Tuesday, June 14


The first of many?

Bolton and other neoconservatives don't like ElBaradei because, among other things, they think he's too soft on Iran. The 62-year-old Egyptian favors the European approach, which is to negotiate with Iran and offer it incentives to give up a nuclear weapons program that Iran claims it doesn't have (the U.S. strongly believes otherwise). ElBaradei has urged Iran to allow inspections and criticized the U.S. for making assertions without evidence and failing to take part in the European negotiations.

ElBaradei is right on both counts — just as he was three years ago in the run-up to the Iraq war, another sore spot for the neocons. He consistently urged a diplomatic rather than military approach to Iraq and was skeptical of U.S. claims about its nuclear weapons program. The fact that no evidence has emerged of any such program gives added weight to ElBaradei's current stance on Iran. The fact that he is a Middle Eastern-born Muslim at a time of deep confrontation between Western nations and the Muslim world, and his long experience in the field of nuclear nonproliferation, also make him ideal to head the U.N. agency.

ElBaradei's return might be Bolton's first major diplomatic defeat since President Bush nominated him, but if he's confirmed, it won't be his last. There are radical differences between Bolton's views and those of diplomats from the rest of the world. Bush believes those differences will help bring needed reforms to the U.N. The danger is that they will only further alienate U.S. allies and potential allies and destroy American credibility in international affairs.


Post a Comment

<< Home