The White House released a fact sheet yesterday entitled, “Setting the Record Straight: President Bush’s Foreign Policy Is Succeeding.” The sheet declares not once but four times that the administration “is rallying the world behind its policy,” and claims that “a consensus is building behind the President’s foreign policy approach.”
Actually, U.S. standing in the world has plummeted under the Bush administration, as John Bolton tacitly admitted yesterday. Asked who he would choose as Kofi Annan’s successor at the United Nations, Bolton acknowledged, “If I told you who I thought we thought the best candidate would be, it would probably be the kiss of death for that person.” Watch it:
As Jeffrey Laurenti writes in a new piece for Mother Jones:
It is fair to say that no one has done more to isolate the United States in world councils than Mr. Bolton, who has virtually alone opposed, time and again, the path-breaking reform initiatives that have passed the U.N. since he arrived.
HOST: While we’re on the subject of the performance of the United Nations, I want to read an email from Keith Mason in Georgetown, Texas. Let’s get that up. “Mr. Bolton is terrific.” We’ve buttered you up, here we go. “When are we going to get rid of the toothless tiger Kofi Annan and get someone with some leadership ability” (applause)
BOLTON: The Secretary-General’s term expires on December 31, and what we’re doing — (applause) — what we’re doing now is focusing on finding his successor. We need a strong Secretary-General to help reform the U.N. and we’re very much involved in that selection.
HOST: Who are you thinking?
BOLTON: Well, if I told you who I thought we thought the best candidate would be, it would probably be the kiss of death for that person. … This is a very important decision, in all seriousness. We’ve been working hard on it throughout the year. We hope for an early decision maybe late September.