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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
Will John Bolton make a good ambassador?
John Bolton
John Bolton, President George Bush's candidate for the post of US ambassador to the UN, has had his confirmation hearing further delayed.

Mr. Bolton - a senior State Department official who helped organise the anti-Saddam alliance - was a controversial choice as he has criticised the United Nations in the past.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee delayed the vote on John Bolton's nomination after a Republican senator said he was not prepared to vote for him, casting the nomination in doubt.

What do you think about John Bolton's candidacy? If accepted, will he help build bridges between the US and United Nations? Send us your views using the form.


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received:

I recall Mr Bush meeting with Tony Blair in Ireland where he specifically mentioned the UN was irrelevant. Mr Bolton has been nominated by Mr Bush. What does that tell you?
Karim Jivraj, Toronto, Canada

He talks like he's being sent as an administrator rather than as a diplomatic representative
Tom, Kirksville, Missouri
He talks like he's being sent as an administrator rather than as a diplomatic representative. He and his nominators ought to look at the job description one more time.
Tom, Kirksville, Missouri

Clearly the investigation into Mr Bolton's history is incomplete. I favor the delay and a more thorough investigation. If he is as his detractors claim, then he should be eliminated from this or any other future government posting.
M W Edholm, Lincoln, USA

Bolton represents the new US administration's push for UN reforms and change, and should be appointed to carry out that task.
Patrick, Sri Lanka

Bolton will end up wasting a lot of the UN's time and energy. If you know you are going into a meeting with an antagonist, you steel yourself for the onslaught. If there is any energy left after the aggravation phase, the resulting plan will probably be flawed. Hence, no progress. We need someone who is tough but smooth.
Peter, Springfield, VA, USA

The appointment of John Bolton as ambassador to the UN would be disastrous. Many Americans feel used and abused by the current administration, and this appointment is just another example of Bush's hawkish agenda.
Alex Noussias, Canton, USA

He will carry the message from the American people that we are fed up with UN follies
Will Smith, Holmes Beach, FL, USA
John Bolton will make an excellent ambassador to the UN because he will carry the message from the American people that we are fed up with UN follies. He may well be the final US ambassador to the UN
Will Smith, Holmes Beach, FL, USA

Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank, and Bolton as US ambassador to the UN. Let's just keep putting the right guys in the right places, and pretty soon it won't matter what anyone thinks.
Bryan, Long Beach, Ca. USA

It is irresponsible to support a candidate that has sparked such negative feedback from the international community. President Bush should be looking to mend the ties he broke over the misguided Iraqi invasion rather than adding salt to the wounds. Bolton is an imprudent choice.
Candace, New Haven, CT USA

Let's see, the oil for food scandal, sexual harrassment scandals, the sexual abuse of civilians by UN peacekeepers in the Congo, the failure to intervene in Rwanda, Bosnia, and now Darfur, and a human rights council that has Libya, Cuba, Sudan, and China on it. After all this, can anyone not see that the UN needs someone like John Bolton to 'ride herd' and get them back into line?
Zach Smith, Bloomington, Indiana, US

I do believe this country can ill afford another arrogant emissary
Gary, Tampa, USA
I do believe this country can ill afford another arrogant emissary.
Gary, Tampa, USA

As someone who works with diplomats I can confidently say Bolton is a terrible choice. He represents his own opinion, not America's and worse, he is so bad that he stops any progress on crucial issues because he is too busy bullying to actually do the job!
Anon, London, UK

Mr. Bolton would not make a good ambassador to the UN. He represents the arrogance of the US conservative right wing political faction in this country. His attitude is not representative of the majority of the people and would not be conducive to the work of the world body.
Cornell Johnson, Madison, Wisconsin, US

Many of the people speaking here seem to think that the UN is supposed to be some social club where the unpopular is excluded. The reality is that the UN is broken and it needs to be scrutinided and reformed. Bolton realises this and is ready to champion the effort to reform. Instead of criticising every move Bush makes, why don't you recognise how ineffective the UN is and demand that your own representatives encourage reform?
Chris, Florida, USA

I find it hilarious to read commentary that portrays George W. Bush, a simple stubborn man, as an evil mastermind bent on taking over the world. Just as George Bush does not have the power implied (the constitution doesn't allow it), John Bolton will not have any true power in the UN. Why concern yourself?
Joshua, San Antonio, TX, USA

The UN clearly needs reform. Bolton is a head-knocking reformer. What is so difficult about that?
James McGrath, Lake Grove, NY, USA

He is the perfect representative of the Bush administration's unilateralist foreign policy. He will be the perfect divisive tool who will continue to isolate the US from not just the rest of the world but from reason and common sense.
Doug Fisher, Asheville, USA

A terrible choice, the UN should be strengthened as a body that represents the whole world and it is astonishing that so many Americans think it should be run aginst the wishes of the majority! What is democracy about? Bolton is disliked by almost everyone who worked under him and we need someone who is a conciliator, not an antagonist. After all, don't we want to have other countries think highly of us?
Andrew Failes, Petersburgh, NY, USA

I believe that this is just another example of the Bush administration thumbing it's nose at the rest of the world. An "it's our ball and our rules" mentality that serves no one.
Nick, Boston, US

Bolton is an excellent example of the ethical gutting of America by its own right wing. Those foolish American zealots who think we can bully the world into following their misguided crusades are wrong. When we as a nation come to our senses , I hope the rest of the world will be gracious enough to forgive us for these misdeeds.
Chris Gold, Austin, Texas, US

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Dan, Brazil/UK
President George W Bush's choice as ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has said that the UN needs US leadership to get it back on track. Do you agree?

John Bolton has said that the UN needs US leadership. Whereas in reality it is the US that needs UN leadership. John Bolton was chosen for one purpose. He is to remove the resistance to US control or if he can't do that then he is to destroy the UN.
Steve, London, UK

We need UN support most for resolving problems with N Korea, Iran and Iraq. We need the best diplomat to be send to UN.
Rajnikant Patel, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

He is clearly a loose cannon. His supporters must ask themselves, 'How does it serve the interests of the US to risk alienating it's core allies'?
Daniel Martin, Auckland, New Zealand

John Bolton will not make a good ambassador because his views of the UN are not representative of those of most Americans. Many of us are not anti-UN.
Michele, Bloomington, USA

Why is it anyone else's business who the US appoints as its ambassador to the UN?
Richard Sullivan, Dublin, Ireland
Why is it anyone else's business who the US appoints as its ambassador to the UN? This is strictly an internal affair of the US. So Europe (the European press) should mind their own business.
Richard Sullivan, Dublin, Ireland

To choose such an opponent to the UN as UN ambassador seems like madness, but it may also be an attempt to impose US views on the UN.
Glenn Frere, Brussels Belgium

Bolton is the last honest man. Perhaps the UN will change him while he tries to change the UN. Idealism versus real politics.
Ian, Austin, Texas USA

I think Bolton is a great representative for the majority of US citizens that are critical of the UN, but would rather see it fixed than done away with.
Sean, Denver, US

Many of the commentators here seem to be under the impression that the ambassador to the UN should represent the United Nations. Might I be so bold as to point out that Mr. Bolton is nominated to be the ambassador representing the UNITED STATES. In that capacity, he will do just fine. Perhaps that is what his opponents object to.
MC, Finland

Another sign of Bush's intention to continue his disastrous foreign policy
Chris, Birkenhead, Merseyside
Appointing a violently unilateralist hawk like Bolton to a multi-national, multi-lateralist organisation is an absurdity. Bolton is yet another clear sign of Bush's intention to continue the disastrous foreign policy of his first term.
Chris, Birkenhead, Merseyside

It seems like the very same people who thought Reagan was wrong regarding the Cold War, and that the elections in Iraq would be a fiasco, are the same people who are against Bolton. The fact that so many Europeans are against him gives me great confidence that he will do a good job in the UN. The last thing we need is another gutless diplomat singing platitudes while corrupt UN bureaucrats pad their wallets.
Doug, Philadelphia PA

Teachers shouldn't hate students, accountants shouldn't hate money, and UN ambassadors shouldn't hate the UN. If Bolton has no respect for the UN, why does he want in so badly? This is just another example of the Bush administration's arrogance and disdain of the world at large.
Kaylee, Wilmington, USA

I think the only choice for the Bush Administration would have been to select Colin Powell for the UN position. He realized he was given wrong info on WMD in Iraq, and had been honest about that. He has shown intelligence and understanding in dealing with the rest of the globe. These are two attributes sorely lacking in the Bush administration at the present time.
Bruce Bartman, Las Vegas, Nevada USA

We don't need an ambassador, we need to withdraw
Nik Chen, Pensacola, FL USA
Bolton, if anything, will just worsen the relationship. He has already shown that he thinks the UN is a useless organization. The US doesn't need the UN anyway, we've already shown that in the Iraqi war. We don't need an ambassador, we need to withdraw.
Nik Chen, Pensacola, FL USA

John Bolton is an insult to the UN. His nomination is just another example of Bush making it clear that he believes he already rules the world and doesn't care what anyone else thinks about it.
Randy, Los Angeles CA, USA

John Bolton is going to the UN to kick ass. That's what President Bush wants him to do, that's what the majority of American voters want him to do, and that's quite frankly what the UN needs done. He's definitely the right man for the job.
Mark, USA

I fail to understand why non-Americans are concerning themselves with America's choice of ambassador to the UN.
M, Maboula, Kuwait

He will expose the UN for all its ineptitudes and hopefully bring it to its knees
Jack Demange, Houston, TX
The perfect choice. He will expose the UN for all its ineptitudes and hopefully bring it to its knees. Anything less than American-style democracy is unacceptable for the entire planet. Just like Lincoln didn't let the Confederacy secede in the 19th century, Bush will not let the world secede from the path of progress that we have worked so hard for on this side of the Atlantic.
Jack Demange, Houston, TX

People confuse Bolton and Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz may have made a mistake on Iraq, thinking it was "another Serbia" but he is fundamentally committed to democracy. Bolton, on the other hand, is committed as far as anyone can tell to the destruction of the UN, which is why even conservative Republicans are beginning to speak out against his nomination.
Inna Tysoe, Sacramento, CA USA

As far as the rest of the world is concerned, there is no such thing as a good USA ambassador to the UN, and there never has been. Just one in an endless line of bullies, it's all they know.
Gary Chiles, Wellington, New Zealand

Why would Bolton want to be ambassador to an organization that he refuses to believe exists?
John D. Morgan, Chicago, USA

John Bolton is a fantastic choice! The UN needs a good shake-up, and with Bolton in place, may get just what it needs.
Jerry, Cleveland, OH, USA

The United States has shown utter contempt to the United Nations in the past few years. We're discussing the next US ambassador? I think we should be debating whether the US should be ejected until it learns to respect the UN and other nations!
Andy, Stafford, UK

John Bolton will be a breath of fresh air
Gordon, Minneapolis, USA
John Bolton will be a breath of fresh air and sanity in a forum that has for too long had dangerous delusions of grandeur. Any organization that can have Libya, Syria, and China on their "Human Rights" panel is laughably out of touch with reality. I hope JB brings the strong dose of reality this pathetic organization desperately needs.
Gordon, Minneapolis, USA

Bolton is a response to perceived "American-bashing" as a current world-wide sport, to which the current administration refuses to patronize.
Dan L., New York, USA

No! Bush's candidate is dangerous because of his ethnocentric views. As an American I can assure we are not always right - no one and no country is. That is why the UN is so important
Carol Frick, Gallup, NM USA

The UN certainly needs some strong leadership to get it back on track. Right now the organisation is a laughing stock, plagued by numerous fraud and sex scandals. Mr Bolton has been a critic in the past but it appears now that the criticism was justified.
Gherkin, Orpington, UK

White-wash, two-faced fascism at its best
TVH, Atlanta, US
More of the same hypocrisy of the Bush administration. Throw an antagonist in the UN fray. White-wash, two-faced fascism at its best.
TVH, Atlanta, US

Bolton will not represent the interests of the US. He will represent the interests of George Bush. The UN, the US and the world will be worse off for this stupid decision.
Tom Hunsberger, Canada / Mexico

John Bolton is the personification of all that is wrong with the Bush administration. He will only succeed in further alienating the US from its allies and the world. It's no longer a matter of Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal. It's a matter of integrity. Obviously, something our current administration is bereft of.
Jim Estes, Dallas, TX, USA

The UN has not been effective for sure. If it had, the US would not have been able to wage war in Iraq and kill thousands of innocent civilians. Bolton will only make the UN more of a US puppet than it already is. That is if anyone will listen to him after all the insults.
Ashok Srinivasan, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Bush and Bolton are not representative of the majority of Americans
David Cercone, Florida
Again, as an American who is living under the tyranny of a dubiously elected wannabe dictator, please world forgive us and know that Bush and Bolton are not representative of the majority of Americans. God help us all.
David Cercone, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The US is remaining steadfast and resolute in its interests. Perhaps your readers have lost their perspective living in their societies. Europe is following the victim mentality of Charlatan, Emperor of the Franks. We are witnessing countries like India and China moving on, leaving the EU 25 in the dustbin of history.
John , Windermere, Florida

An unbelievably bad choice - even for this wretched administration.
Edith Davey, Canandaigua NY USA

He may be critical (rightfully, I might add) of the UN but he is making a genuine effort to work for the betterment of the organization. I praise him for his willingness to put up with this political bashing. You can put a new coat of paint on your rusted car to impress your neighbours but your friends know it is still a piece of junk. Let's not pretend that the UN is in good shape.
Chuck Zaleski, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

Isn't this the guy who sent Chirac a T-shirt for Christmas that read "America: just try and stop us"?
Stan McPeek, Duluth, USA

To insist that the UN needs the US to lead it is sheer arrogance
Rosemary Bush, Texas
I think Bolton is a terrible choice. To insist that the UN needs the US to lead it is sheer arrogance and completely counter-productive in a position where he needs to be thinking about compromise and the good of the globe rather than narrow partisan interests. Bolton will only damage further any attempts at real dialogue between the US and the other nations of the world.
Rosemary Bush, Houston, Texas

Bolton is perfect. He is another Bush "reformer" and, as we all know, when Bush says "reform the UN" he really means destroy it. So who better to appoint than a man who has already stated in public that he hates the UN. Orwellian? You bet.
Jeff Dorn, Portland, Maine, USA

Bolton is a terrible choice for UN ambassador. Why he wants the job, given his on-the-record statements about the UN, is a mystery. The silver lining is that he's been given this job instead of one that holds actual power.
Jim, NJ, USA

I personally feel that the next Ambassador for the United Nations should be impartial to the US and the United Nations as I feel that it is important that whoever is accepted does what is right for every member of the United Nations and not just a single country.
Candice Taylor, Newton, Merseyside, UK

Wolfie for the World Bank. Bolton for the UN. Well let's see that just leaves Rumsfeld hmm... how about boss of Nato? Between them they should just about tie up the world just nicely.
Alan, Warsaw, Poland

Yes, he will sideline Annan and run the UN the way the USA would like to.
Silas, Canada

I like him, while many others would rather we have the usual talking head that will be forgotten four years from now.
Collis, W Virginia, USA

Another example of Bush saying he wants to 'reach out' to those that disagree with his foreign policies, yet does the opposite. First Wolfowitz, now Bolton. Bush has systematically made the US look like it doesn't care what the world thinks. The price for that is anti-US sentiment which results in boycotts by the peaceful and terrorism by the extremist.
John Farmer, Henley-on-Thames, UK

Is this a concerted campaign on the part of the Bush administration for self harm? There is no other candidate more qualified than Bolton to put most of his colleagues-to-be in the UN off side.
Kwok, Sydney, Australia.

Bolton will represent the US well, but the problems of the UN can be traced to the differences between the several nations comprising that body. Hundreds of thousands have been found dead in mass graves in Iraq, yet so many UN member nations believe the war to unseat the man responsible can't be justified. Bringing about reforms that will bridge these gaps will be quite difficult, if not impossible.
Nate, Wichita, USA

He will get more things done at the UN than anyone else ever has. He will shake up the pathetic status quo there, and speak his mind from an outsider's point of view. He is exactly what the UN needs now.
Justin Hughes, Tacoma, USA

What we really need is the UN to be scrapped altogether
Drew, Trinidad
A terrible nomination for UN ambassador. Bolton promises to restore confidence and credibility in the UN, while what we really need is the UN to be scrapped altogether.
Drew, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies

In a way he is the perfect candidate. He totally represents the US in its unilateralism and self-mindedness. It will strengthen the resolve of the rest of the world to work towards a multi-polar world where the US is a lot less important.
TVH, Atlanta, US

Sending Bolton to the UN suggests that the US is not ready to give up on the UN yet. We could have sent someone the whole world liked and then ignored him or her but instead we sent someone who is valued by the Bush administration and who will accurately represent our interests. He will probably be one of the strongest US ambassadors to the UN yet.
Joy Lynn, USA

John Bolton is the perfect Bush nominee - he speaks the Bush Administration line. He also believes the US should run the world and everyone else should do what the US says.
Marsha L. Respess, Los Angeles, USA

The problem isn't the ambassador; it's the organization
Phil, St. Louis
It's like sending a strong environmentalist to be the next ambassador to China. The problem isn't the ambassador; it's the organization.
Phil, St. Louis

If the main reason to think he's a bad candidate is simply that he sees things wrong with the UN and isn't afraid to say so, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with him as a candidate. The Democrats may say he's divisive, but they say that about every move the current administration makes.
Matthew, Stockton, USA

Absolutely not. His comments on UN are just plain incendiary, uncivil and unnecessary. No room for such puerile behaviour from any ambassador, ever!
Murton Edelstein, Keyport, NJ USA

The art of diplomacy is creating a win-win situation for all parties involved. Since he has a no-compromise attitude, it will be nearly impossible for him reform the UN from the inside. There will simply be too much resistance from the world community.
AJ Verrioli, Rochester, NY, USA

He will be able to mend the relationship between the US and the UN
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA
There is nothing wrong with John Bolton as US ambassador to the UN. He is a man who expresses his views without fear or favour. There is no doubt he will be able to mend the broken relationship between the US and the UN. He is a fine candidate.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

Bolton seems to enjoy browbeating the UN rather than working with it. He may be a professional political figure, but he appears to be an amateur human being. The seeds of future conflict may be sown with the nomination of this man.
Michael, Sacramento, USA

Reading the ignorant comments from other Americans on this page only further motivates me to move to Europe.
Mitchell Sipus, Cincinnati Ohio, USA

The appointment of John Bolton as US ambassador to the UN is similar to naming Count Dracula as the director of a girls' boarding school. Both want blood.
Bernard Marcazzo, Nimes, France

"The UN needs US leadership". The damage to global relationships that this statement envisions along with it's unbelievable arrogance is breathtaking. Regardless of the results in Iraq which are precarious whichever way you read them, US interests have united the majority of population of the world against US leadership. Does the rest of the world actually count for anything?
Marc, Singapore ex UK

It's no surprise that Bush has nominated someone like John Bolton, who clearly lacks credibility
Amara, London, UK
The US government has no interest in strengthening another body such as the UN, which could be potentially obstructive towards its foreign policy agenda, so it's no surprise that Bush has nominated someone like John Bolton, who clearly lacks credibility.
Amara, London, UK

Considering how badly his nomination has riled up the reactionary left, I'd say he's a good choice. As a general rule, the more something upsets these individuals, the better it is.
Jeremy, Regina, Canada

Bolton is arrogant, divisive, pompous, and a know-it-all. There could not be a worse nominee for the UN position. It's absurd.
Beth, California, USA

Interesting how US citizens criticize international bodies they are part of. If the UN is ineffective, the US are certainly at least as responsible as any other country.
N. Gibert, Paris, France

I fondly hope that J Bolton does get to be the US Ambassador to the UN. He will finally tell us in the UK what Democracy is.
Mac, UK

This man is the perfect man for George Bush's plan - he doesn't care for any nation other than the USA, he doesn't represent logical thought and his hopes are that one day America will rule the world. This man represents everything wrong about America: he's racist, narrow minded and (as usual) a lawyer - a formula for disaster.
Phil McCammon, ZH/UK

John Bolton tells it like it is
Aaron, Lincoln, USA
John Bolton tells it like it is. So-called "international law" is toothless against rogue states and it's primarily aimed at constricting the US.
Aaron, Lincoln, NE, USA

I'm sure he will be as much of a bridge builder as any other Bush-appointed ideologue, which is to say, not at all.
Jim Reuss, Cheyenne, USA

Bolton, like many people, has little remaining patience for the UN's entrenched and corrupt bureaucracy. The UN consistently supports corrupt governments which prey upon their people while taking bribes and kick-backs. The UN's lax accounting standards and lack of accountability are outrageous. Bolton's "failure" is his refusal to go along with this charade. The UN needs to "build the bridges," not Bolton. We should all be glad there is a new sheriff in town!
Michael, California, USA

Bolton is a ghastly choice. What else could be expected from this administration?
Leslie Clark, Phoenix, AZ

What the UN really needs is strong international cooperation, with or without the US
Justin Koerner, Ottawa, Canada
John Bolton saying the UN needs strong US leadership is just an example of doublespeak that will please his masters and hopefully blind his 'subjects'. What the UN really needs is strong international cooperation, with or without the US.
Justin Koerner, Ottawa, Canada

I hope, I hope, I hope he is not confirmed! He is the absolute wrong choice for this position. Given his history of action and statements it is clear that he is the wrong man for the job! If the man doesn't think the UN exists how can he work there?
Dawn Pickens, Alameda, USA

The USA was at its height as a power in 1950 and has had to work through coalitions to be effective ever since. Acting alone, the USA can only really handle the likes of Granada and Panama. Vietnam, the War on Drugs and Iraq have proved too much for her and Bin Laden has yet to be found. Sadly, few in the American military or State Department and even fewer US politicians have been brave enough to admit the facts of life to the American people. It doesn't really matter if the ambassador at the UN is Bolton or not; what the USA needs is a person to represent the reality of the limits to its strength and influence to its own people.
Julian Fountain, London, UK

I think if Mr Bolton's nomination is 'allowed' to be approved, then we in the USA have much bigger problems in Washington DC that need addressing.
Marianne, San Antonio, USA

The US is a large financial contributor to the UN - we have a right to have our side of issues heard
Dwayne Chastain, Ohio
The UN is due for a good shaking up. If Mr Bolton can do it, I say more power to him. The US is a large financial contributor to the United Nations and I think we have a right to have our side of issues heard.
Dwayne Chastain, West Jefferson, Ohio

The US is now alone (maybe not for long) in the superpower field and believes that whatever it wants or says is law, and the UN becomes some sort of quirky sideshow. We should remember that no nation is immune to the corrupting effects of absolute power, then we might come to take the UN more seriously and realise it may well be humanity's saving grace. I think Bolton and many in the US simply think 'might' makes 'right'. Strong leadership such as that Bolton is offering may be needed in the UN, but strong leadership must come with understanding of history and global realities.
Matt, Montreal Canada

John Bolton will do what it takes to be confirmed. Then he will continue to marginalise the UN and show the dominance of American force.
Tony Crowley, Mc Lean, VA USA

One thing's for sure - he won't sit back and allow the US to be defamed in the silly name of diplomacy.
Ife Ebenuwa, Urbana, Illinois, USA

Even though he grew up in my home town, I don't believe Bolton's qualified for that position
Bill Hughes, Baltimore, USA
No! Bolton is a neo con and unrepentant war hawk. Even though he grew up in Baltimore, my home town, I don't believe he is qualified for that position.
Bill Hughes, Baltimore, MD, USA

If he comes to the UN with the attitude he's shown in the past they'll simply ignore him. What can he get done if he sits down at a table and everyone just gets up and leaves?
Lars Nilsson, Kitzbuehel, Austria

Mr Bolton is exactly the right man for the job. The Bush administration obviously wants to insult the rest of the civilised world. Bolton is a perfect choice.
JD, Armada, MI USA

The UN effectively does nothing productive and does not assert itself when needed; Africa, Kosovo. An ambassador who is not afraid to point out fault and corruption is just what the UN needs instead of the steady stream of European back-peddlers. If the US does withdraw from the UN so be it! Good luck getting aid and assistance from China.
John, San Antonio, USA

Diplomacy is about making compromises. John Bolton doesn't strike me as a man who can work that way. I think he's a terrible choice for ambassador.
Kelsey, Seattle, USA

The organisation does need improvement, but I doubt that Bolton and his unilateral viewpoint will help
Rebecca, Maine, USA
Though not surprised, I am disappointed by Bush's nomination of Bolton as the UN ambassador. The primary role of this job is to represent the US, but I feel the ambassador should also show a willingness to work with the UN and other member states. Bolton has demonstrated none of this and only seems interested in asserting US dominance while criticizing the UN. The organisation does need improvement, but I doubt that Bolton and his unilateral viewpoint will help.
Rebecca, Maine, USA

What a farce. Having someone like Bolton in the UN is proof that the whole establishment needs to be rebuilt under new rules and new management. No veto and no permanent members.
Jeff Larsen, Chch, NZ

It is sad that those who are opposed to Mr Bolton are the same people who remained silent when the chief UN human rights agency is taken over by a bunch of Third World dictators. At this sad point in UN history, one would think that the world would get behind Mr Bolton, who has been a great critic of the sad state of this institution.
K Chandler, Orange County, California

My hope is that Bolton will sincerely engage America with the UN. There's nothing inherently wrong with his stated priorities, which include a stronger UN. Anti-UN sentiments like rural American billboards that say "Get US out of UN" dishonour the sacrifice of World War II allies who founded the UN and Korean war veterans who fought in its largest action.
Jay, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

This is insane! Why does John Bolton even want to work for the UN when he says it doesn't even exist? Every day is a backwards day with this administration.
Lindsey, Eugene, Oregon, USA

It's a shame the rest of the UN isn't as forthright and honest as he is
Nathaniel, Thailand

Bolton is the best choice, and it's a shame the rest of the UN isn't as forthright and honest as he is. The UN has failed at the major tasks it was set up to perform. There are millions of dead Congolese, Rwandans, Haitians, Bosnians, and countless others who will testify to that. When the UN does act on the ground, the result is sexual exploitation of young girls by blue helmeted soldiers (Congo and Liberia) or backroom oil deals inked with the blood of the starving people the programs were meant to help (Oil for Food.) How could anyone truthfully say that the UN is not desperately in need of the type of reform Bolton would bring?
Nathaniel, Bangkok, Thailand

I would much prefer that the post be left permanently vacant and that the cheque book is kept firmly clamped shut.
Axel Kassel

I watched John Bolton (thankfully no relation!) get grilled by the Senate foreign relations committee on CSPAN. Ambassadors don't make policy; they're just mouthpieces for governmental policy. Even so, I think J Bolton's too abrasive for the UN. Supporters of his appointment focus on his successes, to the exclusion of his far more numerous failures, in the past. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Reagan's UN ambassador, gave voice to my thoughts when she said: "John (Bolton) is not a diplomat."
P Bolton, US

Bolton represents Bush very well. I just lament for the rest of us. Where is our representation? I hope the world can appreciate that we are not all like this.
Lawrence, Upstate NY, USA

My country right or wrong - that was my war cry. Since I have met John Bolton, I am unable to say that anymore... He is a bad, bad choice, like giving cigarettes to a cancer patient!
JK, Cleveland, USA

What next - a communist to head up the Stock Exchange?
Jarrod, NYC, USA
John Bolton is a man with little or no faith in the very idea of legitimate international law. His nomination astounds me. What next? Perhaps a communist to head up the Stock Exchange?
Jarrod, NYC, USA

It isn't really important who it is. He or she will always be the puppet of the president.
Marc, Mexico

As an American, it saddens me see fellow Americans saying things like we should withdraw entirely from the UN and world affairs. Let's be honest: most Americans are completely ignorant of the world beyond their borders. When they say we should withdraw from it, they probably couldn't even say who is the president of the UN or in which country it is headquarters is located.
Evan Hobbs, Ashland, OR

My initial through regarding this appointment was one of confusion. Why would the White House submit this gentlemen's name for an ambassadorship at the UN when he is on the record as expressing only disdain for its functioning. Perhaps I am being overly cynical; but this seems to me to be an attempt by the Bush White House to marginalize the role of the UN thereby promoting its own authority as a legitimate global actor.
Robert Rose, Toronto, Canada

He is too good, if refreshingly amusing for the UN
BS Tan, NYC, US
The United Nation is a joke, a "cesspool of corruption". Mr Bolton as someone who is blunt speaking, who can "get things done" is good for the UN. If Bolton says the UN deserves support, maybe I will reconsider, otherwise I think he is too good, if refreshingly amusing for the UN.
BS Tan, NYC, US

I hope John Bolton is confirmed as US Ambassador to the UN, and takes a leadership position in instituting the reforms the UN is so desperately in need of.
Brian Lingam, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Interesting that most of the Americans on this site back Bolton because he is anti-UN, an organization founded by the US. The Americans will have to come to grips with the fact that they are no longer a power in the world, their dollar has fallen, their military is powerless in the face of a few Iraqi resistance fighters, their foreign debt is controlled by the former communist power of China and their unemployment goes up every day. How far they have fallen in such a short time, they hate the world and now the world hates them.
Lawrence, France

This just shows that Bush's fence-mending trip was a sham.
Chris, Austin, USA

Mr Bolton questioned need for UN. How can he build and make it stronger?
Suresh Chitnis, Alameda, California

The UN needs to get back to it's principles of being a world body with teeth
N Mead, North Carolina, USA
John Bolton will make a fine ambassador. Of course he is there to support the views of the US, but the UN needs to become relevant again and John Bolton can help in that process. With all of the corruption in the UN over the past 15 years it has be cleaned up soon or it will become the League of Nations, and I don't think anyone really wants that. The UN needs to get back to it's principles of being a world body with teeth. Over the last years the UN has threatened much and done little, I am hopeful John Bolton will work with other countries to curtail that practice.
N Mead, North Carolina, USA

Mr. Bolton is in fact the perfect candidate for UN Ambassador. Who better defines the interests of the administration in power? Remember, it was George Bush who called the UN "irrelevant" because they wouldn't support a baseless war in Iraq. Why not have a pragmatic individual who will manifest these actions in front of the world? He will not build bridges because that's not the operating philosophy of the President (unless, of course, he runs out of money for the war in Iraq). The US risks further irrelevancy in international relations by operating in this manner. We may as well have someone who makes the Bush Administration's position patently clear.
Scott Martin, Virgin Islands

It really makes little difference as Bush and his neo-cons will do what they want in the face of world opinion. The UN may need reform but it'll be even less effective and even more corrupt in favour of the US if that reform is driven by them.
AP, Edinburgh

He means what he says and says what he means
Blake, Gainesville, FL, US
Bolton is the anti-bureaucrat. He means what he says and says what he means. If you're worried about making everyone happy, nothing will ever get done. The things he says aren't crazy, they're just offensive. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Blake, Gainesville, FL, US

Maybe it is time that the US withdrew from the UN and World affairs in General.
DW, USA

I second Matt's comment, and add: The UN was built on the debris of the LN (League of Nations) after a war the LN was set-up (and failed) to prevent; not learning from the LN's errors, it has compounded problems by adding its own - and has been an even worse crime, just by its longer duration!
Srini Varadarajan, Baltimore, MD, USA

I'd rather have someone who knows what he thinks and says it aloud than someone who hides his agenda behind diplomatic doublespeak. Bolton seems right for the job.
Sam, Delaware, USA

Ha! That is hilarious! Oh wait, you're serious. Yikes. Bolton is the unmitigated worst choice for UN ambassador, period. Pay close attention to the other American replies in this post - they are very telling. Now you can see what the sane half of Americans have to deal with. Complete ignorance, audacity and cockiness. Do they know about Bolton's role in the Iran/Contra travesty? Probably - but they just don't care.
Scott, Philadelphia, USA

Another superb nomination by Bush
Peter C. Kohler, Washington DC
The best! First of all, John Bolton is there to represent the United States. Not the rest of you lot. Or indeed the UN. Furthermore, this corrupt and ineffective organisation needs the kick in the pants Bolton has been willing and able to give it in the past. And will be in a better position as ambassador. Another superb nomination by Bush. So get over it. And get used to it.
Peter C. Kohler, Washington DC USA

Criticism of the UN is one thing, but total disbanding of this world body is an entirely other issue. I worry about the mentality of some that we disband the UN because it has proven to be "imperfect". Mr. Bolton may feel that he has America's interests in mind, but his mind is not the sole mind thinking for the nation or world. The one mindedness of this Bush administration has worried me beyond belief. I only see Mr. Bolton's appointed as alienating the US further from the world community.
Tim, New Jersey, USA

There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the UN secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference. I didn't write that quote. John Bolton said it. This man is definitely not right for the job.
Joseph Wojciechowski, New Jersey, USA

Yes. He sees the UN for what it really is...a total joke.
Matt, USA

No, somebody who says, "The UN is only useful when it directly serves the interests of the US" can never be a good ambassador. Yet another international disgrace, a spit in the face of the world, from the Bush administration.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA




SEE ALSO:
Bush UN choice grilled by Senate
11 Apr 05 |  Americas
Ex-US diplomats round on Bolton
29 Mar 05 |  Americas
Bush names hardliner as UN envoy
08 Mar 05 |  Americas



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