View without photos
View with photos

Steamroller Bolton at the U.N.
by Mike Whitney    Information Clearing House
Entered into the database on Thursday, March 09th, 2006 @ 15:42:48 MST


Untitled Document

Watching John Bolton bulldoze the United Nations is mesmerizing. In a matter of months, he’s savaged the system that distributes power more equitably and transformed the institution into a fiefdom for western elites and American corporations. Under the banner of “reform”, the blustery Bolton has coerced a number of changes that will forever alter the composition of the UN; removing the institution’s last vestiges of international legitimacy.

In a year or so the United Nations will be just another American NGO doing the bidding of the world’s multinational corporations. That’s good news for Bolton and his friends at the American Enterprise Institute, the ideological headquarters for America’s ongoing incursions into the third world.

By enlisting Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bolton has advanced an agenda for “radical reform” including “more financial oversight, simplified hiring and reporting procedures, staff buyouts, and a modern information system.” (Al Jazeera) The intention is to staff the organization with like-minded people from the business and banking establishment who will cater to the needs of their corporate overlords. This will allow funds to be siphoned off to the usual suspects (Halliburton, Bechtel, Flour etc) who continue their relentless colonization of the developing world.

The New York Times has played a pivotal role in hyping the reform-project. Staff writer, Warren Hoge, has done most of the heavy-lifting (although he was assisted at one point by NYT icon Judith Miller) carping about the fictitious “oil for food” scandal and extolling Bolton’s ax-wielding activities. The Times critique of UN failures reads like an extended passage from the “Rubaiyat”; great reading, but mostly hot air.

Kofi Annan, however, agrees with Bolton about the need for change:

“Just as this building after 50 years of ad hoc repair and maintenance, now needs to be fully refurbished from top to bottom, so too our organization, after decades of piecemeal reform, now needs a thorough strategic refit.”

So, what’s the bottom line?

American plutocrats and corporate big-wigs are looking for an organization that is more responsive to their needs. The UN provides the legitimacy they need as cover for their “humanitarian interventions” (re: wars of aggression) and reconstruction projects, (Sluicing money to the major corporate players) but it requires fine-tuning to better serve their interests.

Bolton has recommended structural changes to the Human Rights Commission so the UN can beat up on the weaker nations while exempting the US from charges of flagrant and systematic prisoner abuse or war crimes. The broader objective is to transform the United Nations into a rubber stamp for American foreign policy.

To that end, Bolton is pushing for a new post of “Chief Operating Officer”. This job will be filled by a political-loyalist who can override the decisions of the Secretary-General and ensure that the organization makes prudent, business-friendly decisions. Right now, it looks like the job will go to Mark Malloch Brown, who did a stint with the World Bank; proving he has the proper pedigree for his next assignment.

It appears that the job of Secretary-General will become a meaningless ceremonial role much like that of the President of the United States. Undoubtedly, it will be filled by someone who is capable of expressing great warmth and humanity while carrying out the imperial-mandate.

Does the name Bill Clinton come to mind?

Bolton has worked hard to rebuild the UN from the ground up ignoring the criticism of those who don’t share his vision of a less democratic institution. Dismissing their ridicule as sour-grapes, Bolton said triumphantly, “This work is too important to be caught up in procedural wrangles in this body.”

Bolton obviously prefers his “one man” version of democracy.