Stop the presses. John Bolton (in The New York Post !?!) applauds move by the Obama administration:
The Obama administration’s decision not to at tend this week’s "Durban II" conference on racism in Geneva means that boycotting outrageous United Nations parleys is now officially bipartisan US policy. This is real US leadership….
The absence of America eliminates any pretext of global legitimacy, which greatly concerns the international left. Depriving the original Durban conference of that legitimacy is exactly why the Bush administration — hesitatingly and at the last possible moment — quite properly walked out in 2001.
Not surprisingly, the leftist Human Rights Watch complained that the absence of an American delegation would leave Durban II with a lack of "diplomatic gravitas." That, of course, is precisely the point. Rep. Barbara Lee of the Congressional Black Caucus said that "this decision is inconsistent with the administration’s policy of engaging with those we agree with and those we disagree with." This, too, is correct.
These reactions underline the long-term significance of President Obama’s decision, which effectively reaffirms President George W. Bush’s 2001 approach and makes withdrawing from UN events a respectable policy option. It legitimizes the US assertion of its interests and those of its friends and allies, rather than repeatedly succumbing to the simplistic notion that "engagement" is always preferred.
Don’t worry, the Post is still the Post: The Bolton piece ran below a column by Ralph Peters blasting Obama’s handshake with Hugo Chavez, titled "Bam’s Latin Lovers."