Sunday, November 04, 2007

Catch the ‘Stache

John BoltonC-Span will have John Bolton on tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.

He’ll be plugging his new book, Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations

The editorial blurb at Amazon says:

The son of a Baltimore firefighter and the first person in his family to go to college, with scholarships to Yale University and Yale Law School, John Bolton studied with preeminent conservative thinkers Robert Bork and Ralph Winter. After law school, he experienced the “Reagan Revolution” firsthand in Edwin Meese’s justice department -- where the American judiciary was fundamentally reshaped. His diplomatic skills were honed working with Secretary of State James Baker during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, and serving in the administration of President George W. Bush as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.


Recounting both his successes and frustrations in taking a hard line against weapons-of-mass destruction proliferators, terrorists, and rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, he also exposes the operational inadequacies that hinder the UN’s effectiveness in international diplomacy and its bias against Israel and the United States. At home, he criticizes the pernicious bureaucratic inertia in the U.S. State Department that can undermine presidential policy.

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Bolton’s complaints - about the U.N.’s bias against Israel, and the “bureaucratic inertia” of the U.S. State Department - resonate with those of us concerned with the current deplorable state of State. Secretary Rice’s recent bright idea to meet with Carter, Clinton, et al, to gather ideas for the Israel-Palestine conflict is a perfect example of a gerbil on her wheel. Not the kinds of meetings Bolton would ever convene.

While it will never occur (because his term would be wildly successful) the most helpful thing that could happen to this country would be to have John Bolton as Secretary of State.

But what politician would have the kind of foresight or courage to appoint him? President Bush was only able to manage Bolton’s brief term at the U.N. by going around the Imperial Congress. One can’t blame the Senate particularly for hating him: he makes them look so bad by comparison.

I plan to get Bolton’s book when I have enough Amazon points. When it gets here, I’ll do a review. Meanwhile, for those of you with TVs, enjoy tonight’s interview. If nothing else, Bolton will be entertaining.

Unfortunately, Clarence Thomas' autobiography doesn't have an index so I couldn't find his mention of how helpful John Bolton was to him while he was learning the ropes in Washington. I can't imagine a better advisor, though.

C-Span appears to have an archive of its interviews, so this one will probably be up some time this week.


Pastorius said...

Forget Secretary of State.

I want Bolton for President.

Nate said...

I'm not so sure I'd want him as a diplomat or president. Rather, we need him to reshape the bureaucracy--his tone is well suited for that, and given the tantrums that a few Foreign Service Officers are throwing with regards to a potential assignment to the Green Zone, I think his services could be well-used as the hatchet-man in chief.

Semper Fidelis.

Clorinda said...

From the article:
"(Bolton)’ll be plugging his new book, Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations."

(snort) He should have called his book "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America FROM the United Nations."

That would have been more accurate, in my opinion. But that's just me.

John Wheelock said...

Bolton had probably one of the most difficult jobs of all as ambassador to the UN. That organization is a total joke. The only way any positive change gets done in this world is if America spearheads it or the individual citizens take up the challenge themselves. Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur - these are all huge failures on the part of the UN. They should have zero credibility.

All I know is, that is one great mustache. said...

Bolton did my show yesterday, a hour with JtotheB.

The man ought to be a candidate.
Great interview. He is your insider.