Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bush forces through Bolton appointment

George Bush has forced through the appointment of John Bolton as US ambassador to the UN, making controversial use of a technique known as a "recess appointment" - basically, a process which allows the President to bypass the need for Senate confirmation of appointees when congress is not in session - in order to overcome the opposition of the Democrats. Although resort to the process itself is not unusual, it seems to be very much so for high-profile appointments, particularly when these are the subject of strong opposition.

Bush has justified his decision by arguing that "this post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about UN reform". This, at least, shows us that he is in absolutely no mood to compromise when it comes to the thorny issue of UN reform in general, and that of the Security Council in particular; a more divisive candidate, either internally or externally, can scarcely be imagined.

Articles on the move can be found at the Independent and the Washington Post; Chris Borgen over at Opinio Juris also has a short but interesting analysis of the decision. Whatever the fallout of this, both domestically and internationally, it seems clear that there are some more "interesting times" ahead in terms of US-UN relations...


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