On July 13, John Bolton our unconfirmed ambassador to the United Nations vetoed a proposed Security Council resolution that would have demanded Israel halt its military offensive into the Gaza Strip.
The resolution, "Condemning military assault being carried out by Israel, the occupying power, in the Gaza Strip, which has caused the killing and injury of dozens of Palestinian civilians, and the destruction of Palestinian property and civilian infrastructure, notably Gaza’s main power station, and condemning also the detention of democratically elected Palestinian and other officials," called upon Israel "to halt its military operations and its disproportionate use of force that endanger the Palestinian civilian population and to withdraw its forces to their original positions outside the Gaza Strip."
Why did Bolton veto the resolution proposed by Qatar?
Well, the assaults carried out by the Israelis against the Gaza Strip (supposedly in retaliation for cross-border assaults by Islamic jihadists, allegedly associated with Hamas, the ruling Palestinian political party) had by then been eclipsed by Israeli assaults against Lebanon (supposedly in retaliation for cross-border assaults by another Islamic jihadist group, Hezbollah).
"The draft resolution before the Council was unbalanced. It placed demands on one side in the Middle East conflict but not the other. This draft resolution would have exacerbated tensions in the region and would have undermined our vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security.
"Passage would also have undermined the credibility of the Security Council, which itself must be seen by both sides as an honest broker in the Middle East conflict. In this regard, public statements of UN officials must also accurately reflect positions agreed by member governments.
"Establishing the foundations for a lasting peace, however, will require us to focus our attention not just on Hamas, but on the state sponsors of terror who back them particularly Syria and Iran. Let us be clear that without the financial and material support of Damascus and Tehran, Hamas would be severely crippled in carrying out its terrorist operations.
"We call upon Syria and Iran to end their role as state sponsors of terror and unequivocally condemn the actions of Hamas, including this kidnapping.
"We yet again call upon Syria to arrest the Hamas ringleader, Khaled Meshal, who currently resides in Damascus.
"We stress again our condemnation of Syrian and Iranian support of Hezbollah, which has claimed responsibility for the other kidnappings along the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon."
Places demands on Israel, but not on Lebanon? Or Syria? Or Iran?
Well, Bolton, welcome to fourth-generation war. As William Lind puts it,
"With Hezbollah’s entry into the war between Israel and Hamas, Fourth Generation war has taken another developmental step forward. For the first time, a non-state entity has gone to war with a state, not by waging an insurgency against a state invader, but across an international boundary."
Bolton was never confirmed by the Senate largely because of the opposition of Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio).
But a week after Bolton vetoed the proposed UNSC resolution condemning Israel, Voinovich changed his tune.
"Ambassador Bolton’s appointment expires this fall when the Senate officially recesses.
"Should the president send his renomination to the Senate, I will vote to confirm him, and I call on my Democratic colleagues to keep in mind the current situation in the Middle East and the rest of the world should the Senate have an opportunity to vote.
"I do not believe the United States, at this dangerous time, can afford to have a UN ambassador who does not have Congress’s full support.
"For the good of our country, the United Nations and the free world, we must end any ambiguity about whether John Bolton speaks for the United States so that he can work to support our interests at the United Nations during this critical time."
In case you’ve forgotten, "diplomat" Bolton attempted to strong-arm the Security Council into in contravention of procedures set out in Chapter VII of the UN Charter invoking sanctions on Iran (for refusing to suspend legal uranium-enrichment activities) and on North Korea (for refusing to suspend legal ballistic missile tests).
In both cases, the Security Council did not invoke Chapter VII. Did not conclude that Iran’s or North Korea’s legal activities constituted a "threat to the peace." Did not impose or threaten to impose sanctions.
In both cases, Bolton told you that the Security Council effectively had.