Friday, May 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by cdiamico.

Is this the man you want to lead the United States at the UN as Ambassador? Vote in my Mini Poll and let's see together what people think about this nomination.


Blogger johnstorella said...

Before we can know whether Bolton would be a good or bad ambassador to the U.N. we really need to ask what are the U.S.'s goals at the U.N. and, more fundamentally, what is the mission of U.N., how is it doing achieving this mission and do we agree with this mission. To start this discussion, I humbly present the preamble to the U.N. Charter. How are they doing?

"WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS."

9:20 AM  
Blogger Charles Amico said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Charles Amico said...

Salemi 1906, first thank you for supplying part of the UN Charter. It is a useful place to begin. The UN isn't doing well by the definition you sent, in my view. So if you believe the same, it is agreed there needs to be changes there. Not many would argue this point. The real question is does John Bolton have both the skill set and willingness to work with others to change it. It has been my belief that unless you can get others to agree to changes they will not happen. And it is in this area where working together with others is where I feel Bolton misses the mark. We will not be able to dictate the changes. John has the skill set but apparently not the willingness to work with others in a collaborative way to make change happen. He seems more like a bull in a china shop from the testimony before Congress. This is going to need skillful people who have common Goals to make this happen. What do you think?

4:52 PM  
Blogger johnstorella said...

Charles Amico, I agree with your observations on Bolton. But maybe Bush's conclusion is that after the Iraq fiasco in the UN, he's not going to get anything out of them for the next four years, anyway, so he might as well put in a bomb thrower. In that case, does it matter much who is UN ambassador? Having said that, I do think it is important to put someone in the position who puts the best face on U.S. positions and values. I nominate Dick Lugar. He's has lots of foreign policy experience, is near the end of his Senate career, and the Republican governor of Indiana can replace him in the Senate with another Republican till the next election.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Charles Amico said...

Salemi 1906, I agree with you on Senator Lugar. He would make a fine UN Ambassador. Yesterday he was on Meet the Press along with former Senator Sam Nunn, another fine patriot who together are working on trying to get a handle on where all the nuclear material is in the former Soviet Union and account for it so it doesn't get into the hands of extremists. Lugar has been a voice of reason his entire career. I would almost accept any Conservative Republican other than Bolton. Thanks for your comments.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is important to understand that the United Nations is not a single, monolithic thing. Rather, it is the sum of its component parts. And the U.S. is the biggest componenet. Salemi 1906 points this out very well by quoting the Charter, which begins, "We, the peoples of the United Nations...." The correct way to think of the UN can be understood simply by referring to the UN as a plural noun. Instead of saying "the UN is," say "the UN are." That puts you in the right frame of mind.

I also note that the UN was created largely at the instigation of the U.S. It is no accident that the UN charter starts by paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence.

The genius of American diplomacy since 1945 has been to convince other countries to become invested in institutions -- Bretton Woods, NATO, the UN, WTO -- that serve our purposes. Once we do that, we do not need to use muscle to get things we want. Others support our interests because they see a unity with their interests.
When we talk away from these institutions that we created -- and in our own image, at that -- we throw away the leverage that we have built up over decades of effort. The correct response is to become more able at using the institutions we have created to serve our purposes, not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

When the UN was created, it was done so in San Francisco. The treaty which formed the UN is the Treaty of San Francisco. Why? Because Truman's advisors wanted to make sure that all of Europe's political leaders would have to train their way across the vast U.S. to see the power and vibrancy of the new nation while their nations were still smoking ruins. It was a 1945 version of shock and awe. By placing the UN HQ in the heart of Manhattan, we have done the same thing. Each day, each foreign diplomats at the UN must wake up in the greatest city in the world, look around, and recognize what a great nation the U.S. is. And it is their city, too. Why did the world react with such sympathy on September 11? In part, becasue the attack on NYC was an attack on all of them, an attack on the united nations.

We should not squander the great political capital our forefathers have created for us. The "greatest generation" was not great just becasue it won a world war. It was great becasue it built world peace. The UN is an integral part of the structure they created and we throw it away at or own peril.

9:10 AM  
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