John Bolton’s never-ending push for war with Iran
We’ve heard this from Mr. Bolton before. Remember just a year ago, he put Israel on a timetable to attack the Bushehr nuclear power facility in Iran? In this National Journal piece, Bolton talks of the necessity of a military option. He is definitely one of the most scary of the neocons.-RH
Bolton: Administration Needs Military Option in Iran
By Hana Rouse
In a week in which debate over U.S. involvement in Afghanistan swung between accusations of isolationism and calls for interventionism, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton added his voice to those campaigning for an aggressive foreign policy, this time in Iran. At a congressional hearing today, Bolton advocated military intervention to prevent Iran from gaining full-fledged nuclear capabilities.
Now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bolton said that alternatives to military action won’t prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons “in a timely way.”
Addressing the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, he asserted: “A diplomatic solution … that’s not going to work.”
He and other witnesses said that countries such as Syria and Iran could gain nuclear capabilities in the very near future; Bolton predicted that Iran would gain nuclear capabilities “much sooner than later.”
The head of the United Nation’s atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said earlier this month that there were indications that Iran’s nuclear program was advancing to the point where it could be used for military purposes. The U.S. has intelligence that Iran continues to enrich uranium at a higher rate than would be needed for civilian use and is upgrading its ballistic-missile technology. But Tehran denies that it is building a nuclear missile and insists that its enrichment is for peaceful purposes.
Bolton criticized the administration’s refusal so far to take military action against developing nuclear regimes, advocating military intervention as an “unpleasant” yet necessary alternative to “a future where Iran had nuclear weapons.”
“It’s a big mistake to assume, as I think the administration has, that a nuclear Iran can be detailed and deterred,” Bolton said.
Bolton’s criticism of American policy regarding Iran is nothing new—by his own acknowledgement, he has advocated military intervention for the past three and a half years.
But his remarks add to the debate, in the wake of President Obama’s announcement regarding troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, over the degree to which America should intervene in other countries’ affairs. Some advocate an approach to foreign policy that centers less on militarized combat and more on hands-off policies like economic sanctions, but others suggest that without continued intervention, the United States runs the risk of seeming weak. Last Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., cautioned against what he termed “isolationist” policy, criticizing members of the Republican Party for not supporting American involvement in Libya.
Bolton said that a lack of American military action against Iran would send a signal to other countries in the area that they, too, can successfully develop nuclear programs without fear of retaliation from the United States. Bolton named Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey among states that he believed would likely do so.
Robert Satloff, executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, agreed that the military should play some role in the United States’ interaction with Iran, writing in his prepared testimony that “the most important contribution the United States can make is to restore the credibility of the military option.”
But he said that the United States should focus not only on military intervention but also on promoting a desire for democracy among the Iranian people, calling Iran and Syria “enormous strategic opportunities for the United States.”
Satloff said that if the U. S. focuses more on outreach to the Iranian people “we will lose an adversary and gain democracy.”
The United States should especially focus on breaking the monopoly that the Iranian government holds over communications in the country, he said, encouraging calls for democracy.
“There’s fundamental instability in the Iranian system,” Satloff said. “Our job is to hasten the decline.”
Source: Watching the Neocons