By Matthew Rothschild on August 06, 2005
John Bolton: Ugly Face on Ugly Policy
By Matthew Rothschild

August 1, 2005

Bush has now gone and given John Bolton a recess appointment as US ambassador to the United Nations.

So be it.

At least now there’s an ugly face on an ugly policy.

Bolton represents, in his bullying personality, the bullying approach that so typifies Bush’s manner in the world.

Bolton represents, in his false testimony to the Senate, the deceitfulness that is the trademark of this crowd.

Bolton swore to provide “true and accurate” information to the Senate in response to their written questions. He failed to do so. He denied that he had ever testified to a grand jury or had been interviewed by federal investigators in the last five years.

But, as Senator Joe Biden found out, Bolton had, in fact been interviewed by federal investigators.

“It has just come to my attention that then-Undersecretary of State John Bolton was interviewed on July 18, 2003, by the State Department Office of the Inspector General in connection with a Joint State Department/CI IG investigation related to the alleged Iraqi attempts to procure uranium from Niger,” Biden wrote in a July 28 letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “It now appears that Mr. Bolton’s answers may not meet that standard” of true and accurate, his letter said.

But this didn’t deter Bush. State Department spokesman Noel Clay admitted that Bolton had testified incorrectly. “He didn’t recall being interviewed by the State Department’s inspector general,” Clay said, according to AP. “Therefore, his form, as submitted, was inaccurate. He will correct it.”

Actually, nothing deterred Bush.

Not Bolton’s “kiss-up, kick-down” treatment of fellow employees.

Not his blunderbuss approach to North Korea, Syria, and Cuba.

Not his lobbying for the government of Taiwan, even though U.S. relations with China over Taiwan are bound to heat up.

Not his hostility to the United Nations itself, his comment that the United States should not pay its arrears, and that there should only be one permanent member of the United Nations—and that’s the United States.

Not even the courageous criticism made by Ohio Republican Senator George Voinovich could budge Bush from his obstinate path.

The decision to go forward with the Bolton appointment, without Senate approval and despite his demonstrable, monumental lack of qualifications, is the Bush-Cheney way.

It’s macho, in your face, unilateral, we don’t give a damn, we’re doing it our way, and if you don’t like it, tough.

That’s the style that got the United States into Iraq and into the torture scandal.

And that same style will now be on display for 18 months in the detestable person of John Bolton.

This is the America of George Bush.

Let the world, and the citizens of this country, see it for what it is.

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I’m at my third American Exchange Legislative Council (ALEC) conference, this time in Dallas, and on my first day,...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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