What do you do with a State Department official who says things like "There's no such thing as the United Nations?"
Why, you make him ambassador to the United Nations, of course.
The problem with this isn't that the US will have to get by with fewer friends in the world. Bush has effectively demonized international cooperation anyway, so what does it really matter if he adds another ignorant, arrogant schmuck to the gaggle of fools representing all of us?
No, the problem is that at a time when the United States is fighting a two-front war (and possibly opening a third or fourth front shortly), we have fewer and fewer allies. We have very little significant combat help, very little logistical help, and it's our soldiers that are the ones paying the price. Even staunch partners like Italy, with a few thousand troops in country, are insulted by insinuation -- "she's a communist; she writes for a communist rag" -- after a tragic friendly-fire mistake. (The tragedy of course is that Nicola Calipari, the Italian intelligence officer who freed insurgency hostage and Il Manifesto reporter Giuliana Sgrena, died shielding her from bullets fired by American soldiers. Even if we wanted her dead -- and I'm not certain we did -- we couldn't have wanted him dead. And another thing: "Friendly fire" must be the most rancid oxymoron imaginable.)
Why must this administration make enemies everywhere it goes? Why do they look for new ways every day to piss off virtually everyone in the entire world?
Bush should have nominated a UN ambassador that would be capable of rebuilding burned bridges with alienated allies; someone who could help deliver the international help our troops need.
Instead they give yet another middle finger to the global community.
And while conservatives snicker behind their hand, content in their clever "message" to the world, US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to die. No pullout in sight, despite the singing and cheering and dancing associated with Iraqi election day last month.
John Bolton isn't going to be accomplishing much in the way of international cooperation, and more importantly, he probably contributes indirectly to more of our brave men and women dying in the desert for years to come. What a nice legacy that will be.
Update: I see there is news that his confirmation will be opposed. How vigorously and successfully...well, we'll see.