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Hello, Kossacks:

I've been laying low here on Kos lately, spending my free time for the last month on Katrina relief -- but this news is well worth sharing.

Our friend Steve Clemons over at the Washington Note is reporting that the Mustachinator is forging new ground in Bushco's race to push the envelope of dysfunctional loyalty. This week, well-placed sources tell Clemons that Joltin' Bolton is tapping Jeffrey Gedmin as a senior member of his staff.

UPDATE: It's official. Gedmin is now the Deputy Permanent Representative of the U.S. to the United Nations. Steve Clemons has just confirmed that Gedmin will be named as John Bolton's No. 2 at the United Nations and will carry the formal title of "Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations." More below the break.

Here's Steve's take on the news:

President Bush stands by those loyal to him -- as he did with John Bolton, who was precisely the wrong person to send as America's Ambassador to the U.N.

Now John Bolton is reportedly gathering a new group of staffers loyal specifically to him.

News has just reached TWN that Aspen Institute Berlin Director Jeffrey Gedmin, who worked at the American Enterprise Institute with Bolton and who directed AEI's New Atlantic Initiative, will be joining Bolton as one of his senior staff at the mission.

Jeff Gedmin is a self-described Bolton loyalist and penned his job application and writing sample for Bolton, "Mein Freund Bolton," in March of this year."

Why is this important news, other than the fact that it's yet another proof point that the 'Stache is about the worst choice for UN ambassador ever?

Gedmin's piece is an early preemptive attack on those who would question the appropriateness of Bolton for the key U.N. Ambassadorship and help make Bolton's style of pugnacious nationalism that has so harmed U.S. interests in the last few years seem legitimate for an American envoy.

Another article that probably underscores why Bolton wants Gedmin so badly -- and why we should all be concerned is Plan B for Iran which ran in the Weekly Standard -- and which was aptly critiqued by Jim Lobe here. Many observers believe that beyond George Bush's blind loyalty to those who blindly serve as his spear-carriers, the only logical reason to have Bolton at the U.N. is to have him there to knock heads and rip up the U.N. if it fails to heed American will regarding Iran and its nuclear program.

Iran's pretensions are a clear issue of concern -- but the "bomb them now and get it over" attitude is not going to further American interests and probably is a sure-fire path assuring Iranian commitment to a fully-deployed nuclear weapons program coupled with a pissed-off and isolated Iran.

I have maintained a friendly relationship with Jeffrey Gedmin through the years and think that the Aspen Institute Berlin's decision to hire Gedmin in Germany gave Germans a much closer feel to the thinking and motivations that ran through neoconservative circles. This was better for Germans than hiring someone who just reaffirmed dominant German biases. However, even good acquaintances have disagreements -- and John Bolton is a big one.

Bottom line and, really, no surprise? This is exactly what we all expected. More Clemons: "Bolton is bringing people to his side that bolster the neocon element both in the State Department and who reinforce Bolton's long-term agenda of using his perch as a rival voice on U.S. foreign policy to Rice and Zoellick -- and to make sure that the Bolton/Cheney wing of the Republican foreign policy establishment continues strong."

And another, not particularly shocking development? News is trickling out that some of Bolton's underlines at the U.N. are finding him to a micromanaging, difficult to tolerate asshole. I was shocked, SHOCKED, I say, to hear such news.

Clemons believes, as do I, that Bolton is bringing in his own loyalists not just to further his policy agenda, but to serve as "enforcers." Says he "...There may be tensions brewing -- and Bolton may be bringing his own loyalists to keep order and to 'compel' those bureaucrats under his control to do 'exactly what he wants.' Well, we saw how well that went in his last job. . .Bolton's immediate staff as well as the rest of the world (represented at the U.N.) need to watch out."

Just thought you'd all like an update on likely developments along the East River. God bless America, indeed.

Originally posted to Melody Townsel on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 09:38 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just thought this week's catalog... (4.00)
    ...of Rethug excesses wouldn't be complete with an update on Atilla von Mustache.
  •  God bless YOU Melody (none)
    for bringing this to our attention.
  •  Thanks!` (4.00)
    This is important stuff!

    Just to add to it, I was "shocked," too, to read [this article,2106,3427436a12,00.html about Bolton pushing a change to the UN charter that would end mandatory contributions, and make payments voluntary (the old Conservative favorite form of "reform"!).  Of course, this is going over like a lead balloon!

    I think it is clear that Darth Mustachus is at the UN for one reason only: to wreak havoc!  A severely fractured UN would be in no position to have any sort of response if BushCo unleashes the nuclear hounds on suspected Iranian nuclear sites.

  •  Funny part is (4.00)
    That the Europeans  Asians African and Lating Americans will out diplomat this guy in a second.

    Most of them are used to dictatorial governments and therefore know howe to deal with bullies.

    The Europeans are skilled in the diplomatic arts

    The French could ask a woman her age, get the information and still not offend or let her know they actually asked the question.

    All they have to deal with is an egotistical thug like Bolton.

    Bolton sort of reminds me of OTT in a Fish called Wanda:

    Wanda: To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I've known sheep who could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs, but you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?

    Otto: Apes don't read philosophy.

    Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don't understand it!


    Wanda: Aristotle was not Belgian, the principle of Buddhism is not "every man for himself," and the London Underground is not a political movement! Those are all mistakes, Otto. I looked them up.

    These couls all be re-written for Bolton.

  •  Bolton (none)
    Just an aside, but has anyone else noticed that John Bolton looks just like the walrus in Alice in Wonderland?
  •  The world will just ignore Amb. Snidely Whiplash (none)
    Amb. Whiplash will simply be allowed to rant and fume as he wishes. He will simply be ignored until he's either gone from his temporary appointment... or busted trying to tie the Canadian Ambassador to the UN to a set of railroad tracks.
  •  Dumb and Dumber (4.00)
    I love the regular chatter about how Rice is the reasonable one and Bolton wants to be a counter to her, if not tear her down completely for being too pragmatic.  As one who is intimate with this field of study, let me say that Rice is so reviled in Soviet/Russian studies circles that they were happy when she took an administrative position at Stanford.  She is not the only one I know of with a PhD in the field who actualy believes that Reagan was more responsible than anyone for bringing down the Soviet Union.  But, she is certainly one of the highest profile and in a very, very small majority that has been roundly dismissed as hacks by the research, by the documentation, by the historians, and, perhaps most importantly, the people over here themselves who laugh a hearty "Do Americans really believe that?  How?"  Andropov was more important for bringing Gorby into the Supreme Soviet and giving him a reform charge.  Walesa was more important - and with him Jaruzelski.  Glasnost was more important.  Chernobyl was more important.  The people in the Eastern Bloc were more important.
  •  Thanks Melody (none)
    Its nice to know that you are watching that creep and will let us know what he doing Now.

    Good work on hurricane relief.  I've seen your name mentioned here and there,

    "War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means." - Karl von Clausewitz

    by maybeeso in michigan on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:06:51 PM PDT

  •  this is another Oedipus moment for W (none)
    Iraq was the first, where he could show that he was tougher than his dad.

    Iran is no. 2 where all Reagan/Bush did was trade some arms for hostages--they played nice w/ the Iranians.  But W can go in and blow them up and once again show that he's the hardass on top, not some wuss like his dad.

    Iraq is Arabic for Vietnam

    by moe99 on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 01:06:32 PM PDT

  •  For those who don't read German (none)
    I can give you an overview of Jeff Gedmin's letter.

    Basically, he talks about a bunch of problems with the UN: its Human Rights Commission has included members such as Libya, China, and Cuba. China is threatening war against Taiwan, and thus is endangering world peace. And then there's Israel, who never gets a fair deal when it comes to the UN, as can be demonstrated by the case where the UN first denied it had a video showing three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, then disguised the faces of the perpetrators in order to maintain neutrality.

    All of those complaints may indeed be true. But Gedmin considers it so obvious that Bolton will improve the culture of the UN that he never bothers to explain how he'll go about accomplishing that change.

    I may translate the letter later if I have time and if enough people are interested in seeing just what Gedmin said.

    "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line" - Indigo Girls

    by AlanF on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 01:37:24 PM PDT

  •  And for those who want a concise description (none)
    of Gedmin, here's what I found by Googling his name:

    > Project for the New American Century: Founding member
    > American Enterprise Institute: Resident Scholar


    "There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line" - Indigo Girls

    by AlanF on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 02:47:18 PM PDT

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