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the Institute for Policy Studies

Ten Questions the Senate Should Ask John Bolton at his Confirmation Hearing, But Probably Won't

1. In 1994 you said "There is no United Nations." Do you still believe that the international community, and the world's premiere multilateral organization, are illusions?

2. You also said "When the United States leads, the United Nations will follow. When it suits our interest to do so, we will do so. When it does not suit our interests we will not." Do you still believe that the U.S. should approach the United Nations only in a tactical way, treating it as a tool of U.S. foreign policy?

3. Do you think that the United Nations represents a threat to U.S. sovereignty, and therefore do you think we should simply stop paying dues to the UN?

4. The United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which the U.S. has signed and ratified, form the cornerstones of international law. Do you believe the U.S. would be better off if it "unsigned" those two treaties?

5. While you were heading the Bush administration's arms control efforts, you fought for the U.S. to withdraw from the ABM treaty. Do you believe that because the U.S. military is so dramatically more powerful than that of any other country or group of countries in the world, that it's easier if we simply dictate to other nations what weapons they can or can't have rather than worrying about complicated multi-lateral agreements?


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6. The U.S. was one of the original drafters of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Do you think we have any obligation to fulfill the terms of that treaty regarding the rights of nuclear weapons states, or is it really something that only the non-nuclear signatories are accountable to?

7. Do you think the U.S. should ever sign on to any treaty that holds us accountable to the same limits (of arms, nukes, etc.) as other countries around the world? Do you think we should refuse to sign on to a strengthened global treaty on bio-weapons, for instance, if it required the U.S. to allow the same kind of international inspections that we require of other countries?

8. Was "unsigning" the Rome Treaty creating the International Criminal Court the "happiest moment" of your government service? What other treaties do you think the U.S. should "unsign"?

9. Despite claims to the contrary by numerous intelligence and military officials, do you still think Cuba is producing biological weapons?

10. Former Senator Jesse Helms described you as ''the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon ...[at] the final battle between good and evil in this world." Do you see your role at the United Nations as fighting that same battle between good and evil?

Phyllis Bennis

Phyllis Bennis

Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies. Her most recent book is the 7th updated edition of "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer" (2018). Her other books include: "Ending the Iraq War: A Primer" (2008),  "Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer" (2008) and "Challenging Empire: How People, Governments, and the UN Defy US Power" (2005). Follow her on Twitter: @PhyllisBennis

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