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Monday, April 25

Guys who do lunch and a guy who does good: More on Bolton

For readers who are biting their nails to the quick about John Bolton's nomination--if Kofi Annan has anything to say about it (and he does) Bolton will get the post. There's been so much garbage said and written about Bolton that I know this news will come as a shock to many, but Annan respects Bolton and with good reason.

Here's something about him you might not know (Thanks, LM):
At the moment when progressives are condemning John Bolton's nomination to the post of US ambassador to the United Nations, it's useful to recall several extraordinary efforts he's made for the benefit of small nations struggling toward liberty.

Preeminent among these is probably the case of the Western Sahara, which has been under brutal Moroccan occupation since 1975 while the majority of its citizens wait in refugee camps in Algeria for a UN-promised referendum...

...it was Bolton working with James Baker who crafted the Baker Plan to help get the Saharawi referendum back on track and...bring about a peaceful, democratic solution to one of the UN's longest-running conflicts. Morocco has nonetheless been intractable; Baker eventually issued a statement saying he'd spent seven years on the problem, made insufficient headway, and was resigning.

Not John Bolton; at the combative [nomination] hearings...in Washington, where he was under considerable attack, Bolton managed to refer three times to the patience and suffering of Saharawis...That may seem like small potatoes to persons who've never heard of the conflict, but it was electrifying to those of us who've been agitating for decades, and certainly was a source of joy to the many thousands of old and young people stuck in time in refugee camps in Algeria.

If United Nations programs are riddled with inefficiency, at best, and with entrenched corruption, at worst, then maybe a complex, pushy maverick with a proven record in at least one liberation movement could shake up those guys in the $3,000 suits who do lunch more than they do good.

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