April 22, 2005

It's Not About Management Style

In case you missed Taranto's BOTW yesterday, don't. For those with bad memories, Taranto points out that Congressional Democrats, almost to a person, opposed the U.N.'s request for assistance in ousting Saddam from Kuwait. So it's not Bolton's unwillingness to just follow the U.N. wherever it leads that they object to. They've done their share of that:

...their real objection to Bolton is ideological, not temperamental: They take issue with his view of the U.N...

...The classic example of the U.S. leading the U.N. was the first Gulf War. In November 1990 the Security Council passed Resolution 678, which authorized member states "to use all necessary means," including military force, to liberate Kuwait, then under occupation by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The resolution also "request[ed] all States to provide appropriate support" to that end.

In January 1991 Congress obliged. The House voted 250-183, with 179 Democrats voting "no," to authorize U.S. military force. The Senate vote was 52-47, with 45 Democrats voting "no." Only 86 House Democrats and 10 Senate Democrats voted in favor...

...So the U.N. gave the thumbs-up for military force and asked for help, and most Democrats balked. Only a handful of lawmakers, including Sen. Jim Jeffords, ex-Sen. Bob Graham, Reps. John Dingell and Jim Leach and a few other House members (along with Al Gore), took what might be considered the consistent pro-U.N. position, supporting the liberation of Kuwait but not Iraq. Most Dems who now pose as champions of the U.N. showed their disdain for the world body by voting to refuse its request for help in 1991.

It seems fair to conclude, then, that most liberal Democrats, like Bolton, are pro-U.N. only when it suits their purposes--and that their purposes are the opposite of Bolton's. That is, for the Democratic left, the U.N. is useful and worthy of respect only insofar as it acts as an obstacle to American leadership and an opponent of American interests.

My excerpts don't do him justice. Read it all.

UPDATE 4/22: Rich Lowry on the Democrat's smear campaign against Bolton.

Posted by dan at April 22, 2005 9:39 AM