The Reviews Are In: John Bolton Is Failing At the United Nations

Last year, Sen. George Voinovich eloquently made the case against the nomination of John Bolton, stating, “I’m afraid that his confirmation will tell the world that we’re not dedicated to repairing our relationship or working as a team.” Voinovich now intends to support Bolton, but his original concerns turned out to be well-founded.

In just over a year at the U.N., Bolton has managed to offend many U.S. friends and allies, demonstrating that he’s an ineffective diplomat:

Greece’s U.N. Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis: “He is not an easy man to get close to. “¦ Some people have the possibility to build consensus. Others operate in other ways.”

Algeria’s U.N. Ambassador Abdullah Baali, after a disagreement with Bolton: “The U.S. stand that ‘you take it or you leave it is not helping the Security Council, and is not helping the cause of peace in the Middle East.'”

Peru’s U.N. Ambassador Oswaldo de Rivero: “He lives in another world, with this belief that he is morally superior and the U.S. is more moral than all the countries around the world. It is a pity.”

Michael Doyle, former special adviser to Kofi Annan: “Sometimes he [states U.S. policy] in a manner that is grating. But it is the policy that is most of the problem, even though the personality doesn’t help.”

An ambassador with close ties to the Bush administration: “My initial feeling was, let’s see if we can work with him, and I have done some things to push for consensus on issues that were not easy for my country. “¦ But all he gives us in return is, ‘It doesn’t matter, whatever you do is insufficient.’ “¦ He’s lost me as an ally now, and that’s what many other ambassadors who consider themselves friends of the U.S. are saying.”

A European diplomat: “A lot of us wonder what his real agenda is. First, we think maybe he wants things to fail because then he can say, ‘We cannot reform this place.’ The other question is, does he really reflect the position in Washington? That is always the question: Is it Bolton or is it Washington?”

But Bolton is undeterred by all the criticism, claiming to have the support of New York City cab drivers and ordinary people on the street. “Hey Ambassador Bolton, you’re doing a great job,” Bolton claims they tell him. “Give ’em hell.”