Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Whining about Bolton

Okay, I've been thinking a bit about the complaints against John Bolton. It seems they all boil down to

1) he hates the UN
2) he reamed out intel analysts who didn't see things quite the way he did

Now, obviously, #1 is an exaggeration. Perhaps John Bolton has a certain disdain for the UN as a feckless, spineless organization prone to corruption. But the oil-for-food scandal, sexual abuse of civilians by UN peacekeepers, and the inability of the UN to keep out thuggish regimes like Syria from its human rights commission are all evidence that the UN, while a key component to American diplomacy, is a deeply flawed one that needs to be treated with a bit of tough love.

Would the Democrats rather have a UN apologist as the Bush-appointed genuflector to the rest of the world, especially when the UN shows itself unable or unwilling to clean up its act.

As for #2, it seems to me that intel analysts who cower in corners and suck their thumbs due to a dressing-down by a political appointee are not fit for the job. And certainly it does reassure me that a political appointee like Bolton concerns himself enough with the nitty-gritty of the policy aspects of the job to voice strong opinions to a subordinate with whom he disagrees.

Obviously if blackmail or strongarming tactics can be proved, that's a different story. But I think the Democratic pattern of finding whiney sniveling bureaucrats who pee their pants at questions from Cheney or Bolton doesn't exactly do much to inspire confidence in our intelligence agencies. Maybe it plays well to the base, but for as many Democrats harumph about Cheney or Bolton allegedly chewing out a poor wittle intel analyst, there are Republicans like me who say "suck it up" and expect our career government workers in intelligence and defense policy to be able to weather the bullshit from any politician, Republican or Democrat.

Quite simply, neither the senior officials of the Bush Administration nor the entrenched careerists in the intelligence community are infallible oracles of geopolitics. There always have been and always will be sharp debate on policy, especially between policy-setting political appointees and policy-executing careerists.