Monday, September 11, 2006

John Bolton--one of the Western Sahara's best American allies

Western Sahara Endgame has an interesting, albeit nine months old, post that mentions US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton's role in the Western Sahara. I think it's relevant again, now that his nomination is rumored to be dead.

If the rumors are true, then it's too bad for the Western Sahara. From 1997 to 2000 Bolton worked as James Baker's assistant during Baker's envoy work for the UN. This suggests he cares more than the rest of the Bush administration about the Saharawi plight. If his nomination is rejected by Democrats and moderate Republicans, it will be a disappointment for a possible new path to Saharawi independence through the United States.


  1. When the Bolton hearings were going on last year, friends of mine who are heavily invested in the Western Sahara issue convinced me to put my objections to Bolton's nomination on hold and give the man a chance. Their reasoning was that he is by far the most knowledgeable individual in the Bush administration on WS, he is on record favoring a referendum, and he is a tough character who could stand up to the Moroccans. Anyway a year is over, and I feel that none of his promise vis-a vis the WS has been realized. For those of us who care about the WS I can't see that he's given us any reason to support his nomination.

    My original objections are just as true today as they were a year ago. He has total disdain for the United Nations and finds it useful only insofar as it furthers the Bush administrations warped view of the world. He is personally arrogant and abrasive. On WS he talks a good game about self-determination and all, but in the end he will stab the Sahrawi in the back, or in the front for that matter, in the name of realpolitik. Throw the bum out.


  2. Under a recess appointment, Bolton still has four more months -- 17 total from August 2005. MINURSO's mandate is up at the end of October. If he's on until the end of December, he still has time to do the only thing he can do anyway, and that is veto MINURSO.