- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2001

Today, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on John Boltons nomination to serve as under secretary of state for arms control and international security, a post for which he is eminently well-qualified. One of Mr. Boltons important functions as undersecretary will be to ensure that the United States and its allies are protected from potential attacks by rogue states such as North Korea and Iraq. He plans to do so by supporting the presidents commitment to build a workable missile defense system despite the unfair opposition launched by Senate Democrats.

Few have questioned Mr. Bolton´s ability. Sen. Joseph Biden told Mr. Bolton during his confirmation hearing, "This is not about your competence. My problem with you over the years is that you have been too competent. I mean, I would rather you be stupid and not very effective." That opinion was seconded by the government of Pyongyang, which acknowledged that Mr. Bolton "would adopt a more realistic and tough policy towards the nuclear weapon and ballistic missile issue of North Korea." Now, those are interesting assessments, to say the least.

Mr. Bolton has acted firmly on a number of other issues. While at the American Enterprise Institute, he suggested that the administration apply "a bottle of Wite-out" to the U.S. signature on the treaty to establish a U.N. war crimes tribunal. As assistant secretary for international organizations, Mr. Bolton fought against a U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism. On a number of arms control issues, he has established solidly conservative credentials, expressing reservations about international treaties that eviscerate American security, the very kind the Clinton administration was so fond of.

Perhaps that was why Secretary of State Colin Powell called Mr. Bolton "exceptionally bright and capable, and dedicated to the service of his country." Others who believe Mr. Bolton should be confirmed include Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Max Kapelman, Caspar Weinberger and Lawrence Eagleburger. Even John Holum, who held Mr. Bolton´s post in the latter days of the Clinton administration, has asked the Senate to move quickly on Mr. Bolton´s nomination.

The Senate has a duty to support Mr. Bush in fulfilling his duty in providing for the common defense. To that end, Mr. Bolton deserves to move into his post over the ideological objections.

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