The spectacle called the annual meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations has always made for great theater. Publicity-hungry world leaders flock to the media capital of the world like moths to a flame.
But last week's version of the annual rite of fall fell far below even the usually low standards of behavior that is expected there. During the course of a single day, we witnessed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decry the existence of a fellow U.N. member — Israel — while baiting the United States. And his new best friend, Hugo Chavez, the authoritarian president of Venezuela, upstaged Iran by similarly blasting America and Israel, claiming that the president of the United States was the devil incarnate.
This "joke" drew applause from many. But the real jest is the notion that this freak show on Turtle Bay is anything but a sad excuse for a body that is supposed to be promoting world peace. This should have given Americans a small taste of the treatment that Israel has received at the United Nations for nearly 60 years now.
A place where such despicable figures as Ahmadinejad and Chavez can be welcomed — even applauded — is not a spot where the fight for freedom can be left to the faint of heart. And that's exactly why this latest bout of U.N. insanity ought to lead the U.S. Senate finally to confirm the appointment of John Bolton as our permanent representative to that outrageous world body.
Bolton was blocked by a partisan filibuster last year, and then brought to the United Nations via a recess appointment by Bush. His record on Israel was good enough to win him many plaudits from the Jewish community the first time his nomination was considered. But in the last year, his courage and willingness to stand up to the buffoons and dictators — and speak the truth — has been of inestimable value. The organized Jewish community is now virtually united in support of his nomination.
The Senate should listen, and send Bolton back.