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
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
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
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.