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Who’s Afraid of John Bolton? By: Patrick Devenny
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, April 13, 2005

President Bush’s nomination of John Bolton for the position of U.S. ambassador to the UN has stirred up controversy in all the right places.  From the Los Angeles Times, which opined breathlessly that the President’s international efforts had suffered a “severe setback,” to the New York Times, which chastised Mr. Bush for spending his political capital on a “long time critic of multilateralism,” the President’s usual detractors are pulling no punches. Taking his cue from the liberal press, Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) also expressed his deep disappointment over the nomination, citing Mr. Bolton’s actions as being responsible for what he described as the “needless confrontations with the rest of the world” during Bush’s first term.

But the liberal media and political establishments weren’t the only segments of the political left that were outraged by Bush’s choice.  In a letter sent to Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 59 former diplomats and ambassadors voiced their opposition to Bolton’s nomination.  This group of former State Department hands left no irrational stone unturned, blaming Mr. Bolton for everything from the increased flow of small arms to developing countries to allowing the “weaponization” of space. 

Eager to delay or derail at least one Bush nominee, the pundits and the press immediately embraced the inaccurate dispatch, regarding it as proof that “real” diplomats were against the idea of Mr. Bolton at the UN.  Even better in the eyes of the press was the apparently bi-partisan nature of the signatories.  After all, 46 of the diplomats had served at least part of their careers under Republican presidents, making them obvious Republican stalwarts in the minds of the media.  The truth is, of course, very different.  The opponents of Mr. Bolton actually represent a highly organized and well-funded leftist coalition of disaffected proponents of world government allied with embittered ex-diplomats.


Among the more prominent signatories of the anti-Bolton letter is Arthur Hartman, former ambassador to France and the Soviet Union under Presidents Carter and Reagan.  In recent years, however, the celebrated “bi-partisan” statesman has seen fit to join forces with the likes of George Soros, who compared the Bush administration to the Nazis and famously declared, “America, under Bush, is a danger to the world.”  One such initiative that brought Hartman and Soros together was the creation of the “Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change” organization, a pro-Kerry front which regularly espoused pronouncements such as “George W. Bush and his team have succeeded in making our country and our people less safe.”  In September 2004, Hartman moderated a press conference featuring Soros and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, in which all three men questioned President Bush’s ability to govern.  Hartman was particularly enthusiastic at the prospect of working further with Soros, stating “we (the DMCC) are thrilled to join George Soros in this effort.”  Hartman also serves on the board of trustees of the Open Russia Foundation, an organization created by jailed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky with links to Soros’ Open Society Institute.  In addition to his political efforts, Hartman has aided several organizations and candidates financially, with personal contributions going to the DMCC, the DNC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Al Gore, and, rather interestingly, Senator Lugar.


Another DMCC alumnus who included his name on the Bolton letter is Princeton Lyman, a veteran diplomat who served under various presidents including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  Lyman was also Executive Director for the Apsen Institute’s Global Interdependence Initiative, a project that seeks to increase American involvement in the UN.  In a recent interview, Mr. Lyman pointed out how unusual his participation in the DMCC was, given his reticence to become involved politically.  This reluctance, however, did not stop the former undersecretary of state from donating thousands of dollars to the DNC over the last few years.  And Lyman is not the only signatory who has helped fund the DMCC effort—former ambassadors such as DMCC members and anti-Bolton letter signatories Willard Dupree and Donald Easum also contributed to the anti-Bush effort with thousands of dollars of their own funds.


The effort against John Bolton is not confined to DMCC leaders.  Former ambassador Robert Keeney, a fierce critic of Israel who stated that the 1948 War for Independence “caused hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians to become refugees as they were forced out or fled in terror,” has poured hundreds of dollars into various democratic campaign coffers.  Former diplomat John Dean has also done his part, contributing to democratic campaigns while working at the far left non-profit group Union of Concerned Scientists.  Even former officials such as Carleton Coon and David Rhinelander, who worked exclusively for Republican presidents, have funded groups such as Moveon.org and the Howard Dean for President Campaign.  Reagan era ambassador Dennis Kux gave hundreds of dollars to extreme environmental groups as well as to the campaign of Congressman Jim Moran, who once suggested, “If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this.”  Moreover, Former Secretary of the Army and Clinton era ambassador Stanely Resor has donated over $20,000 dollars to various Democratic campaigns and organizations in just the past 5 years.  It’s obvious that this collection of former diplomatic officials is hardly an apolitical faction; they are instead a set of veteran political heavyweights with a far left agenda.


In addition to the anti-Bolton campaign waged by the former diplomats, opposition has come from an advocacy group called Citizens for Global Solutions.  Their “Stop Bolton” campaign has spawned both a website and a series of television commercials targeted at key congressional districts.  The website is replete with alarmist rhetoric, deeming Mr. Bolton a “disastrous choice” to represent the US at the UN.  On April 4th, CGS President Charlie J. Brown, along with representatives from Soros’ Open Society Institute, gathered at a press conference to denounce Bolton as, among other things, a “a one-man death squad for arms control and disarmament.”  CGS vice president Heather Hamilton went even further, calling Bolton the “Armageddon nominee.”


But what exactly is Citizens for Global Solutions, and what does it stand for besides the defamation of Mr. Bolton?


CGS was not CGS until 2004, when the World Federalist Association decided to change its name.  The WFA was created in 1947 and had, as its stated goals, the end of national sovereignty, an imposition of an international income tax, and the rise of a UN-style, fully empowered world government.  Only then, the WFA suggested, could the issues of war, human rights, and social justice be fully addressed.  Internationalist luminaries such as Walter Cronkite and Ted Turner have lobbied on the group’s behalf in various public forums.  The WFA was also one of the key proponents of the International Criminal Court, an institution that would have subjected American soldiers to prosecution for vaguely defined war crimes, had it been ratified. 


After a 57-year history of radical and illogical advocacy, the WFA changed its name to the softer CGS designation. The language of the WFA changed along with its name, with its website being wiped clean of the hard edge oratory of the past.  Now, CGS purports to stand for a “world in which nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms.”  Their PR skills have come a long way, but considering the tone of their campaign against John Bolton, their core ideology has not. 


It is often said that you can judge a man by his enemies.  This axiom certainly holds true with regard to John Bolton, who currently faces venomous opposition from a collection of extreme leftist internationalists and liberal ex-ambassadors with an admittedly anti-Bush agenda.  The nature of the opposition should serve to convince Americans that Mr. Bolton is fully qualified to be America’s ambassador to the United Nations.  His honest and forceful critiques concerning the UN are exactly what the international body now needs, given its recent failures with regard to official corruption and human rights abuses.  John Bolton is a proven diplomat with a track record of upholding American sovereignty and national security in the face of strident internationalist opposition.  He is clearly the right man for the job.

Patrick Devenny is the Henry M. Jackson National Security Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington D.C.

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