Wednesday :: Dec 19, 2007

John Bolton is still insane


by Turkana

You see the Spiegel headline, and it seems obvious:

'Bush's Foreign Policy Is in Free Fall'

You think of the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan, the obstruction of progress at the Bali climate conference, the transparently dishonest attempts to catapult the propaganda about Iran, Putin crushing democracy in Russia, Israel and the Palestinians farther than ever from making peace, and America more hated than ever, everywhere. The headline makes sense. Everything Bush touches, he destroys. He's the anti-Midas. But then you see this:

SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH FORMER US DIPLOMAT JOHN BOLTON

It must be a joke, right? Surely, John Bolton hasn't come to his senses, and realized that the Bush Administration is a catastrophe, has he? Well, actually, he has made the realization. But for the wrong reasons. For the opposite reasons. If it weren't on a credible news site, it would not be believable.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Ambassador, you worked closely with the president and you shared his hawkish views on Iraq. But your new book is fiercely critical of George W. Bush. Why?

Bolton: His foreign policy is in free fall. The president is turning against his own best judgment and instincts under the influence of Secretary (of State Condoleeza) Rice. She is the dominant voice, indeed, almost the only voice on foreign policy in this administration.

SPIEGEL: The popular reading of her looks a bit different. She is presumed to be weak and not particularly efficient.

Bolton: No. Rice is channeling the views of the liberal career bureaucrats in the State Department. The president is focusing all his attention on Iraq and, by doing so, has allowed the secretary to become captured by the State Department. He is not adequately supervising her. It is a mistake.

Got that? Bush is in free fall because he's going soft! It includes the obvious garbage: North Korea is dangerous, Iraq was a threat, and the Iraq War has made us safer. Reality still eludes the deranged man's grasp.

The Guardian reported a September meeting he had, In England, with a group of fringe Tory delegates:

John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, told Tory delegates today that efforts by the UK and the EU to negotiate with Iran had failed and that he saw no alternative to a pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities in the country....

"I don't think the use of military force is an attractive option, but I would tell you I don't know what the alternative is.

"Because life is about choices, I think we have to consider the use of military force. I think we have to look at a limited strike against their nuclear facilities."

He added that any strike should be followed by an attempt to remove the "source of the problem", Mr Ahmadinejad.

Sure. Worked well in Iraq: invent a threat, bomb, remove the leadership, and be greeted with flowers, peace, and prosperity.

Thankfully, the British government wasn't buying it.

As the Observer reported, a week later:

Diplomatic relations between Britain and the United States over Iran are under increasing strain after Gordon Brown's special security adviser warned that American claims about Tehran's military capability should be taken 'with a pinch of salt'.

As a new conservative campaign group with links to the White House prepares to make the case that Iran is a direct threat to the US, Patrick Mercer urged scepticism towards any US justification for strikes against the country.

And, of course, there was that little reality check, a couple weeks ago, as reported by the New York Times:

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies released Monday concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting a judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

Bolton's view?

SPIEGEL: In the past, you argued for a military intervention in Iran. Do you still consider that an option?

Bolton: I don't have the same high confidence these intelligence analysts do that, in fact, there was a full suspension of the military program in Iran. This is not like those claims about Cheney pressuring the poor intelligence community to spin intelligence on Iraq. This is politicization from the other side -- people in the intelligence community allowing policy preferences to affect their analysis and judgments about the intelligence.

Because the intel community is also soft. And politicized. As opposed to warmongering political hacks such as himself. Who are objective.

For one year, this man was our acting U.N. Ambassador. He still represents the "thinking" of many in the Administration, and in his party. Give us another Republican administration, in 2009, and you can be sure he'll be working for it. Just one more reason why we need a Democratic president- any Democratic president.

Turkana :: 5:45 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!