From Bolton to Khalilzad? Bush administration’s new UN ambassador will continue the war

UN ambassador John Bolton, a key figure driving the Bush administration’s war in Central Asia and the Middle East, has resigned.

In keeping with the Bush administration’s standard modus operandi, and in line with the likely confirmation of former CIA Director Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, Bolton’s replacement will be a Washington “consensus” choice: an equally dangerous war criminal, but one who is not as openly reviled by neoliberal Democrats, and less known to the general public.

Architects of Afghanistan and Iraq war agenda

At the top of the list of names being floated is Zalmay Khalizad, the current US ambassador to Iraq, former proconsul in Afghanistan, and former National Security Council (NSC) official specializing in regional operations including the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia. Khalizad is a former CIA operative, and undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration who was a consultant for Unocal during the Clinton administration.

It was Khalilzad who drew up risk analysis for the trans-Afghan pipeline in the late 1990s. (See Afghanistan, the Taliban and the Bush Oil Team.) The trans-Afghan pipeline was one of the primary agendas behind 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan. Khalilzad negotiated for and with the Taliban. Khalilzad played a major role in the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy.

According to the Washington Post, Khalizad is “generally well liked by Democrats.”

Another name being mentioned is Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky. Dobriansky is a fervent neocon and member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

Whoever is tapped for this critical UN post, it will be someone considered to be more politically adept, better at manipulation and high-level deal making, than the openly caustic Bolton.

Rather than celebrate the exits of Rumsfeld, Bolton, and other signs of the collapsing Bush administration credibility, greater attention must be focused on the new “war on terrorism” consensus being shaped in Washington and NATO — and the fact that no real “changes of course” is imminent.

Articles by: Larry Chin

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