Thursday, December 15, 2005

Am I dreaming this?

The American Prospect has posted an article about John Bolton's first 100 days in office. It is clear that everything people opposed to Bolton's nomination said would occur is coming to pass. The article details Boltons successful campaign to derail reform at the U.N. , a legitimate process that would have implemented real changes. Naturally, countries hostile to the U.S. such as Cuba, Iran, and Venezuela have benefited from Bolton ruining the process.

My favorite part though, is how it is has become crystal clear that part of Boltons mission, no doubt on behalf of VP Cheney and SecDef Rumsfeld, is to subvert and undermine Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice at every opportunity. Check this:

Rice’s involvement came after Bolton had won round one in the Syria battle. Bolton and Rice’s bureaucratic tiffs over Syria had actually boiled over two weeks prior to the Security Council vote. Journalist Ibrahim Hamidi, writing in the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, reported -- and the Prospect has independently confirmed -- that Bolton had leaked to British newspapers that the Bush administration had signaled its willingness to offer Syria a “Libya-style deal” -- a reference to Libyan President Muammar Quaddafi’s decision last year to give up pursuing weapons of mass destruction and renounce terrorism in return for a restoration of relations with the United States and the United Kingdom. According to The Times of London, Syria responded positively to the secret U.S. offer, which was made through a third party. But after Bolton publicly aired the details of the potential deal -- which would require Syria to cooperate with the Mehlis investigation, end interference in Lebanese affairs and alleged interference in Iraqi affairs, and cease supporting militant groups like Hamas and Hezbollah—Damascus quickly denied that such a deal was in the offing.

“It is no secret that Mr. Bolton and Dr. Rice are not the closest friends,” a well-placed UN official told the Prospect. “Indeed, I’ve heard it said that the main reason he came here was that she didn’t want him in Foggy Bottom.” The animosity between the two is, in fact, well established, as they locked horns on Iran. On April 18, 2005, The Washington Post reported that Bolton let Rice go on her first trip to Europe as secretary of state without briefing her on European opposition to his one-man campaign to seek the ouster of the International Atomic Energy Agency Chief Mohammed ElBaradei. ElBaradei was a popular diplomat -- and would later win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work -- but Bolton thought ElBaradei was too “soft” on Iran.

Now, bureaucratic infighting is a refined art in Washington, but this is of a completely different order. Bolton is Rice's subordinate, yet look at the effort she has to put out to neutralize him on important negotiations. And consider what a bunch of worthless clowns the U.S. looks like to our most critical allies when, as the article details, Rice has to send THREE minders to ensure Bolton doesn't fuck everything up at a public event. Let's think about that: The State Department cannot trust the U.N. Ambassador from ruining critical negotiatons without adult supervision.

Now it was clear to us here at the Wire what Bolton's mission was, but he has made no effort to hide it now that he has his interim appointment. And that mission has a few objectives, among them clearly are to undermine the United Nations at every opportunity, sabotage any effort at reform that could result in improving its legitimacy, use his unique positon near the center of American diplomacy to subvert any action by Condi Rice and her fellow travelers in the Administration by any means possible. Those are just a few of the obvious ones.

This is absurd. Top diplomats of the U.S Government are engaged in open warfare with each other, sabotaging each other to advance their own agenda's, and making it impossible to establish a functional, working relationship with virtually anyone else in the world, most importantly our most important and closest allies. Our enemies are clearly taking advantage of this to advance their own agenda, as the Prospect article clearly lays out.

The Bush Administration transcends any previously held notion of what is bad government. This isn't just bad policies being advanced by losers and flunkies. This is patheticly stupid behavior that is undermining the stated goals of the administration, to combat international terror groups and rogue states. Diplomacy, forging alliance, establishing international norms are a part of that. But to Bolton and the people pulling his strings, those are just obstacles to blown up or undermined. It is obtuseness and myopic behavior on an unprecedented scale. What the fuck is going on with these people? And can someone explain to me exactly why the President appoints Condi Rice to the State job, and then appoints Bolton and allows him to undermine Rice? What is the fucking point of doing that? What good does it do to have your foreign policy a running tragicomedy when you have over 130,000 combat troops engaged in a bloody mess in Iraq, and you are trying to fight a war against international terror?

Just wake me when the nightmare is over.

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