Sunday :: Jun 5, 2005

Bully-boy Bolton Strikes Again

by Mary

Despite the fact that Senator Joe Biden was seen giving up the Bolton fight on the Sunday talk shows, there was new information about why John Bolton should make Republican Senators who don't believe we can go it completely alone take pause. And the new information makes it clear that Bolton was actively sabotaging the UN to make sure that Bush could get his Iraq war on.

John Bolton flew to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand that he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a United Nations tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.

A former Bolton deputy says the U.S. undersecretary of state felt Jose Bustani "had to go," particularly because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.

Bustani, a senior official under the UN umbrella who says he got a call from Bolton "in a menacing tone," was removed by a vote of just one-third of member nations at an unusual special session of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, at which the United States cited alleged mismanagement in calling for his ouster.

So when did this happen? Well, it turns out it happened in April 2002, long before the drums were actively beating for war. (Remember, you don't launch a new product in the summer.) In May 2002, Ian Williams documented Bolton's "firing" Bustani.

A few days later, on April 22, U.S. hawks succeeded in deposing Jose Mauricio Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an agency created as part of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The agency arranges regular inspections of member countries’ facilities to ensure that no one is cheating. Bustani, a Brazilian, has headed it from its creation five years ago, and his inspectors have carried out 1,100 inspections in more than 50 nations. In that time, the OPCW has overseen the destruction of 2 million chemical weapons and two-thirds of the world’s chemical weapons facilities.

But since the beginning of the year, the United States has treated Bustani as if he were some type of bureaucratic bin Laden. Bush administration officials accused him of “ongoing financial mismanagement, demoralization of the Technical Secretariat staff, and ill-considered initiatives.” Just last year, he was re-elected unanimously, with plaudits from Colin Powell. Moreover, his staff has pointed out that the organization’s finances and management were controlled not by Bustani, but by a U.S. government appointee.

So what changed? Not Bustani, but Washington. His main persecutor was John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Bolton earned his right-wing credentials as the in-house U.N.-basher for the Heritage Foundation. But his anti-U.N. convictions have never stopped him from taking money from the organization. Most recently he served as assistant to former Secretary of State James Baker on the failed Western Sahara mission. And while arguing that the United States should abandon the United Nations, according to The Nation, Bolton simultaneously advised the Taiwanese government on how it could get in.

Remember that this was almost a year before the invasion of Iraq, and then ask yourself, how certain are you that the attack on Syria or Iran has been taken off the table? These snakes do not give up. If they are set back on one front, they will search for another route, and another.

So what does a John Bolton ambassadorship to the UN mean? According to Scott Ritter, getting John Bolton into the UN is a key piece to making it possible to take the war to Iran next.

The American media today is sleepwalking towards an American war with Iran Economic sanctions and military attacks are not one and the same. Unless, of course, the architect of America's Iran policy never intends to give sanctions a chance.

Enter John Bolton, who, as the former US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security for the Bush administration, is responsible for drafting the current US policy towards Iran.

In February 2004, Bolton threw down the gauntlet by stating that Iran had a 'secret nuclear weapons programme' that was unknown to the IAEA. 'There is no doubt that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons production programme', Bolton said, without providing any source to back up his assertions.

...John Bolton believes that Iran should be isolated by United Nations sanctions and, if Iran will not back down from its nuclear programme, confronted with the threat of military action.

And as the Bush administration has noted in the past, particularly in the case of Iraq, such threat must be real and meaningful, and backed by the will and determination to use it.

And the Bush administration's push for UN sanctions shows every intention of making such sanctions deep, painful and long-lasting. John Bolton and others in the Bush administration contend that, despite the lack of proof, Iran's nuclear intentions are obvious.

[Ed: remember that Saddam let the arms inspectors into the country AND declared that Iraq did not have any WMD. Which today we know to be true. What is your guess on how reliable Bolton's claims on Iran are today? Are you really willing to take the chance that he is wrong?]

...But, based upon history, precedent, and personalities, the intent of the United States regarding Iran is crystal clear: the Bush administration intends to bomb Iran.

Whether this attack takes place in June 2005, when the Pentagon has been instructed to be ready, or at a later date, once all other preparations have been made, is really the only question that remains to be answered.

That, and whether the journalists who populate the mainstream American media will continue to sleepwalk on their way to facilitating yet another disaster in the Middle East.

And you might add the US Senators to those who will be accountable as they have the responsibility to "advise and consent" on the nominations Bush puts forward. If the Republican Senators approve Bolton and the Bush administration does what it shows every sign of doing, they will have certainly share with Bush the bloody hands and disaster we will have if Bush forces another war.

Mary :: 11:10 PM :: Comments (13) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!