Mark Goldberg

Mark Leon Goldberg is a Prospect senior correspondent. He writes at UN Dispatch.

Recent Articles

CHOOSING FRANK LUNTZ...

CHOOSING FRANK LUNTZ OVER DARFUR. If the political dynamic surrounding Darfur remains static, the region has about three weeks before African Union forces are replaced by the Sudanese military and its genocidal proxies. Meanwhile, Kofi Annan is struggling to sound the alarm on the sheer urgency of the crisis. Yesterday, he appeared in person before the Council and, in an attempt to raise the individual Council members to action, gave a rather stirring speech . In unusually blunt language, Annan called on �additional voices� (read: key member states like China, Russia, and the United States) to do their utmost to press Sudan to consent to a U.N. peacekeeping operation for Darfur. But rather than stick around to give the American response, sources tell me that Ambassador Bolton skipped out of the briefing immediately following Annan�s speech. And though other permanent representatives, such as Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom, stayed, Bolton dispatched only a mid-level �minister...

Still Not the One

Standing before the Senate chamber in May 2005, Senator George Voinovich made a tearful, heartfelt plea to his colleagues, urging them to vote against confirming John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “I came back here [to the Senate] and ran for a second term because I'm worried about my kids and my grandchildren,” the Ohio Republican said. “And I just hope my colleagues will take the time, and before they get to this, well, do some serious thinking about whether or not we should send John Bolton to the United Nations." One year later, Voinovich likely regrets having given that speech. With Democrats threatening a filibuster, President Bush gave Bolton a recess appointment in July of that year. And in the ensuing 14 months, Voinovich has come to feel that the man he once called the “poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be” is now fit to serve as a cabinet-level ambassador. Writing in support of Bolton's re-nomination in The Washington Post ,...

Cash-And-Parry

What would happen if the United Nations ran out of money? Will unpaid translators show up to work at the Security Council? Will Con Edison simply turn the lights off at First Avenue and 42nd Street? More importantly: Will peacekeeping troops across the globe have to pack up and go home? We may soon find out. The U.N.'s operating budget is on pace to expire this summer, when a spending cap on the U.N.'s two-year budget is reached. U.S. Ambassador John Bolton sought the cap to pressure the developing world into acceding to a set of reforms that would streamline U.N. bureaucracy. So far, however, that tactic has backfired. And in the process, it has fostered a strategic realignment in Turtle Bay, in which the global south acts as an increasingly muscular foil to reform. * * * For better or worse, the United Nations relies on precedent, tradition, and consensus to make its most important decisions. This is particularly true on budgetary matters. Going back to the 1980s, when the Reagan...

The Options for Darfur

In the face of a mounting progressive backlash against the liberals who joined with President Bush to help sell the Iraq War, the hawks are fighting for their ideological lives. And as Iraq falls to pieces, what better way to prop up a discredited mantra of aggressive interventionism than to set your sights on the world's worst man-made humanitarian crisis? Enter The New Republic 's Lawrence Kaplan, who penned an April 23 Los Angeles Times op-ed that takes a pre-emptive swipe at hypocrites like me who urge action on Darfur but are wary of the wisdom of continued U.S. military presence in Iraq. According to Kaplan, we do not understand that “like Bosnia before it, Darfur will be saved by one thing: American power.” Later, he writes of us naïve souls who will attend the Washington, D.C., “Save Darfur” rally on April 30: “So, yes. Comfort your sensibilities. Testify to your virtue and good intentions. Offer assurance that your call to action is not a call for the unilateral or unprovoked...

Europe: Continental Drift

Silvio Berlusconi was trailing his center-left rival, Romano Prodi, in polls preceding Italy's general elections on April 9 and 10. So, less than two weeks before the vote, he did what most politicians in such situations do: He moved to shore up the base -- his allies in the hard right Italian Northern League. His chosen method? He aimed his crosshairs on the country's Muslim immigrants. “We don't want Italy to become a multiethnic, multicultural country,” he told the state-run radio in late March. “We are proud of our traditions.” In this, Berlusconi is representative of many politicians, particularly on the center-right, in western Europe, for whom race baiting has become increasingly profitable at the polls. In nearly every election on continental Europe since September 11, center-right parties have adopted a two-pronged approach to Muslims in Europe: First, paint Islam as an uncompromising religion; second, describe Muslim men under 30 as hooligans, terrorists, or both. This...

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