Bolton Bullets from Both Barrels

Scripps-Howard News Service 5.08.02
Balint Vazsonyi

If anyone is still wondering about America's narrow escape in December 2000, confirmation was delivered on Tuesday at the Heritage Foundation. The Honorable John R. Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, delivered a major address about U.S. foreign policy.

Had Al Gore been elected president, we would now be fighting global warming, while our people, cities, country stand defenseless against attackers who may come from any corner of the world. Eight years of Clinton/Gore ought to be sufficient evidence for most. No George W. Bush in the White House - no John R. Bolton at the State Department.

Easy it was not. During the Clinton years, Mr. Bolton made certain everyone knew where he stood on every issue. His stock at the United Nations was such that when the president considered him for the post of Permanent U.S. Representative at the U.N., rumor has it the organization threatened to abandon its headquarters in New York.

It bought them some time, but not much.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bolton fired a shot across the bow of Fidel Castro's Cuba, and a full broadside at the United Nations' latest effort to destabilize the world.

The speech was all about weapons of mass destruction, reaffirming what the president already explained in his State of the Union address about the "axis of evil." Details were presented about the programs operated, and results achieved, by Iraq, North Korea, and Iran.

Special attention was drawn to Iran's very dangerous level of readiness to deploy weapons of mass destruction, and Russia's incomprehensible furtherance of such readiness. As Mr. Bolton remarked, it boggles the mind that Russia would see some advantage in aiding and abetting such a development on its own Southern flank. Apparently, he recently and publicly asked in Moscow if someone could explain what possible interest Russia has in the matter. He is still waiting for a reply.

The speech then proceeded to its main theme, the identification of three additional countries who, in defiance of their own treaty obligations, produce and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Two of these, Libya and Syria, will surprise no one unduly and, at this juncture, they have merely been invited to demonstrate adherence to the treaties, with a warning that actions - rather than words - will be closely monitored.

But the real meat of the event was a disclosure of Cuba's substantial biological weapons' capability. And it was accompanied by an undisguised expression of the Bush Administration's intention to meet this threat, and all other threats, in any way necessary.

Cuba, of course, is a mere 90 miles from our shores. The proposed International Criminal Court, on the other hand, was going to operate right in our midst.

Not any more.

Following his speech, the audience was treated to the reading of a terse letter John Bolton sent that same morning to Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations. In it, the United States serves notice of its decision to disregard the signature insinuated on December 31, 2000, by outgoing president William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, and not to be a party to the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court.

Words may be inadequate to impart the significance of this close escape. The intent behind the International Criminal Court has been the subordination of America's citizens, and America's courts to a body made up of countries mostly lacking anything you and I would call "law." Even continental Europe, yes, Western Europe, operates a legal system to which no self-respecting person in the English-speaking world would submit.

The English-based legal system of the United States is unique.

"My home is my castle," "innocent until proven guilty," "a jury of your peers" - these are protections not even the citizens of France, Italy or Germany enjoy. And they think of themselves as nations of laws. Bodies constituted by the United Nations, by definition and necessity, include countries whose leaders never even considered a concept of law.

And Bill Clinton moved to subjugate every one of us to such a body.

And Al Gore's State Department, we can be certain, would have done nothing to change that.

How long could the world remain stable if representatives of, say, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya, Syria and Fidel Castro's Cuba sat in judgement of American citizens?

Before his current appointment, John Bolton proposed that one "unsigning" could well lead to a whole series of them. Plenty of treaties are as yet unratified by the U.S. Senate.

Let's get that show on the road.