WASHINGTON: A grassroots organization dedicated to reform of the United Nations is spearheading a PR campaign to thwart the president's nomination of John Bolton as the next US ambassador to the international body.
On March 5, Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) established a website, StopBolton.org, featuring video and text of comments that Bolton has made about the UN.
The group also will run newspaper ads in six states that are home to members of the Foreign Relations Committee to put pressure on them to vote against Bolton. Among the targets are Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joe Biden (D-DE), the chairman and ranking member of the committee, as well as Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Russ Feingold (D-WI).
CGS opposes Bolton's appointment because of disparaging comments he's made about the UN, including saying once that if its New York building lost 10 stories, "it wouldn't make a bit of difference."
Financing for the campaign will come from appeals to members of CGS, said Harpinder Athwal, director of strategic planning and communications for CGS.
She said CGS is also looking to book people opposed to Bolton on local radio stations in the six states and hasn't ruled out using VNRs.
James Lilley, a former ambassador to China and South Korea who has known Bolton for 10 years, said he's not surprised by the response to the nomination.
"He's going to stir up the left," said Lilley. Bolton will keep the national interests of the US in mind "and then seek to reach consensus with our friends and allies in the UN."
President Bush nominated Bolton on March 7. He is currently undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.