Let’s Hear that John Bolton Line Now: The Deaths of Innocent Lebanese Not Equivalent to the Deaths of Innocent Israelis



An Israeli air strike has killed 54 civilians — including 37 children. This after the strike against a UN observation facility where UN staff were killed — and also after hundreds and hundreds of other innocent Lebanese have been killed in the exchanges between Hezbollah and Israeli military forces. Tension is heating up — finally — between American negotiators and Israeli, but this is long overdue. But back to John Bolton, who was part of a UN Security Council statement…




Senator Hagel’s speech today — posted below — was quite superb in articulating a smart stragegy for American engagement in the Middle East. I asked the Senator about his views regarding John Bolton’s confirmation as the Senator was not able to attend the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearings yesterday. Senator Hagel has stated unambiguously that he is now “undecided” on John Bolton. Here is the exchange: Steven Clemons: Senator Hagel. Thanks for a very inspiring and unfortunately very sober (given…

Chuck Hagel: Israel vs. Arab Nations A False Choice for U.S.



Chuck Hagel is giving an important, brave speech today. Here is his full prepared speech: “A Defining Time for 21st Century American Leadership” U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel Remarks as Prepared for Delivery at the Brookings Institution July 28, 2006 I am honored to be invited to speak here today as a part of the Brookings Institution’s 90th Anniversary Leadership Forum. Brookings has been at the center of every important policy debate in this country for 90 years. Thank you to…

Head to Brookings: Senator Chuck Hagel is Going to Make News on Middle East Crisis in Speech Today



Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has a speech ready to go today at the Brookings Institution (11 a.m.) that is very significant — and is focused on the Middle East crisis and on the question of American engagement in the world. I have had the opportunity to read his prepared remarks, but my comments are embargoed until 11 a.m. All I can and will say is that the speech formally titled “A Defining Time for 21st Century American Leadership” could just…

Lincoln Chafee Shoves Bolton Around on his “Terrorism” Simple-Mindedness and on Israel-Palestine



OK — Something interesting is going on with Lincoln Chafee. He just shoved John Bolton all over the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Room floor. Must have had spinach and Wheaties this morning. Chafee was dogged in questioning John Bolton on his views about Israel-Palestine, about the root causes of the crisis in the Middle East, about Bolton’s simple-minded use of the term “terrorism”, and about Bolton’s views of “shaping the Middle East” as one of the greatest challenges America…

Richard Durbin: Bolton Filibuster Needs ONLY One More Vote



On “The Young Turks” Radio Show, Senator Dick Durbin says the Bolton bilibuster needs only one more vote to succeed. Frankly, this is better than I thought we had, and we have until mid-September to wrangle that vote. The temperature around the Bolton vote is different than last March when the fight had a different kind of political significance. But remember — preempting the confirmation of John Bolton as US Ambassador to the United Nations was the first kick-back in…

John Bolton: My Views on the UN Remain Unchanged



Senator Norm Coleman just asked John Bolton that now after he has been inside the UN whether his views of the institution and its role have changed at all. John Bolton’s response: “Not really.” On that basis alone, Senator George Voinovich should flip his vote again. If Bolton himself has not reconstructed his views of and approach to the UN as an institution — which was essential for Voinovich — why would he support him now. Makes zero sense. —…




Something weird just happened. I received the first formal “opening statement” of John Bolton just before the hearings began and quickly read it. I highlighted in my last post what I saw as the most shocking part of his statement and reported it. This section dealt with Bolton’s comments about the “moral equivalence” or not of deaths on the Israeli side vs. the Lebanese side of the current conflict. After John Bolton began reading his formal statement, we received an…