Wednesday, April 20, 2005

"My Conscience Got Me"

Now there's quote you don't hear everyday from an elected official. But apparently, after actually listening to his colleagues across the aisle (who knew they could do that?), the Republican Senator George Voinovich of Ohio decided he couldn't vote to approve John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations.

What was it that Senator Voinovich found troubling about the diplomat Bolton? Well, among other things, seems he didn't like hearing that when Bolton was in Moscow in 1994, he routinely "pounded on the door and shouted threats" to a female contract worker for the Agency for International Development at her hotel room because she had criticized one of Mr. Bolton's clients as inefficient.

But otherwise, this Bolton guy seems like a model of diplomacy. He's joked that if the UN Building lost 10 stories, no one would notice. He's tried to get State Department people reassigned when they don't agree with him. And he's said that if he were making the Security Council today, he'd only have one permanent member because that was the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world today. If those things don't shout "diplomat" to you, well, I bet Bolton would have some pretty spicy words to yell in your direction.


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