John Bolton: Romney Advisor, Foolish War-Monger

One of Mitt Romney’s top campaign advisors (and potential Secretary of State if Obama loses) has such inadequate understanding of the Iranian issue, and is so belligerently wrong on the fundamentals, that it should frighten any observer of the 2012 race. In his latest piece at the Weekly Standard, John Bolton says that negotiations are “delusional” and that our only option at this point is to launch a war against Iran. And he’s not kidding.

Bolton claims the mix of sanctions and negotiations rests “on the erroneous premise that Iran could be talked out of its decades-long effort to build deliverable nuclear weapons.” He quotes “Obama’s director of national intelligence, Lt. General James Clapper, [who] testified in January, ‘the sanctions as imposed so far have not caused [the Iranians] to change their behavior or their policy.’

If Bolton had bothered to listen to Clapper, he would have also mentioned that Clapper explicitly said “we don’t believe [the Iranians] have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.” Bolton’s claim that Iran has a “decades-long effort to build deliverable nuclear weapons” directly contradicts the estimates of the entire US military and intelligence community. But facts are powerless for people like Bolton, who are preconditioned to disregard any information that marginalizes their war aims.

Bolton then asks “what would a negotiated deal look like? Our goal is to deny Iran nuclear weapons; Tehran manifestly wants the opposite. What is the compromise? Iran gets to keep a small nuclear weapons program?” Again, Iran does not have a weapons program, so clearly it wouldn’t be part of any negotiated deal for Iran to “keep a small nuclear weapons program.” As far as what a deal would look like, Bolton must not be paying attention. In Moscow last month, the Iranians offered a proposal that included agreeing to halt uranium enrichment to 20 percent and to more fully cooperate with international inspections (that is, beyond the 24-hour video surveillance and frequent international inspections to all of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities).

Bolton is careful on one point, though. He doesn’t come right out and say that he believes Iran would use its nuclear weapons on Israel or the US. He simply implies it. He talks about a “dangerous misperception that a nuclear Iran could be contained and deterred.” What this really means is that Bolton thinks there is no way Iran would be deterred by the threat of retaliatory attack when (not if) they use their imaginary nuclear weapons. Incidentally, not a single expert, official, or academic on this issue believes that. Across the spectrum, it is well understood that Iran’s leaders are rational, respond to incentives, and value self-preservation. As renowned academic Kenneth Waltz recently wrote in Foreign Affairs, “Despite a widespread belief to the contrary, Iranian policy is made not by ‘mad mullahs’ but by perfectly sane ayatollahs who want to survive just like any other leaders.” Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Ron Burgess told Congress, “the agency assesses Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally provoke a conflict.”

Bolton’s most revealing quip in this tabloid-quality column is when he makes clear that US policy towards Iran should be nothing less than regime change. The current road, he says, fails to “effectively advance the goal of replacing the mullahs with a regime that would truly forswear nuclear weapons.” Both the Bush and Obama administrations have “erred by conceding that Iran has any right even to ‘peaceful’ nuclear activities without fundamental regime change.” The rational John Bolton pokes his head out here. Indeed, any policy other than declaring war on Iran will fail to deprive Iran of its legal right to a peaceful nuclear program and will fail to force a regime more to Bolton’s liking on the Iranian people.

But such belligerence could never pacify the situation. Just as a posture, this approach fails immediately. As former CIA analyst Paul Pillar explains, a “nothing-but-pressure” approach would leave the Iranians “to believe that heavy pressure, including sanctions, will continue no matter what they do at the negotiating table, and that means no incentive to make more concessions.” More importantly, and as is widely recognized even in officialdom, nothing is surer to facilitate an Iranian bomb than to attack Iran.

There is a rather persistent question that has permeated the Romney-Obama 2012 campaign. In weighing their options, many voters and commentators wonder aloud whether Romney has only been as hawkish as he has so that he can get elected. He is sure to get more rational once he gets into office, they claim. Bolton’s Weekly Standard piece should really put that question to rest.

32 thoughts on “John Bolton: Romney Advisor, Foolish War-Monger”

  1. John Bolton is a warmongering, Israel-First degenerate. If I had my way, I'd kick his ass over to Israel–and tell him to stay there.

  2. Dont be fooled by his Mustache, John Bolton.., he just wants to look like Joseph Staline but mimicking Hitler.

    1. The "why" is twofold:

      1) This country is run by criminals, a group that includes Bolton.

      2) The majority of Americans (more accurately, Amoricons) are brainless and belligerent and love "leaders" who reflect those traits. Bolton fits the bill perfectly.

  3. John Bolton is one of the most illiterate men in the history of American politics. He is a dangeroug fool who would lead us into yet another totally immoral and unnecessary war, and bring down the rath of God on our no longer believing nation. If he becomes influential in the next Administration we will continue down the road to our ntional destruction.

    1. I remember General Tommy Franks gave him a ringing endorsement during the Iraq war by calling him: "The stupidest mother fuc*er I've ever met." – NOT a paraphrase.

      1. I thought Franks was referring to Douglas Feith with that description – not that Feith and Bolton, or any other neocons, for that matter, are in any way distinguishable from each other.

  4. "…we don’t believe [the Iranians] have actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.”

    Bolton and his ilk really don't care. They want a war (in which they and theirs will not actively participate, of course) and are indifferent to the reason. These are people who refuse to acknowledge that the Embassy takeover was caused by actions perpetrated by the US foreign policy. Besides the desires of the Israelis for the US to fight their wars for them, they want to slap the Iranians down for being "uppity"… They don't care that another war on an Muslim country cannot enamor the US to the rest of the Muslim world.

  5. If I ever looked in the mirror and saw the face of John Bolton I would be so ashamed that I could not live another minute. I would take my life in that very moment.

  6. Bolton is a classic example of an inbred psychopath.

    "Uranus, a planet without a people for a people without a planet."

  7. Bolton's opinion is simply what the 1%'s behind the scenes are looking for….
    what else another useless war to profit from…… the fact that this country is nearly bankrupt
    is irrelevant/////

  8. Endless wars for Israel, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.

    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like "America Deceived II".

    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.

    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.

    Impeach Obama, support Ron Paul.

    Last link of "America Deceived II" before it is completely banned:

  9. I'm not sure Bolton is as dangerous as he's made out to be. He's so extreme he'd likely just result in the can being kicked down the road for the next guy to deal with. That's what happened with Bolton and North Korea last time. The Iranians, North Koreans etc. as well as our allies such as the Europeans would be quite content to ignore his impotent blustering.

  10. Just when I thought Mitt Romney was the most significant thing causeing him to loose his run for President I read this. I can't imagine the threat of John Bolton for Secretary of State doing anything except causing Romney to loose by a landslide. Romney really doesn't hide the fact that he either thinks we're all too stupid to stop him from becomeing President, or he knows that it doesn't matter how we vote, it's just a formality before the Supreme Court declairs him the next President of the United States.

  11. If this batshit crazy zionist psychopath's looks didn't remind folks of loveable old Wilfred Brimley, someone would have put him out of our misery by now.

  12. Bolton is one of those strange Americans who will gladly send other folks kids off to die for Israel, why does he love Israel so much ? I don't believe for one minute he actually thinks Iran is a danger to the US, so he's clearly shilling for a war on Israels behalf, but why ? what motivates a guy like Bolton to take these stances ? is he literally on the payroll of the MIC or the Israel lobby ? or does he just like war ? is he a sadist ? does he just hate muslims ? is he motivated by his religious beliefs ? is he one of those crazy christian "end times" people ?.

    Maybe he was knocked about by his parents as a kid ? stuff like that can have a long term effect on peoples behavior as adults, Hitler was beaten black and blue by his father on a regular basis.

    whatever, we know the guy is not a rational thinker, he's already come to his conclusion and looks for "evidence" to back it up, but there is none, all the evidence points to Iran not having a weapons program.

  13. Bolton has a significant and severe Psychiatric problem,the worry is he would be capable of causing WWIII ifhe held such a position and he is so crazy that he would actually do it. We know that he is all for boxing in the only country that has the capability of making the US a Glass factory, the USSR sorry thats what Bolton STILL thinks it is I mean Russia!

  14. John Bolton is a warmongering ass who should have his butt kicked continuously until Orville Larson shows up to kick it over to Israel to stay there with the rest of the Rothschilds' Jonestown.

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