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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bolton on Obama's foreign policy

Paul Mirengoff attended a talk given by John Bolton (pictured) in New York on Wednesday, in which Bolton discussed President Obumbler's approach to foreign policy.
Ambassador Bolton argued that several elements have combined to induce President Obama to enroll in the essentially European project of global governance. Among these elements are Obama's underlying lack of interest in foreign policy and national security (to him, they are distractions), his sense that America is too powerful, and his desire to eschew old-fashioned patriotism in favor of a "post-American" presidency.


olton also cited our approach to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. With respect to North Korea and Iran, we have deferred to the "global community" and now rely on a policy of begging these countries to negotiate with us. Although negotiating is a good tactic for a nation like Iran that still needs time to develop nuclear weapons, Iran has resisted because it knows there will be no adverse consequences. Thus, Iran does not even need to negotiate in order to avoid U.S. action. And by holding out, it can expect to receive additional inducements to come to the table, if it comes ot that.

Ultimately, says Bolton, Iran and North Korea are understandably confident that they can "roll" Obama. In the meantime, the rest of the world sees a weak U.S. And when we ultimately fail to stop either nation, the floodgates of nuclear proliferation will open.

Bolton argues, as we have almost since we started blogging, that the only way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear facilities. For Obama such an attack is out of the question, so that leaves Israel. Bolton did not predict whether Israel will attack Iran, but he noted that it will be forced to make its decision soon.

Bolton holds out some hope that the opposition movement in Iran will succeed. And he bemoans the fact that during the past decade, we did so little to help it. In recent years, power has flowed to the revolutionary guard, making an overthrow of the government more difficult in some ways.

In any event, Bolton questions whether a change in government, even to a democratic system, would cause Iran not to develop nukes. And he believes that, even with such a change, the Saudis and others in the region would feel the need to develop nukes.
Bolton may not have predicted whether Israel will attack Iran, but six months ago he said that there was 'compelling logic' for us to do so and two years ago he told us that we need to see ourselves as a 'last resort' for striking Iran. A year ago, he told us to do it sooner rather than later.

America's in good hands: What could go wrong?

Read the whole thing.


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