A funny thing may have happened to Bonkers Bolton
on his way to getting Senate confirmation as ambassador to the United Nations.
While Bonkers was busy (a) preventing the UN Security Council from calling
for a temporary lull in the killing of Lebanese civilians by Israelis in "self-defense"
and (b) strong-arming the Security Council into calling on Iran to give up its
IAEA Safeguarded nuclear programs, Joe Lieberman, Bush's favorite Democrat and
arguably the strongest supporter of Israel in the U.S. Senate, went down to
defeat in a Democratic primary election.
Only a few weeks before, Congress had almost unanimously approved a resolution
"condemning Hamas and Hezbollah and their state sponsors" – Syria
and Iran – and "supporting Israel's exercise of its right to self-defense."
According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser,
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had prepared the resolution,
given it to Congress, and told them to pass it.
"The Bush administration is bad enough in tolerating measures they would not
accept anywhere else but Israel," says
Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress and a Middle
East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. "But the Congress, if anything,
is urging the administration on and criticizing them even at their most accommodating.
When it comes to the Israeli-Arab conflict, the terms of debate are so influenced
by organized Jewish groups, like AIPAC, that to be critical of Israel is to
deny oneself the ability to succeed in American politics."
And to be confirmed as ambassador to the United Nations.
So, on the eve of Security Council deliberations earlier this year on what
– if anything – to do with the "Iranian dossier" the Board of Governors of the
International Atomic Energy Agency had improperly sent them, recess-appointment,
apparently unconfirmable Bolton made this outrageous threat:
"This is a real test for the Security Council. There's just no doubt
that for close to 20 years, the Iranians have been pursuing nuclear weapons
through a clandestine program that we've uncovered.
"If the UN Security Council can't deal with the proliferation of nuclear
weapons, can't deal with the greatest threat we have with a country like
Iran – that's one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism – if the Security
Council can't deal with that, you have a real question of what it can deal
Now, as all members of the Security Council knew full well, Bolton was lying.
Or, rather, repeating an Israeli lie. No one, including IAEA inspectors on the
ground, has ever "uncovered" any evidence that the Iranians have been
pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
So, the Security Council essentially remanded the Iranian dossier to the IAEA
But last month, Bolton managed to have brought before the Security Council
the "failure" of the Iranians to accept the terms of the outrageous
demand – made ostensibly on behalf of the European Union – that Iran suspend
immediately and indefinitely all IAEA Safeguarded programs. According to Bolton,
that alleged failure ought to be determined by the Security Council (under Article
39 of the UN Charter) to be a "threat to the peace" in the Mideast.
All the time Bolton was arguing that Iran's refusal to give up its inalienable
rights under the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) constituted
a "threat to the peace," nuke-armed Israel – never an NPT signatory
– was actively engaged in actual wars of aggression in Palestine and in Lebanon.
Nevertheless, by falsely charging
that (a) Iran had been in noncompliance with the NPT and its IAEA Safeguards
Agreement, and that (b) Iran had "consistently and brazenly defied the
international community by continuing its pursuit of nuclear weapons,"
Bolton got the Security Council to pass Resolution
1696, which Bolton falsely claimed required Iran to comply with all
the "requirements" listed in the Iranian IAEA dossier as well as requiring
all UN Member states "to prevent the transfer of resources to Iran's nuclear
and missile programs."
Now, whom do you suppose claims Iran's IAEA Safeguarded nuclear programs and
Iran's ballistic missile programs are threats?
Well, Bush – on behalf of "our allies."
But just as Bolton was accomplishing all this heavy lifting on behalf of "our
allies," Lieberman loses a primary election to Ned Lamont, a political
Too bad Lieberman's defeat didn't come a few weeks earlier.
Congress might not have overwhelming passed the AIPAC resolution.
Bolton might not have prevented an immediate cease-fire in Lebanon.
Bolton might not have gotten UNSCR 1696 passed.
Oh well, maybe it's not too late to prevent Bolton's confirmation.