With this question as a point of departure, Peter Robinson explores with Ambassador John Bolton U.S. foreign policy successes and failures during the Bush years and assesses the current challenges from the usual suspects: North Korea, Russia, and Iran.
Bolton sees a power shift in the Middle East that would be fundamental, calamitous, and irreversible should Iran get nuclear weapons.
A senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the Departments of State and Justice. During the administration of George W. Bush he served as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security and as an ambassador to the United Nations.
John R. Bolton
John Robert Bolton is an American diplomat in several Republican administrations, served as the interim U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the title of ambassador, from August 2005 until December 2006, on a recess appointment.
His letter of resignation from the Bush Administration was accepted on December 4, 2006, effective when his recess appointment ended December 9 at the formal adjournment of the 109th Congress. Bolton is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits the Hoover Institution's quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover's television program, "Uncommon Knowledge."
Robinson is also the author of three books: How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life; It's My Party: A Republican's Messy Love Affair with the GOP; and the best-selling business book Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA.
Brief conflict in 2003 between Iraq and a combined force of troops largely from the U.S. and Great Britain; and a subsequent U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and protracted Iraqi armed insurgency against it. The trade embargo and weapons-inspection process that the UN imposed on Iraq following the Persian Gulf War (199091) had partly fallen into abeyance by 2001. U.S. Pres. George W. Bush argued that the September 11 attacks on the U.S. in that same year highlighted the threat to U.S. security posed by hostile countries such as Iraq. In November 2002 the UN issued Security Council Resolution 1441 demanding that Iraq readmit weapons inspectors and comply with all previous resolutions. Although inspectors did return to Iraq, Bush and Blair declared in early 2003 (despite objections by many world leaders) that Iraq was continuing to hinder UN inspections and that it still retained proscribed weapons. On March 20 the U.S. and Britain (with smaller troop contingents from other countries) launched a series of air attacks on Iraq, and a ground invasion followed. Iraqi forces were rapidly defeated, and on April 9 U.S. forces took control of the capital, Baghdad. British forces completed their occupation of the southern city of Al-Basrah the same day, and by May 1 the major combat operations of the invasion had been completed. However, the U.S. and other occupying forces were soon embroiled in escalating guerrilla warfare in Iraq that hindered Iraq's recovery and killed thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians. The war, long opposed by many throughout the world, also became increasingly unpopular in the U.S.
Sounds real to me.
His experience and getting to the nitty gritty of any issue in a common sense way. Opinions here matter little because we the reader, know not all the information. Mr. Bolton and his positions give him access to vast amount of info.
My feelings are, straight forward Man, works hard at what duties are needed. Bolton, the bolt, does his homework, unlike many others. Over acheiver, loves His work!
Indeed, Al Qaeda was not a worldwide organization prior to 9/11 attacks. The Bush adminstration was right to launch attacks on Afghanistan in pursuit of Al-Qaeda or to arrest those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Had the Bush adminiostration confined the war to Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda would have been a history. The administration squandered this opportunity by diverting the war to Iraq. The Iraq played into Al-Qaeda propaganda machine within the arab and muslim world that the United States was out to cause chaos in the muslim world. Al-Qaeda propaganda appealed to muslims worlwide. As a result, US interests around the world were targeted by Al-Qaeda and some its copycats.
The Bush administration, of which Mr. Bolton was a senior member,judgment was wrong.
At the very end, Bolton congratulates Bush for preventing another terrorist attack in the US.
Don't forget that the threat from Al Qaeda was severely exaggerated by the Bush administration right after 9/11.
Watch the BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares" to see that Al Qaeda was a very small and desperate organization in 2001. NOT a worldwide organization with sleeper cells in 60 countries (as Bush claimed).
(part 3 of "The Power of Nightmares" is about Al Qaeda)
Mr. Bolton is entitled to his view, and I do respect his view when he said that Iran acquisition of nuclear weapon is unanimously opposed by Arab states and Israel, and for that reason United States should stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Bolton does not know the real feelings of the Arab states. Let me remind Mr. Bolton that it does not make sense, even to a political novice, to take seriously the position of arab dictators who actually lack legitimacy in their respective countries. Mr. Bolton must be reminded that, come what may, the future of the arab world rests upon the shoulders of silent majority whom he and his former administration brushed aside.
Having said that, I honestly believe that nuclear weapon in the hand of Iran must not be tolerated. What I would not accept is to scapegoat the "unanimous arab opposition" as a reason to stop Iran from acuiring nuclear weapons.
President Barack Obama smart diplomatic approach is the best way forward.
Well, I could make a list, but let me comment on the very first few minutes of this 'interview'. John Bolton conveniently separates the Iraq war problem in 2 questions (as he has done many times). This is simply a retoracle device to make the problem manageable for his side of the story. He effectively separates the decision to invade from all the subsequent effects of the invasion. Therefor the decision to invade can NEVER be wrong, even a raving left wing loonatic would agree. It also gives him a nice advantage over people who would criticize him for the effects of the war, by saying that is somehow a separate question.
A statement like this SHOULD be challenged by any interviewer, even if they're in agreement. Simply to clarify the duality in the statement.
Later they go even further and separate the war in 3 stages (quite ridiculous) and dare to take credit for the 1st AND 3rd phase. Well, the first phase... ok. A 20 gazillion army beat a 20 penny army. I guess we could concede that one, but to take credit for the third is a little bizarre. The single biggest cause for the lower levels of violence was the pact US troops made with former jihadist groups (something Obama is now proposing to do with 'non radical' Taliban groups in Afghanistan) AND the extra American troops on the ground(I must say I'm quite impressed with the performance of the American troops overall).
Again, I could go on. But you see my point. There actually are a lot of assertions and opinions here that should be challenged to make thing clearer.
By the way, I never said John Bolton said things that are untrue, just that he is very skilled in turning a conversation his way.
Really Zutzuk. Not that I disagree with your interviewer comment, But was what Bolton was saying untrue? Are other middle eastern countries worried about Iran getting nukes?
They're not assertions...they're facts. The only opinion proffered was his last quote concerning the naive-nature of Obama's administration.