A group of 53 former U.S. ambassadors publicly has endorsed John Bolton’s nomination to be America’s next United Nations envoy.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), these former top diplomats praised Bolton’s past service and looked enthusiastically on his prospects should the Senate confirm his appointment.
“No one in the world of diplomacy and geo-political policy has a better grounding of proven experience than John Bolton,” the letter read. “He was on hand as an active participant during the period of the break-up of the Soviet Union and made important contributions to policy-making at a time of total ambiguity when the world of two superpowers was morphing into what we have today.”
It continued, “We believe it is in the best interest of the community of nations as represented by the United Nations, for the maintenance of world peace and security, that the views of America’s President be clearly and directly presented in both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN.”
“It is for this reason more than any other that we urge you to quickly and clearly approve John’s nomination,” the diplomats wrote.
Led by Bruce S. Gelb, former ambassador to Belgium, the letter was signed by 52 other U.S. envoys to nations ranging from the obscure Equatorial Guinea to key allies such as Italy, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Its signers include such notables as:
‐Richard Burt, former ambassador to Germany
‐Frank Shakespeare (Portugal and the Vatican)
‐Helene van Damm (Austria)
‐Leon J. Weil (Nepal)
‐Faith Whittlesey (Switzerland)
This letter is a counter to an anti-Bolton communiqué signed March 29 by 59 US diplomats. Among other things, they chided him for “insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States.”
In a game of dueling diplomats, Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, organized a pro-Bolton letter sent to Lugar April 4. Among its signatories were ex-ambassadors as well as one-time officials from elsewhere in America’s foreign policy apparatus including former director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey and legendary Pentagon chief Caspar Weinberger. Additional signatures have rolled in since then; CSP now boasts 92 former officials in its pro-Bolton contingent.
These efforts are a stiff rebuke to the anti-Bolton voices in the traditional foreign policy establishment. More than that, Gelb’s and Gaffney’s letters symbolize a growing strength within the conservative/free-market movement. After more than 16 combined years of the Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43 presidencies, a sizeable cadre of top, center-right diplomats now can chime in on global issues and represent the United States overseas when called upon. The left has its ambassadors, and we have ours, too.
The letter follows in its entirety:
BRUCE S. GELB
150 EAST 52ND STREET
NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10022
April 12, 2005
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
306 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Lugar,
Your Committee will soon be reasoning together on the nomination of John R. Bolton as our country’s next Ambassador to the United Nations. We urge you to give special weight at this time to the explosions of freedom now taking place in Ukraine, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Zimbabwe, to name just a few. We believe that these early stirrings of courageous groups within countries that for too long have held on to rigid authoritarian or in some cases totalitarian rule reflect in large measure the policies and optimistic realism of President George W. Bush.
No one in the world of diplomacy and geo-political policy has a better grounding of proven experience than John Bolton. He was on hand as an active participant during the period of the break-up of the Soviet Union and made important contributions to policy-making at a time of total ambiguity when the world of two superpowers was morphing into what we have today.
We believe it is in the best interest of the community of nations as represented by the United Nations, for the maintenance of world peace and security, that the views of America’s President be clearly and directly presented in both the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN.
It is for this reason more than any other that we urge you to quickly and clearly approve John’s nomination.
Bruce S. Gelb, former Director of USIA; former Ambassador to Belgium
Anne L. Armstrong, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom
William S. Farish, former Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Walter J.P. Curley, former Ambassador to France and Ireland
Richard R. Burt, former Ambassador to Germany
Peter Secchia, former Ambassador to Italy
Edward N. Ney, former Ambassador to Canada
Chic Hecht, former Ambassador to The Bahamas; former US Senator
Alfred H. Kingon, former Ambassador to the European Union; former Assistant Secretary of Commerce
Thomas Patrick Melady, former Ambassador to The Vatican, Uganda and Burundi
Frank Shakespeare, former Ambassador to Portugal and The Vatican
Michael Sotirhos, former Ambassador to Greece and Jamaica
Robert D. Stuart, Jr., former Ambassador to Norway
Weston Adams, former Ambassador to Malawi
Everett E. Bierman, former Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
Stephen F. Brauer, former Ambassador to Belgium
Nancy G. Brinker, former Ambassador to Hungary
Keith L. Brown, former Ambassador to Denmark and Lesotho
Richard W. Carlson, former Director of VOA; former Ambassador to Seychelles
Gerald P. Carmen, former Ambassador to the United Nations
Sue McCourt Cobb, former Ambassador to Jamaica
Charles E. Cobb, Jr., former Ambassador to Iceland
Peter H. Dailey, former Ambassador to Ireland and Special Envoy to NATO
Diana Lady Dougan, former Ambassador – US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy
Richard J. Egan, former Ambassador to Ireland
William H.G. Fitzgerald, former Ambassador to Ireland
Joseph Ghougassian, former Ambassador to Qatar and Senior member in Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq
Joseph B. Gildenhorn, former Ambassador to Switzerland
Glen A. Holden, former Ambassador to Jamaica
Richard L. Holwill, former Ambassador to Ecuador
Charles W. Hostler, former Ambassador to Bahrain
Roy M. Huffington, former Ambassador to Austria
G. Philip Hughes, former Ambassador to Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Lester B. Korn, former Ambassador to the United Nations Economic and Social Council
Paul C. Lambert, former Ambassador to Ecuador
L.W. Lane, Jr., former Ambassador to Australia and Nauru
Ronald S. Lauder, former Ambassador to Austria
John Langeloth Loeb, Jr., former Ambassador to Denmark
Gregory J. Newell, former Ambassador to Sweden; former Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations
Julian M. Niemczyk, former Ambassador to Czechoslovakia
Sally Z. Novetzke, former Ambassador to Malta
Penne Korth Peacock, former Ambassador to Mauritius
Joseph Carlton Petrone, former Ambassador to the United Nations European Office (Geneva)
Charles J. Pilliod, Jr., former Ambassador to Mexico
James W. Rawlings, former Ambassador to Zimbabwe
Frank Ruddy, former Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea
Paul A. Russo, former Ambassador to Barbados, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica
Ronald J. Sorini, former Ambassador and Chief Textile Negotiator
Timothy L. Towell, former Ambassador to Paraguay
Helene van Damm, former Ambassador to Austria
Leon J. Weil, former Ambassador to Nepal
Faith Whittlesey, former Ambassador to Switzerland
Joseph Zappala, former Ambassador to Spain
–Deroy Murdock is a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a senior fellow with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in Fairfax, Va.