When the U.S. abstains, it cedes the field to others on the Security Council. And our global interests make losing the initiative unacceptably risky, especially on critical issues such as the Middle East.
Ms. Rice's abstention last Thursday, for example, neither mitigated the council's pressure on Israel, nor increased the likelihood of a cease-fire. As a display of weakness, it simply invites a diplomatic feeding frenzy. That will almost certainly happen now in regards to Gaza, where Resolution 1860 is having no effect.
Monday, January 12, 2009
John R. Bolton: The U.S. Votes 'Present' at the U.N. - WSJ.com