      Outgoing Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a Rhode Island Republican, who holds the swing vote on the committee, has said he would not support the nomination. Democrats also oppose Bolton.

      "The White House is continuing to search for ways to get the nomination to the floor of the Senate," Bolton told CNN. "And I think we've believed for 18 months now that if I could get a straight up or down vote, I'd be confirmed."

      "So I'm glad they are continuing to push for it," Bolton said. "I'd actually like that vote."

      In the meantime, Bolton said he was focusing on Iran and North Korea and hoped "the situation in the Senate will take care of itself."

      At the United Nations, some diplomats sigh with relief while others say they will miss his expertise and no-nonsense approach to issues if he is replaced. Everyone has an opinion on Bolton although few will speak publicly.

      Some diplomats distinguish between Bolton's work in the 15-nation Security Council and that in the 192-member General Assembly, which handles budgets and U.N. reform plans.

      "In some ways, he seems to have been more an ambassador to the Security Council than to the United Nations as a whole and I think he has done very well there," said Edward Luck, a Columbia University professor and U.N. expert.

      In the council, Bolton was key in negotiating two unanimous resolutions on North Korea's nuclear program, put abuses in Myanmar, formerly Burma, on the agenda, was intricately involved in peacekeepers for Lebanon and is praised for his knowledge on nuclear proliferation in current talks on Iran's programs.

      "I enjoy working with him," China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said. "Professionally he is capable, he is effective but I don't want to get into the politics of the U.S."

      But the problem, say Luck and others, is his actions in the General Assembly, which is increasingly polarized between developing and developed countries.

      "He is very good on preaching on reform but not good at doing it," said Luck, raising the question of "whether he wants to strengthen it or find excuses for abandoning it."

      Algeria's former U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Bali, who served in the Security Council last year, said, "When you look at what he did in the reform of the U.N., he did not achieve any of the goals he set for himself - budget reform, management, a different Human Rights Commission."

      The White House could give Bolton a second recess appointment, but he would not receive a salary. Other possibilities include creating a position in the State Department that would allow him to continue his work at the United Nations, according to some U.S. officials.

      Bolton predicts he would win Senate vote on U.N. post

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      • #18
        In the first post-election battle between the Bush administration and the Democrats, the Jewish community is standing behind the president as he pushes the candidacy of John Bolton.

        Despite the declared hostility of Democrats and several moderate Republicans, the White House has formally put forth the reappointment of controversial diplomat John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

        Bush appointed Bolton, a leading neoconservative who failed to garner sufficient votes in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2005, during a congressional recess for one year. His term expires in December, and key committee members have indicated that they would not drop their opposition before the newly elected, Democratically controlled Congress convenes in January 2007, at which point the odds of seeing Bolton confirmed would be even lower.

        The administration is now reportedly looking for ways to keep Bolton at the U.N. by circumventing the Senate.

        “The Jewish community remains supportive and would want to see [Bolton] stay,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “He has been an effective advocate, and he is appreciated by the diplomatic corps.”

        At the same time, Hoenlein said, he was not aware of any recent effort by Jewish organizations to press administration and Congress on the issue. Several major Jewish groups had expressed their support, in public and in private, when Bolton’s appointment became a political battle in Washington in early 2005. None of these groups has issued statements on the issue in recent weeks.

        “The administration and the Congress know where the community stands,” Hoenlein said. “But this is not in our hands, obviously.” Bolton is viewed as a strong supporter of Israel, and exercised the American veto last week on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. While American support for Israel at the U.N. is unlikely to change with a new ambassador and a Democratic Congress, Bolton had cultivated especially close personal bonds over the years with all major Jewish groups. They have hailed him for his role in convincing U.N. members in 1991 to repel the infamous “Zionism equals racism” resolution, for his outspoken criticism of the U.N.’s failures to enact more reforms, and for his support for regime change in Iraq and a tough line on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He also has been a fairly active voice for international efforts to stop the mass killings in Darfur.

        Last year, Bolton failed to convince a majority on the Senate committee to support him and send his nomination to a floor vote. Lawmakers expressed lingering doubts over his reportedly abrasive style and his past aggressive behavior toward his colleagues at the State Department, where he was in charge of nonproliferation issues.

        Senator Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican senator from Rhode Island who was defeated November 7, recently said that it would be “illogical” to endorse Bolton’s nomination. “I am not going to endorse something the American people have spoken out against,” said Chafee in a statement.

        The administration is reportedly considering another recess appointment, a step that would require Bolton to serve without pay.

        Also on the table is the idea of nominating Bolton to a deputy position at the American mission and having him serve as the “acting” U.S. ambassador, or having him become a member of the White House National Security Council, a position that does not require congressional confirmation.

        In recent days, the names of possible replacements have popped up — including current U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky and State Department counselor Philip Zelikow.

        Jewish groups side with Bush on Bolton

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        • #19
          Bolton in extraordinary outburst against United Nations

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          • #20
            Bolton is Israel's secret weapon, says Gillerman

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            • #21
              WASHINGTON -- Lacking the votes to keep his job, embattled U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said Monday he would resign, a defeat for a chagrined President Bush who had clung to hopes of Senate confirmation.

              Bolton got the position in August 2005, appointed by Bush when Congress was in recess. With that temporary assignment about to expire, and his long fight for confirmation going nowhere, Bolton made it official.

              He handed in a resignation letter that did not mention the political fight behind it. It said simply: "I have concluded that my service in your administration should end when the current recess appointment expires."

              "I accepted. I'm not happy about it," Bush said Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, with Bolton at his side. Bush did not name a replacement, and officials offered no timetable for an announcement.

              The setback for the White House seemed to put a hold on the post-election talk of bipartisanship.

              Bush considered Bolton a strong voice as the U.N. dealt with crises in Iraq, Lebanon, North Korea and other complex matters around the world. Bolton also pushed the administration's effort to reform the United Nations.

              But Democrats opposed Bolton, whom they viewed as a brusque, ill-suited diplomat. Some Republicans helped scuttle his nomination, including moderate Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island.

              The president had stinging words for them.

              "They chose to obstruct his confirmation, even though he enjoys majority support in the Senate, and even though their tactics will disrupt our diplomatic work at a sensitive and important time," Bush said in a statement. "This stubborn obstructionism ill serves our country."

              Democrats, though, said Bolton's resignation signaled a fresh start.

              "Hopefully this change marks a shift from the failed go-it-alone strategies that have left America less safe," said the incoming Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada.

              "With the Middle East on the verge of chaos and the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea increasing, we need a United Nations ambassador who has the full support of Congress and can help rally the international community to tackle the serious threats we face," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

              Bolton's nomination had languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year. The White House made a renewed push for him after Democrats won control of Congress in November.

              But it became clear that "there were not going to be the votes" to get the nomination out of committee, said White House spokesman Tony Snow. He suggested the entire confirmation process was broken.

              "If bipartisanship is to succeed, perhaps we ought to make sure that people who serve their country ably and well are sent the signal that 'Your services will be treasured,'" Snow said.

              Bolton, a 57-year-old arms control expert, came to the job with a reputation for brilliance, obstinacy and speaking his mind - and with a mission to reform the 61-year-old world body born in the ashes of World War II.

              By his own account, Bolton remains frustrated that "precious little" reform has been accomplished so far by the U.N. General Assembly, though some diplomats would at least partly blame Bolton's blunt tactics.

              But Bolton did play a key role in major U.S. foreign policy initiatives - getting U.N. Security Council approval of resolutions imposing sanctions on North Korea for conducting a nuclear test, joining with France to promote Lebanon's democratic government, pushing for a U.N. peacekeeping force in Sudan's conflict-wracked Darfur region and putting Myanmar's repressive military regime on the council's agenda.

              Bolton has had strained relations with many in the U.N. Secretariat, led by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

              "I think Ambassador Bolton did the job he was expected to do," Annan said Monday. "He came at a time when we had lots of tough issues from reform to issues on Iran and North Korea. I think as a representative of the U.S. government, he pressed ahead with the instructions he had been given."

              Republicans blamed the Democrats for Bolton's ouster.

              "It also unfairly undermines President Bush's prerogative to appoint his own people to his team," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. "There's no doubt Bolton is extremely qualified and has done tremendous work."

              Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily, circumventing a Congress in recess in 2005. Under that process, the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.

              While Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment, the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador. But Bolton told the White House he intended to leave, period.

              Bush accepts Bolton's U.N. resignation

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              • #22
                Excellent news . I told you there was a god !
                Friendship

                [60:8] GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

                [60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors

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                • #23
                  La démission du controversé John Bolton montre que les républicains ne sont déjà plus maîtres du Congrès.

                  LE DÉPART de John Bolton n'était pas inattendu aux Nations unies. L'annonce de sa démission « n'était pas une totale surprise », a notamment déclaré son collègue du Conseil de sécurité, le représentant permanent de la France, Jean-Marc de La Sablière. Mais elle est indéniablement intervenue plus tôt que prévu. Connu pour sa ténacité et son style peu diplomatique, l'ambassadeur américain n'est pas du genre à baisser les bras et même si sa confirmation paraissait définitivement compromise, on ne le voyait généralement pas se retirer avant une dernière passe d'armes à Washington.

                  L'effacement de cette figure controversée montre que les républicains ne sont déjà plus maîtres du Congrès, où la majorité démocrate n'arrivera pourtant qu'en janvier. Cinq jours après sa défaite aux législatives de mi-mandat, George Bush avait à nouveau présenté devant le Sénat la candida*ture de Bolton, nommé en août 2005 à la faveur des vacances parlementaires.

                  George Bush était convaincu d'avoir à New York le meilleur défenseur des intérêts américains. Dans un communiqué où il « regrette profondément » la décision de John Bolton, il rappelle les points marqués par son ambassadeur qui a « conduit avec succès les négociations ayant résulté dans l'adoption de résolutions unanimes sur les activités militaires et nucléaires de la Corée du Nord », et qui a « bâti un consensus avec nos alliés » sur le nucléaire iranien.

                  Le président cite aussi « ses efforts pour promouvoir la paix au Darfour ». Il aurait pu mentionner la résolution difficilement négociée avec la France sur le Liban pour mettre fin aux hostilités d'août dernier, ou encore le rôle joué par son représentant pour bloquer la candidature du Venezuela d'Hugo Chavez au Conseil de sécurité.

                  Mais George Bush avait aussi besoin d'un cheval de bataille pour le vrai combat : la réforme de l'ONU, une institution à laquelle il dit son ambassadeur « attaché ». Le mot peut surprendre à propos d'un homme arrivé dans la maison de verre avec la réputation d'y être si hostile que « les derniers étages pourraient en être rasés ».

                  Ses nombreux détracteurs estiment que John Bolton a, en réalité, torpillé quelques réelles tentatives de réformer le système en dressant contre lui le Groupe des 77, une large coalition de pays en développement (ils sont en réalité 133) qui voit avec méfiance tout changement administratif prôné par Washington, surtout quand les pouvoirs de l'Assemblée générale sont en jeu face à un Conseil de sécurité jugé tout puissant. « Nous avons gâché une chance histo*rique », glisse un diplomate à propos du rejet de la réforme du contrôle budgétaire en juin dernier.

                  Il est pourtant vrai que John Bolton prend son travail à l'ONU très au sérieux et se montre très présent. « Professionnellement, il est capable, efficace », a dit de lui son collègue chinois Wang Guangya. Un autre ambassadeur fait état de qualités propres à sa formation d'avocat : « Il aime les textes et il sait les négocier, mais il peut être cassant et obstiné. » Le principal reproche concerne finalement ses options idéologiques peu compatibles avec le multilatéralisme qui prévaut à l'ONU.

                  Les démocrates du Sénat s'en inquiètent pour l'image des États-Unis, qui ont de plus en plus besoin des Nations unies. Tout en les accusant d'« obstructionnisme », la Maison-Blanche a fini par rendre les armes, l'oeil fixé sur une autre procédure de confirmation, qui débute aujourd'hui au Sénat : celle de Robert Gates, choisi par Bush pour succéder à Donald Rumsfeld à la tête du Pentagone. Les enjeux en Irak justifient sans doute le sacrifice.

                  Bush renonce à prolonger Bolton à l'ONU

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                  • #24
                    Appointing John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was truly an irony of fate. And now that phase is finally over. The neoconservatives are finished in the United States. It would be interesting to know how Bolton, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld feel today about what they have done in the Middle East:

                    Bye-Bye, Blockheads

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