KWAME HOLMAN: Democrats tried to suggest that in his tenure
the ambassador has been ineffective in his leadership regarding several global
trouble spots. Barack Obama of Illinois asked
about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: So I'm wondering specifically what
is your office doing at this stage to move us off the status quo?
JOHN BOLTON: I agree that the Darfur
peace agreement is in jeopardy. Despite commitments made by the government of Sudan previously, they continue to say they will
not accept a U.N. force in Darfur.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA: We know Sudan is going to be recalcitrant
and intransigent. And so, precisely for that reason, I think it's important we
use some of our diplomatic skills and apply them to pressure some of the others
who are supporting Sudan.
And I'm not sure we've used all our diplomatic cards on this one.
KWAME HOLMAN: And John Kerry of Massachusetts
pressed the ambassador on how to rein in North Korea.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), Massachusetts:
Well, how are you going to achieve this if you're not going to have sanctions,
if you don't have the other countries prepared to have the sanctions? The
reason you don't have sanctions is they weren't prepared to do it, isn't that
JOHN BOLTON: No, because
that was not part of our original resolution. The first step here was to pass
SEN. JOHN KERRY: You're telling me they would be prepared to
JOHN BOLTON: It was our
judgment that the best way to proceed was along the lines that are now embodied
in Resolution 1695. That is certainly not to say that the council might not
take other steps in the future. But the steps we sought to take, we have now
KWAME HOLMAN: And overarching today's hearing, the fighting
and Hezbollah militants. Joseph Biden, the committee's top Democrat, asked if
the U.S. should have done
more to help Lebanon
meet the conditions of U.N. Resolution 1559, which called for the disarming of
SEN. JOE BIDEN (D), Delaware:
What we're doing right now is what 1559 was supposed to do. My question is: Was
there any action taken to generate the same kind of consensus and support for
bringing in what we're trying to do right now? We're trying to get a consensus
to bring in an international force that can shoot straight, that can sit along
the Israeli border.
And I assume part of what we're doing -- I hope to heck
we're doing -- is coming up with initiatives as to how we're going to help,
either through the French, through NATO, or through other means, to train up a
Lebanese army that can actually ultimately supplant that force.
JOHN BOLTON: Well, I think much of the work that has to be
done to strengthen Lebanese institutions is being done on a bilateral basis,
directly between the United States and Lebanon, but there are a variety of
things that were done in New York, specifically at the suggestion of the
Lebanese government, that were communicated to us and France and others that we
followed through on that I do think have had a significant impact.