AFTER THROWING DON RUMSFELD OVERBOARD after the midterm elections, the signs indicate UN Ambassador John Bolton may be the next to go. A Congress dedicated to micro-managing the president’s foreign policy has indicated Bolton will not enjoy its support. However, its emerging bipartisan antiwar bloc has a suggestion.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-OR, and Jim Walsh, R-NY, circulated a letter on Tuesday urging "consideration of our friend and colleague Jim Leach as the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations." Superficially, Leach has the requisite experience. He worked as a foreign service officer and in the United Nations before serving on the International Relations Committee. Like Defense Director nominee Robert Gates, Leach even has the all-important Bush family ties, having served under George H.W. Bush while Poppy was Nixon’s UN ambassador. A Leach staffer has said the UN appointment would be "of intense interest to him." Reportedly, the motion has been supported by Reps. Jim Marshall, D-GA, and Chris Shays, R-CT, the latter of whom made headlines in his re-election by favoring a timetable for withdrawal. A Leach nomination has already made waves on The Huffington Post and other leftist websites.
For good reason. Jim Leach has been a vocal advocate of retreat, appeasement, disarmament, and increasing the power and authority of the United Nations. He supports immediate troop withdrawals from Iraq, "carrots" for Iran, "commercial ties" with North Korea, a global test on the exercise of American military power, and submitting to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Leach demonstrates the philosophical underpinnings most important to leftist diplomats: weakness and paralysis in the face of evil. Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in 2004, he preemptively endorsed what John Kerry would call the "global test" on American sovereignty:
America was established with an appeal to "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind." If the gospels according to Tenet and Wolfowitz are uncompelling to world audiences, the only "slam dunk" conclusion is that they should be put on a discount shelf.
Such a disposition has gotten Leach positive ink in the far-Left Nation magazine, which quoted him thus: "Our policy response is an entirely parochial one, rooted in the so-called doctrine of American exceptionalism, which neocons do not define as refining a shining city on a Hill but as the right of a superpower to place itself above the legal and institutional restraints applied to others. In the neocon world, values are synonymous with power."
Despite his rhetorical allusion, he threw similar barbs at President Reagan in the 1980s. When Reagan pulled America out of the World Court, Leach testified on the House floor that rejection of the "compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice is deeply troubling for a society committed to the rule of law." Reagan’s decision, he fumed, "lowers the United States to the level of international scofflaw."
He registered his complaint as a member of Parliamentarians for Global Action (then known as Parliamentarians for World Order), a group, closely affiliated with the World Federalist Movement. At the time, PWO lobbied "second power nations" to mitigate against Reagan’s foreign policy, pressuring the United States to resume negotiations with the Soviets. Of course, it was partly the Reagan arms buildup (and partly Reagan’s steely determination, and partly the merciful deaths of more despotic Soviet premiers) that made eventual negotiations fruitful and ended the Cold War. Nonetheless, Leach remains a PGA member alongside Congressional colleagues like Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Tom Harkin, Barney Frank, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Greg Meeks. (Kucinich, in fact, urged PGA members – foreign elected officials – to make their opposition to the Iraq War known to the U.S. government.)
Twenty years later, Leach still opposes President Bush’s use of Reaganesque rhetoric.
Evil exists in the world, but to label countries "evil" evokes religious contrasts and creates a basis for exactly what we don’t want to occur—a clash of the Judeo-Christian and Muslim civilizations. Individuals can be evil; so can deeds; but countries are composed of many people, the vast majority of whom want nothing more than peace...Deadly pride can too easily lead to deadly words which can have deadly consequences.
In other words, the same stale line that Bush's rhetoric, and not tyrannical provocations, are destabilizing the world.
In the same CFR speech, Leach stated Iraq "could be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our history." Although he voted for the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998, he voted against Congressional authorization for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002 and has been a steady critic. In March 2004, he voted against H.R. 557, which "commends the members of the United States Armed Forces and Coalition forces for liberating Iraq and expresses its gratitude for their valiant service," as well as hailing the Iraqi people’s courage for voting, and stating the world is safer with the removal of Saddam Hussein. In June, he voted against H.R. 861, a bill "Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary" and opposing setting deadlines for troop withdrawals in Iraq. This fall, with Shays, he became one of the few Republicans to call for "redeployment." Debating Democratic challenger Dave Loebsack last month, Leach called for "a steady drawdown" of troops which "should commence immediately." (It did him little good; the political science professor defeated him, arguing, "I do believe that if we get a Democratic majority, we can go some distance in making this happen.")
On Iran, too, he counsels patience and understanding for the nuclear mullahs – and cash. "The only logical alternative is to consider advancing carrots" and "increase our dialogue with this very difficult government." Iran should declare "a Persian Gulf nuclear-free zone" – that is, solemnly promise it has turned its back on nuclear weapons – and "In return, America could offer not only normalization of relations in trade but the prospect of a free trade agreement and expanded country-to-country cultural ties with Iran." Attacking Iran’s nuclear program could precipitate "a new level of hostility against the U.S. and Israel in Iran and the rest of the Muslim world that could continue for decades, if not centuries." (Mr. Leach has apparently dozed through the last 27 years of Iranian history.) If anything, this predicament is the fault of the West. Iran is "prepared to cease support to anti-Israeli terrorist groups the moment a Palestinian state was established with borders acceptable to Palestinians."Besides, "Nation-states that are attacked may feel they have little option except to ally themselves with terrorist groups to advance national interests." And we are hypocrites who should institute the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty.
In response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test, he suggested America...embrace the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We should also " pursue bilateral discussions." Even when speaking forthrightly about the nation’s abysmal human rights conditions, he condemns "strategies to provoke regime collapse." "The problem with rhetorical saber-rattling," he said, "is the implication that one might follow through with actual saber-slicing." Instead, he wants "general commercial ties" with Kim Jong-il.
However, he is not intractably opposed to the president’s foreign policy. He approved when Bush dispatched him to Taiwan with instructions to stop clamoring for independence from Red China. Leach scolded Taiwan to embrace the inherent lie of the "One China" policy.
His voting record on foreign policy has long betrayed his leftist views. Jim Leach has:
- voted against cutting our share of UN dues and preventing U.S. troops from serving under UN command;
- voted in favor of funding UNESCO propaganda;
- regularly given his support to lifting the economic embargo of Cuba;
- consistently voted to close the School of the Americas;
- opposed the U.S. nuclear alliance with democratic India;
- voted against deterring arms shipments to Red China;
- opposed closer military and diplomatic relations with Taiwan;
- supported extending trade privileges to Communist Vietnam; and
- didn’t even object to President Clinton being received by Chinese Communists in Tiananmen Square in 1998, the scene of a horrific massacre nine years before.
The Left also admires Leach for hamstringing our homeland security. He helped eliminate Patriot Act provisions allowing federal agents to inspect the library records – of terrorists. He was one of only nine congressmen to vote against the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2004, withholding more than $400 million in funds for intelligence agencies investigating terrorism, because the bill gave the CIA increased authority to investigate terrorists’s financial dealings. He voted to end the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping of al-Qaeda assets in the United States. And he became one of just seven Republicans to vote against the Military Commissions Act, which gave the president a constitutional framework to try Guantanamo Bay detainees.
On domestic matters, too, Leach is well to the Left of the nation. Leach’s 2005 American Conservative Union rating was lower than Jack Murtha’s. Incredibly, he voted against a ban on human cloning. He is the only Republican to vote against the president’s 2003 tax cuts. He has also:
In other words, leftists love Leach, because he shares their views on the most profound questions facing this nation and the world – not to mention any UN ambassador. Noting his opposition to the Iraq war, Blumenauer said, "This is a time of reassessment, re-evaluation" (e.g,, a time when the Left is counseling surrender); thus, "I would think Jim's qualifications would actually help."
It would certainly help us lose the war.
John Bolton has proven his effectiveness at standing up for American interests at the world body. He is responsible for such tiny steps as the UN has made toward condemning the most threatening specter haunting peace on earth. He led the way on the resolution condemning North Korea’s missile tests and has been an outspoken critic of UN nonfeasance on Iran. He spared us the farce of endorsing the Human Rights Council, which promptly elected Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia. And he has spearheaded the most necessary internal action a United Nations could take following the Oil-for-Food scandal, capping the UN budget until real reforms are enacted.
Personnel is policy. John Bolton is good policy, and Jim Leach is failure, a resignation to the protracted and pointless rounds of protracted and pointless meetings that mask our antagonists’s true intentions in a veneer of "dialogue" and buy them needed time to bring their fevered dreams to reality.
In the furor of Democratic opposition, John Bolton’s good service may soon come to an end. If so, let the president appoint a man who unapologetically represents his views, even if it means another recess appointment. Norm Coleman would be a prime choice, if the president did not fear relinquishing a Republican senate seat in a very blue state. Others may also fit. One name comes to mind as a person strong enough to unwaveringly represent American interests, mince no words with dictators, force change on the corrupt institution, and convincingly hold out the threat of repercussions over globalist bureaucrats.
Jesse Helms, your country needs you.