John Bolton Hearings Begin

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I am covering the John Bolton hearings from 216 Hart Senate Office Building.
Senator Lugar has just called the hearing to order and opened proceedings. So far, the Senators in attendance are Barbara Boxer, Richard Lugar, John Warner, George Allen, Chris Dodd, George Voinovich and Norm Coleman.
Joe Biden will be here shortly but is at the White House at a signing ceremony for the Voting Rights Act.
The most heartening item I have read this morning is a stunning reversal by the Washington Post that has essentially withdrawn its support from Bolton — and takes serious exception to George Voinovich’s reversal, which he declared in his own Washington Post op-ed.
My hunch is that neither Fred Hiatt nor Jackson Diehl wrote that Post editorial — and that it was written by Sebastian Mallaby, who has brought real balance and objectivity to his mostly conservative commentary.
I just received John Bolton’s prepared statement.
One paragraph that instantly jumped out at me dealt with the killing of innocents in Lebanon by Israeli forces.
Bolton states:

. . .These are all important questions currently under discussion by the Secretary (Rice) in Rome and the Security Council. The question of Israel’s response has come up as well. Of course it is a matter of great concern to us, as President Bush has stressed, that civilian deaths are occurring. It is a tragedy, and I would not attempt to describe it any other way.
We have urged the government of Israel to exercise the greatest possible care in its use of force. But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist attacks, the very purpose of which are to kill civilians, and the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths as a result of military action taken in self-defense.

It is somewhat staggering to see this in print — not a misstatement. If John Bolton’s daughter was killed accidentally in Southern Lebanon like so many other innocents have, I wonder if his calloused view of this tragedy would remain as firm.
The killing of innocents on the scale we have seen in Southern Lebanon is not only tragic, it’s outrageous and sends a signal to the Muslim world that their lives “are worth less”.
Hezbollah committed a criminal, terrible act that had to be responded to — but Israel has now assured that it has many other families and peoples who fear it and have more desire for revenge than for peace.
Israel had choices in its options to defend itself — and had Israel acted more judiciously — I would be more sympathetic to Bolton’s views. But the present flamboyant display of power by Israel and the harm done to innocent people, including UN observers, is something that Israel and John Bolton should be far more contrite about.
Chris Dodd has led the charge for Democrats and just called John Bolton a bully. A bully that was effective would be something that Dodd could support — but he is outlining why and how John Bolton is an entirely ineffective bully. Very good statement overall.
Lincoln Chafee — whose support of John Bolton remains inexplicable — has just arrived.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

20 comments on “John Bolton Hearings Begin

  1. mature porn says:

    I love John. It’s a great person.

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  2. noel says:

    Roger H. Werner says it all.
    According to an article i read this morning in Canada, only 1/3 of the soldiers in Irak and Afghanistan think it is their responsbility to treat the civilians weel.
    55% would not tell about wrong doing to a civilian they withness by another soldier, while 40% are in favour of torture.
    The report shows that the war create soldiers who eventualy suffer from mental problems and develop mental illness.
    The study does not include the long term effect on the wives and children of thoses mental case returning home.
    What a mess for all humanity created by the war industry.

    Reply

  3. noel says:

    Roger H. Werner says it all.
    According to an article i read this morning in Canada, only 1/3 of the soldiers in Irak and Afghanistan think it is their responsbility to treat the civilians weel.
    55% would not tell about wrong doing to a civilian they withness by another soldier, while 40% are in favour of torture.
    The report shows that the war create soldiers who eventualy suffer from mental problems and develop mental illness.
    The study does not include the long term effect on the wives and children of thoses mental case returning home.
    What a mess for all humanity created by the war industry.

    Reply

  4. Roger H. Werner says:

    I wonder why Steve Clemons appears to be surprised that John Bolton ascribes a lower value for Muslim versus Israeli life? Whether Americans wish to admit it or not, we have viewed death in these terms for more than a century. Non-European, non-white, and or non-Christian deaths (and during the Cold War anti-Communists of any color or national origin) are always less significant. Bolton is merely stating what many inside the Beltway already understand. I don’t agree with the notion that non-whites are worth less but I won’t deny that much of our foreign policy is based on precisely that notion.

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  12. andrew says:

    I just sent Chafee an email the other day about Bolton and I urge every other resident of Rhode Island who keeps up with this blog to do the same. I love the man; heaven knows he’s better than most of the Democrats in our state (who was it said power corrupts?), but some battles are fucking worth it, and I’ll definitely be considering the Democratic candidate in the upcoming election if his support doesn’t change soon.

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  13. Frank says:

    The ram’s horn of AIPAC to marshall support for Bolton is sounding. Israel’s proxy embassador to the UN is worth more than any one elected US politician’s loyality to Israel. You betcha!! This hearing is of strategic importance to Israel, and all stops have been pulled to get him to continue his “made in Israel” bull dozer “diplomacy” in the UN. It will be interesting to observe Hillary’s and Schummer’s reponses..Ouh vey ist meir!!

    Reply

  14. David says:

    Punchy,
    Clinton and Schumer need to keep the Jews in NYC off their backs or they will be destroyed politically. That’s why they MUST support Bolton, Israel’s man. The Jews in NYC are the most influential political force in the state.

    Reply

  15. plink says:

    “………. the man will only make war, not peace!” Pinko hustled off stage left.
    “…. we are becoming the enemy, we are becoming the terrorists ……..” Pinko hustled off stage left.
    [It’s like a play]

    Reply

  16. km4 says:

    Are you’re comfortable having a amoral and deluded lunatic, then vote for Bolton.

    Reply

  17. Punchy says:

    Can someone please explain to me how now Clinton and Schumer (sp?) are now “leaning” towards voting FOR him?
    Clinton is voting her way out of the mainstream Democratic voters. Quickly.

    Reply

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