Cheney defends UN choice of Bolton

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The Independent US

Dick Cheney, America's Vice-President has made clear what has been almost universally suspected - that President George Bush's recent diplomatic appointments are intended to push his agenda of promoting freedom and democracy around the world.

Dick Cheney, America's Vice-President has made clear what has been almost universally suspected - that President George Bush's recent diplomatic appointments are intended to push his agenda of promoting freedom and democracy around the world.

In an interview yesterday with the Washington Post, Mr Cheney said the choice of John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations was intended to shake up the world body. The fact that Mr Bolton, a neoconservative arch hawk, had strongly criticised the UN in the past would give him "a great deal more credibility" there, said Mr Cheney.

The US was host country of, and the biggest contributor to, the UN, whose long-term success "depends, I think, on the continued support of the US and the American people". A lot needed to be done at the UN, Mr Cheney added. "A great many Americans" were unhappy with its performance.

The appointments of Mr Bolton and of Paul Wolfowitz to the Presidency of the World Bank can only strengthen Mr Cheney's already influential role within the administration. Architects of the aggressive Bush foreign policy, they are both allies of the Vice-President.

That influence might grow even further if, as is rumoured in Washington, Mr Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis Libby, succeeds Mr Wolfowitz to the position at the Pentagon.

In another sign of Mr Bush's strategy of putting loyalists in main positions, Karen Hughes, arguably his closest aide in both Texas and the White House, has been placed in charge of public diplomacy at the State Department, with the crucial job of improving America's image in world.

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