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Last Updated: Friday, 5 August, 2005, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
John Bolton appointment: Your reaction
President George W. Bush (R) with John Bolton
What do you think of the appointment of John Bolton as US ambassador?

President George W Bush has confirmed that John Bolton will be the next US ambassador to the UN.

Mr Bush made his decision without waiting for approval from the Senate, citing Mr Bolton's experience in foreign affairs and blaming political opponents for the irregular nature of the appointment.

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

What is your reaction to John Bolton's appointment? Will he improve the effectiveness of the UN? Has he got the right qualities for the post?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion received so far:

I doubt that John can make UN any worse than it is now
Tibor, Washington, D.C., USA
Let John Bolton work and prove that he is the right person, in the right position and right time. Everybody is unhappy with the status quo of the UN and there is a chance to change it and make the organisation useful and helpful again. I doubt that John can make UN any worse than it is now. Go ahead John! Good luck!
Tibor, Washington, D.C., USA

The output of the UN is the sum total of the commitment of member states to make it work. Mr Bolton's reputation is way ahead of him and I am sure that the ranks of the UN will close to restrict his actions. This will be to the detriment of the normal functions of this flawed organisation. Mr Bush is, again, complicit in making a dysfunctional political decision. A sad day for the USA and for the world.
Tim Rollinson, Tonbridge, UK

I think we are facing a deeper problem than Bolton's qualities. The major problem is deeper. One question, is the system failing us after 911 (Democrats and Republicans alike)? We seem so under panic since then that now, every government act is first turning into a gridlock and then ends in a somewhat irrational or premature decision. I'm not a politician, but I don't think this is the way to make strategic decisions.
Maziar, USA

I am a moderate who voted for President Bush, but his decision here disappointed me. Mr Bolton does not strike me as a professional, and his record is less than stellar. I hope I get proven wrong.
Jenna, Harrisburg, IL, USA

Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get worse...Bush makes yet another "lame duck" appointment. Bolton will only create discord in the UN - and emphasize how deeply this current administration is out of step with the rest of the world!
Kelly McMahan, Denver, CO

Bolton is bad news for diplomacy
S. Hopkins, Seattle, USA
Bolton is bad news for diplomacy. Fortunately, he does little to hide this - it won't take long for him to show his true colors and be isolated. That seems the best we can do while Bush/Cheney and the neocons are in power. I'm glad the Senate Democrats bear no responsibility for his appointment and continue to demand that the WH release the memos which will prove their case.
S. Hopkins, Seattle, USA

If anyone wants to complain about Mr. Bolton being stubborn and a hardliner - at least he stand for something, unlike the UN. The United Nations needs people who'll challenge it . . . especially as it sits back and does nothing but debate while the world falls apart. It's no wonder that the same people who support the laissez-faire debate tactics of the Democrats support the same attitude in the UN.
Ronnie, Annapolis, MD, USA

Mr. Bush has again exhibited his inability to "play with others". He seems to be unable to tolerate a "no"; even one based on reasonable and compelling arguments. Having a president who circumvents the democratic process in this way is very frightening. Hopefully, Bolton will be scrutinized carefully, criticized when necessary, and replaced in 2007.
Vicki Seglin, Evanston, IL U

Excellent choice, his appointment is long time overdue. Mr. Bolton is the best man to reform the United Nation. I am very hopeful that he will shake the UN to its core - the UN must be reformed.
Regina , London, UK

Well, Bush is sending a bull in a china shop to represent us at the UN. Bolton will be sure to wreak havoc there. This move should surprise no one considering that Bush does not feel a need to cooperate with anyone, not the Democrats, the rest of the world and of course not the UN.
Paige McAdoo, Oakland, California USA

Unfortunately, just the kind of move that we're beginning to expect from Washington. I'm concerned that this continues the trend toward strong-arm tactics on the rest of the world. We really need to practise what we preach (democracy, will of the people, etc.) before we can sell it elsewhere.
Matt, Charlotte, USA

Bolton's politics are irrelevant to this particular appointment: the real story is Bush's subversion of the Democratic process. Is the US still a democracy? Do we really want other nations to mimic this "US-style democracy", let alone want to impose it on such essential regions as the Middle East? I am wondering more and more if I will ever return.
Andrew, India

Excellent! He's tough, blunt, confrontational, and controversial. Just what Bush and many others here in the US want. That is the point of winning elections is, isn't it. How he does only time will tell - if it's a mistake I'll apologise - if not will others do same?
Hondo, NYC, USA

The UN has to be more effective somehow
John, Philadelphia, USA
I'm taking a wait and see approach. Sure this guy's going to be a little competitive, but I'd say that status quo at the UN is not really desirable either. The UN has to be more effective somehow and maybe this is the way to do it.
John, Philadelphia, USA

I get extremely tired of people who wheel out the same old comments about the state of the UN. This is an organisation whose scope of operation few people seem to genuinely grasp. Where the UN is ineffective the problems stem mainly from the age old issue of getting the world's major powers to agree on anything! This appointment, apart from its implications for the credibility of US democracy, will do nothing to alleviate the situation.
Will, Palo Alto, USA (former UK)

I'm looking forward to plenty of badly needed plain-speaking from Mr Bolton. Well done George!
Colin Meade, London, UK

The position requires someone who is not afraid to speak his mind
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA
I would like to congratulate John Bolton on his appointment as the next UN envoy. The president made a right choice. The position requires someone who is not afraid to speak his mind or criticise without fear or favour. Of course he will not only help to spice up the UN, but help with the much needed reform the UN required. John Bolton has more than enough qualities to effectively carry out his duties. I wish him all the best in his endeavour.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

I'm a Republican, Bush-supporter, but I'm disappointed that the president went this route; I would rather have had a Senate vote on Bolton's nomination. However, the media reporting of Mr Bolton's confirmation process was so muddled, with conflicting information all over the place, that it's possible that Bolton was deserving of the post.
Jim S., Columbus, Ohio, USA

Sad news for the diplomatic world. His appointment will mean that we are going to see more pro-US policies forced through and will create more friction with the other diplomats in UN. Why can't we have Colin Powell as the ambassador instead?
Firdaus, Singapore

There simply is no middle ground at all
Steve, Detroit, MI, USA
The US political system has become so partisan lately, that there simply is no middle ground at all. The President could never accept a no-vote, so stepped around the process completely, ensuring controversy for the next 2 years. The unity he calls for in his speeches, is destroyed by his actions. Thankfully, the President cannot avoid this process for the Supreme Court position.
Steve, Detroit, MI, USA (Ex UK)

Bolton is the right appointment as real change is needed at the UN. A top to bottom overhaul is required to face a post Cold War world. A new world needs a new venue for discussion, and the UN is nothing more than a wasteful bureaucracy. Bolton must be ready for action, not mere words.
John Wexford, Seattle, USA

Bravo, President Bush. He is the right man for the job. Enough is enough with the stalling from the Dems. The UN needs a little shaking up.
Barbara, New York City, USA

Excellent decision! Bush gave the "process" five months to work. Now he's decided enough is enough and has taken the necessary action. Precisely one of the qualities about him that got my vote. If five months isn't enough time for the senate to make a decision or take action...then five more wouldn't have made any difference. Good luck, Mr Bolton. Represent us well.
Craig, Chicago, USA

Mr Bolton will be a breath of fresh air
Jason, Philadelphia, PA
Fantastic. It's about time! I'm so tired of hearing the Democrats moaning about how Bush is preventing an atmosphere of cooperation when it is the Democrats that fight every single move made by those voted into power. The Democrats are acting like three year olds and it sickens me. Mr Bolton will be a breath of fresh air for the stale, outdated and backwards UN.
Jason, Philadelphia, PA

Jason (PA) states that "the Democrats fight every single move made by those voted into power". In reality the Democrats have supported much Republican legislation at state and federal level, but of course that fact doesn't fit the fictitious world in which he lives.
Nigel, Houston, TX

To Jason, Philadelphia, PA: Do you really think it's "fantastic" that the US has driven the last nail in the coffin of its credibility and good name in the world? Doesn't UN reform need cooperation from the members? I hope every nation refuses to work with Bolton. We don't deserve cooperation.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

If the US really wanted to reform the UN they would have appointed someone who would work constructively with other nations not John Bolton who is going to weaken the UN though his combative hardline style. A disaster for international diplomacy.
Graham Smith, Leeds, UK

Since the president cannot appoint Bolton to a full term, Democrats will be able to use this as a campaign issue in the 2006 mid-term elections. By then, they will probably have found out how Bolton contributed to the distortion of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war.
Kit, Memphis, USA

Bush appointed Bolton through the "back door" during the congressional recess. This is yet another example of the US touting "democracy" for others while failing to practice it itself.
AC, UK

Where's the democracy in this decision? Mr Bush should be practicing what he preaches or he will start to look ever more of a hypocrite to the Iraqis and any other country where he wants to bring so called democracy.
Andrew Davis, Miami, USA

I think he made the wrong move
Andrew, Richmond, VA, USA
Although President Bush has the right to have Bolton as UN Ambassador through the recess appointment, I think he made the wrong move. Not only will many nations at the UN not take him seriously (because he wasn't REALLY appointed), but it shows that the White House will try to get its way through any means. It was the White House blocking his vote in the Senate, not the Democrats. They wanted State Department memos, which they had the right to, but Bush refused to hand them over.
Andrew, Richmond, VA, USA

By appointing someone as belligerent, stubborn, and ignorant as John Bolton to the post of US ambassador to the UN, George Bush has only assured that the deterioration of the US' standing in the world community will continue.
Aaron, Princeton, USA

Splendid. Another bold and courageous move by Bush. The Democrats have stalled this enough. Bolton is precisely the right man to represent the United States (remember that's his job) and reform the moribund UN. This is precisely why George Bush was re-elected. Firm, decisive, bold leadership.
Peter C. Kohler, Washington DC, USA

Once again the Bush administration refuses to wait for due process, forcing a decision through and labelling those who oppose the decision "obstructionists." This administration seems not to understand the meaning or purpose of democratic debate.
Kat, Stony Brook, NY

Excellent appointment, just what the UN needs: someone who is not satisfied with the status quo in the UN and will be prepared to bash a few heads together to get the UN to actually do something useful.
Richard, UK

Just awful! We all know he absolutely hates the UN, so I can't imagine why he would want the job. Bush could not have chosen a more undiplomatic person.
Helen, USA (formerly UK)




SEE ALSO:
Bolton appointed US envoy to UN
01 Aug 05 |  Americas


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