I know the United Nations like the back of my hand. And I have good reasons to believe we badly need a tough guy like John Bolton to handle the rudderless bureaucracy that has turned against the very country that wrote the logo of its Charter: “We the People of the United Nations.”
I spent two decades of my other life as a Communist spy chief, struggling to transform the U.N. into a kind of international socialist republic. The Communist bloc threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project. According to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, all employees from Eastern Bloc nations were involved in espionage. The task of this espionage army was not to steal secrets but to use the U.N. to convert the historical Arab and Islamic hatred of the Jews into a new hatred for Israel’s main supporter, the United States. The U.N. became our petri dish, in which we nurtured a virulent strain of hatred for America, grown from the bacteria of Communism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, jingoism, and victimology.
During the years I was Nicolae Ceausescu’s national-security adviser I learned that petty tyrants cannot be handled with kid gloves. You need an iron fist.
John Bolton not only acts forcefully, he also gets results. He singlehandedly brought about the repeal of U.N. Resolution 3379 of 1975, which stigmatized Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” That resolution was the Soviet bloc’s first major “victory” at the U.N. Soon after it was adopted, the Communists unleashed a vitriolic disinformation campaign portraying the U.S. as a rapacious Zionist country run by a greedy “Council of the Elders of Zion” (a derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress) that was plotting to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom.
U.N. Resolution 3379 lasted 16 years–until Bolton came along. In December 1991, this unknown undersecretary of State had the guts to tell the General Assembly of the U.N. that it had been manipulated by the Communists, and to ask its members to wake up. Bolton was so well-armed with documentation, so bold, and so straightforward that he forced the U.N. to repeal its own resolution by the great margin of 111 to 25. Even my native Romania, until then the epitome of Communism, voted with Bolton.
Bolton’s success did not last long. Although the Cold War was pronounced “kaput,” it did not end with a formal act of surrender, like other wars, or with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons.
Ten years after Communism collapsed, an operation identical to the one the Communists had plotted in 1975 made its appearance at the United Nations. On August 31, 2001, a U.N. World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance opened in Durban, South Africa, to approve ostensibly pre-formulated Arab League declarations asserting that Zionism was a brutal form of racism, and that the United States was its main supporter.
The September 11 terrorist attacks came eight days after the United States had withdrawn its delegation from Durban, stating that this U.N. conference would “stand self-condemned for yielding to extremists.”
It is significant that today’s horrific terrorism has reenergized the Soviet bloc’s former agitators around the world. Antonio Negri, a professor at the University of Padua who considered the brains of the Italian Red Brigades (a terrorist group financed by the Communists) and who served time in jail for his involvement in kidnapping Prime Minister Aldo Moro, is just one example. Negri coauthored a virulently anti-American book entitled Empire, in which he justifies Islamist terrorism as being a spearhead of “postmodern revolution” against American globalization, the new “empire” he claims is breaking up nation states and creating huge unemployment. The New York Times called this modern-day Communist Manifesto “the hot, smart book of the moment.”
This is a familiar theme. For 27 years of my other life I was involved in creating various Antonio Negris throughout Western Europe and using them to spread the seductive theory of economic determinism that still defines the mindset of Europe’s Left. I helped write the lyrics to the siren song according to which America, symbolizing the world’s rich, is to blame for all the evils of the world. I was steeped in its rhetoric. To me today, these Cold War agitators revived by Kofi Annan’s U.N. are even more disturbing than the terrorists’ Kalashnikovs now aimed at us.
Nowadays it is considered bad manners to point a finger at Communist sources of anti-Americanism, but the truth is that the Soviet bloc’s old U.N. bag of dirty tricks continues to bear fruit. In 2003, the U.N. expelled the U.S. from the Commission on Human Rights by the overwhelming vote of 33 to 3. By that time the United Nations General Assembly had already passed 408 resolutions condemning Israel, the only U.N. member prohibited from holding a seat on the Security Council. The cumulative number of votes cast against Israel since 1967? 55,642.
Now Annan wants to “reform” this U.N. with help from the same Communists who deformed it. On December 2, 2004, for example, he vigorously endorsed the 101 proposals of the “High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.” One of the main members of this blue-ribbon panel is an old friend of mine, Yevgeny Primakov, a former Soviet intelligence adviser to Saddam Hussein. This is the same Primakov who rose to head Russia’s espionage service for a time, and to sing opera ditties with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright while secretly running the infamous Aldrich Ames spy case behind her back. Another prominent member is Qian Qichen, a former Red China spy who worked under diplomatic cover abroad, belonged to the Central Committee of the Communist party when it ordered the bloody Tiananmen Square repression in 1989, rose to the Politburo afterward, and later became vice-chairman of China’s State Council. And then there is Amre Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League (and a former KGB puppet), who misses the balance of power provided by the Soviet Union and is still unable to condemn–to say nothing about prevent–terrorism.
This panel recommended that the U.N. be transformed into a Communist-style welfare organization geared to eradicate the world’s poverty and its main diseases. For that, the panel concluded that the U.N.’s bureaucracy should be significantly increased, and the treasuries of its member countries additionally raided. In 1946 the U.N. budget was $21.5 million. This year it is approaching $10 billion. If Annan has his way, it will grow to over $30 billion next year, as the blue-ribbon commission wants the U.N. members to “donate” an additional $10 billion annually to fight AIDS and 0.7 percent of their GNP to reduce the debt of poor countries.
The U.N. Charter, signed in 1945, states that the purposes of the organization is to “maintain international peace,” encourage “respect for human rights,” and promote “freedom for all.” Sixty years later the world looks quite different, but, according to Freedom House, some 2.4 billion people “are denied most basic political rights and civil liberties.”
Nazism, the Holocaust, and Communism were not defeated by international organizations or by blue-ribbon commissions. They were defeated by the military actions of the United States, which is now working on crushing the evil of terrorism. The U.S., not the U.N., initiated freedom’s current domino effect in the Middle East, a movement that now is even reaching into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, while the U.N. is busy encouraging the growing anti-American barrage.
The U.S. is the only force on earth that has the moral authority, the experience, and the capability to reform the U.N. It is high time for Washington to take the initiative again, as it did when World War II ended.
President Bush has made clear he is interested in U.N. reform. In September 2003, he told the U.N. General Assembly, “As an original signer of the U.N. Charter, the United States of America is committed to the United Nations. And we show that commitment by working to fulfill the U.N.’s stated purposes, and give meaning to its ideals.” The nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador is a step toward achieving this goal. Bolton is an impatient doer. If he had been U.S. ambassador to the U.N. any earlier we might not have seen the crazily tyrannical government of Libya chairing the Commission on Human Rights, for one thing.
Bolton has said that, if the glass zoo on the East River that quarters the United Nations “lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” Some argue that this remark makes him unfit to be ambassador at the U.N. I strongly disagree. He gets it, and the U.N. will be all the better with an Ambassador Bolton there.
–Ion Mihai Pacepa is the highest ranking intelligence officer to have defected from the Soviet bloc. His book Red Horizons has been republished in 27 countries.