Just days after his recess appointment to the United Nations, Ambassador John Bolton’s involvement in a bar brawl has alarmed some member nations of the international peace body. The scuffle, which took place in the exclusive Delegate’s Lounge of the UN and involved representatives of Finland, Tanzania and Fiji, reportedly broke out over a bowl of mixed nuts, which Ambassador Bolton alleged were "mostly peanuts."
Estranged brother Michael encourages John to "reach out for help"
By Deanna Swift
NEW YORK—It should have been an occasion for celebration: the new US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, dropped by the exclusive Delegate’s Lounge for his favorite cocktail, a Hand Grenade, a refreshing mixture of gin, grain alcohol, melon liqueur, rum and vodka. But instead of glasses being hoisted all around, multinational fisticuffs broke out after Ambassador Bolton alleged that the bowl of mixed nuts he’d ordered contained “mostly peanuts.”
Insiders note that the menu at the Delegate’s Lounge lists a "Mixed Nut Bowl" that includes cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts.
'He went off like a rocket'
The scuffle is said to have erupted just minutes after Ambassador Bolton took a seat at the bar. The bartender allegedly took Bolton’s order for a Hand Grenade, prepared the beverage, then served him the drink along with the bowl of roasted nuts. After that, say observers present in the lounge that afternoon, the new Ambassador appeared to “go ballistic.”
"He threw the nuts in the face of the bartender and accused him of being disrespectful because he, Bolton, was a recess appointment," said one representative of a European country who asked that he and his country remain anonymous out of fear that the new Ambassador might retaliate against them.
Fiji, Finland, Tanzania involved
Onlookers say that it wasn’t long before representatives of other countries found themselves involved in the fracas which quickly became a melee involving delegates from Finland, Fiji and Tanzania, all of whom were treated by UN medical staff for injuries ranging from black eyes to rug burn. Delegates from Venezuela, Bulgaria and Japan were among those who attempted to break up the clash.
Code name 'Hair Trigger'
The scuffle was ultimately broken up by Mr. Bolton’s security detail who rushed to the scene as soon as they were alerted that “Hair Trigger,” their code name for the new Ambassador, was in some kind of trouble. Observers say that the armed men worked quickly to subdue Ambassador Bolton and separate him from the Fin, Fijian and Tanzanian delegates.
A history of minor altercations
This is far from the first time that Mr. Bolton’s aggressive behavior has made headlines. Earlier this spring, Todd Fox, the editor of the Swift Report, a popular conservative Weblog, alleged that he and Mr. Bolton had had an altercation in the steam room of a popular Washington, DC, gym in 2000, and that a 'misunderstanding over who was sitting where' led the nominee to shout and snap a towel at him. That allegation surfaced after several employees of Mr. Bolton came forward to complain about his mistreatment of them.
A tipping point—and a brother comes forward
While sources close to the new Ambassador had hoped that his recess appointment might help Mr. Bolton deal with at least some of his anger issues, the high-profile position does not seem to have had that effect. In one surprise development, the Ambassador’s long-estranged brother, singer Michael Bolton, has come forward urging his brother to seek help for the anger that “appears to be eating him from within.”
In a statement released through a spokesman late last week, singer Bolton spoke movingly of his own issues with anger, citing a long-ago tour date during which the enraged singer hurled a shoe at an audience member. "Anger left unresolved is a cancer that will consume us. I want John to know that there is a cure for what ails him: time, love and tenderness," said the singer, referring to his hit song by the same name. "Someday John, you'll laugh at the pain. Somehow you'll get through the heartache and somehow you can get through the rain."
Ambassador Bolton did not respond to requests for an interview.
What treatment do you think would best benefit Ambassador Bolton? Talk back to Deanna Swift at email@example.com.