ZNet | Central America & Caribbean
Bolton The Destroyer
by Jane Franklin; Sunday, April 03, 2005
John Bolton has been nominated by President Bush as ambassador to the United Nations despite the fact that Bolton has repeatedly expressed contempt for the UN, including, "There is no such thing as the United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only power in the world and that is the United States when it suits our interest and when we can get others to go along." Diplomats from around the world are astounded at his nomination.
For Cuba, Bolton is an especially threatening choice because he led the campaign to convince the world that Cuba's health system is a cover for bioterrorism. The continuation of a policy aimed at destroying Cuba's health system depends upon keeping the people of the United States in a state of ignorance. This is where experts in lies and disinformation come in. In May 2002 just six days before former President Jimmy Carter was to fly to Havana, John Bolton announced, "The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort." Bolton's disinformation was broadcast worldwide.
But Jimmy Carter did not cancel his visit, and during his tour of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana with Fidel Castro, he made his own announcement: that during briefings before his visit, he asked the White House, the CIA and Bolton's own State Department if there were any "possible terrorist activities that were supported by Cuba" and the answer was "No."
But President Bush does not need evidence. Outright lies have become a cornerstone of his administration, even leading to the disastrous war in Iraq. Drunk with power, Bush, at every opportunity, is placing right-wing fanatics into powerful positions to create an empire for what they call the New American Century, where what is good for them is good for the world.
It follows that the one institution that represents the world's various countries--the United Nations--must be reformed. The many voices at the UN must become one voice. John Bolton is just the man to orchestrate that campaign. Take a look at his qualifications.
As a teenager he worked in the 1964 presidential campaign of right-winger Barry Goldwater. After law school at Yale, he became an Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Edwin Meese, opposing Congressional efforts to investigate the Justice Department's role in the Iran-Contra Affair. He linked up with right-wing Senator Jesse Helms and worked on a campaign to oppose a voter registration drive for Blacks and organized labor.
In the year 2000, Bolton was a member of the legal team that flew to Florida after the Florida State
Supreme Court ordered a recount of the votes for president. That legal team insured the Supreme Court selection of Bush as president. After the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the recount, Bolton entered a Tallahassee library where the count was still going on and declared, "I'm with the Bush-Cheney team, and I'm here to stop the count."
This led straight to his being chosen as Deputy Secretary of State for Disarmament Affairs and International Security. In that job, Bolton has aimed at disarming other nations while arming the United States for War Without End. After all, Senator Helms did say that Bolton is "the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon."
Bolton led the U.S. withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, opening the heavens for Star Wars. He successfully opposed Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, opening the door for the testing of a new generation of nuclear weapons. Last year when Bush withdrew the U.S. signature from the International Criminal Court agreement that President Clinton had signed, Bolton signed the formal notification to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and called that "the happiest moment" in his government service.
So if Bolton is confirmed as UN Ambassador, what kind of destructive thing will he enjoy doing to Cuba? Cuba has always been elected to be a member of the UN Human Rights Commission, and this year the Latin American and Caribbean group elected Cuba to represent them on the Standing Committee--that is, the decision- making committee--of the Human Rights Commission, a striking rejection of U.S. attempts to isolate Cuba. One of John Bolton's priorities would certainly be to try to change the rules of the Human Rights Commission, allowing maneuvers to exclude Cuba, making it easier to use the Commission as a weapon against Cuba.
Historian Jane Franklin is the author of Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History.
E-mail Jane Franklin: email@example.com