John Bolton Peddles New Wars More than Democracy

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Taiwan0807 018.jpg
John Bolton talks a lot about democracy but seems more about igniting wars — particularly with North Korea, Iran, Cuba and/or China.
Bolton was in Taiwan recently speaking on American foreign policy and his experiences in the Bush administration as part of a set of pre-release publicity tours for his forthcoming book, Surrender is not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. The picture above was taken by a friend in Taiwan at the headquarters of the Taiwan Democracy Foundation which no doubt made Bolton’s journey to Taipei well, can we say, “quite worthwhile.”
In a meeting with Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, Bolton reportedly stated that he “did not think one democracy should tell another democracy not to act like a democracy.” Bolton was referring to American informal instructions to Taiwan that any state declarations of independence from China, as opposed to autonomy, would trigger a redefinition of the strategic relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan.
One of the few good things that the Bush administration did do was to draw clear lines — very clear lines — for what the United States could accept regarding its own defense and security exposure to Taiwan’s incremental independence efforts. Ambassadorial equivalent and China expert American Institute in Taiwan Director Douglas Paal actually did a brilliant job as the Bush administration’s envoy in making sure that both Taiwanese and Chinese authorities got a reality test on the limits of American patience when it came to their sabre-rattling and dangerous rhetoric.
It’s a shame that the other part of the world that has tried repeatedly to blur its boundaries and aggressively expand what it could do during the Bush administration, Israel, did not have a Doug Paal in place to communicate emphatically the limits of American strategic support. Instead we have had Elliot Abrams who has been doing what John Bolton now is — egging on serious, potential military conflicts that America is poorly positioned to support.
Those in Washington who want to further explore John Bolton’s devotion to democracy and/or war can do so at the “Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture” at the Heritage Foundation on September 6th at 11 a.m.
Maybe someone can ask him if he happens to be Secretary of State someday (and it could happen), would he tolerate someone on staff like him who was so clearly insubordinate of Colin Powell and Richard Armitage — and who engaged in diplomatic brinksmanship with states like North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and China at times directly antithetical to what the Bush administration was trying to achieve. Would he keep the renedgage staffer on? or fire him?
— Steve Clemons

Comments

9 comments on “John Bolton Peddles New Wars More than Democracy

  1. Kathleen says:

    Will someone stick an apple in that pig’s mouth?

    Reply

  2. Amy Wang says:

    I have to admit that John Bolton and Hillary Clinton’s comments are extremely irresponsible as President Chen’s actions. But as an American citizen from Taiwan I must ask all of you to think, why are we supporting a socialist oppressive regime to an already established democracy. I personally do not agree the path nor the intentions that President Chen took to get the international community to recognize Taiwan as a legitimate sovereign state, but I applaud his effort. Taiwan has been self governing for a very long time, lets leave it that way. Some how I just have this feeling that between U.S and China, Taiwan will definitely be sacrificed for the welfare the American interests. And that is sad.

    Reply

  3. Steve's Kohai says:

    Steve, John Bolton must love all the publicity you get for him. When you launched your battle against him, you said you needed to turn the obscure bureaucrat into a household name. You succeeded so much that now he can sell books… He must curse you and love you at the same time.
    your pal, AB

    Reply

  4. Bags Fulton says:

    John Bolton, the ‘Elmer Fudd’ of American diplomacy. Bolton would “kill the rabbit” if he understood which end of the shotgun to hold against his shoulder. Maybe old ‘Elmer’ Bolton could get some pointers from Deadeye Dick Cheney.

    Reply

  5. Steve Clemons says:

    thanks folks…what an oops.
    pedaling by,
    steve

    Reply

  6. Johnson says:

    It’s “Peddles,” something a “peddler” would do.

    Reply

  7. pedaler says:

    She peddles petals as she pedals.

    Reply

  8. peddant says:

    She peddles petals as she pedals.

    Reply

  9. He's not the only one... says:

    Bolton is not the only one making irresponsible comments that complicate the already delicate Taiwan situation. Not only has Taiwan’s current president been “throwing gas on the fire” but Hillary Clinton recently made some remarks that don’t make things any better.
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fd5cc702-4153-11dc-8f37-0000779fd2ac.html
    If you read the story closely you notice that the story was pulled because it was part of a “private conversation” not because Foreign Policy thought the quote was inaccurate.
    The reason why this is important is according to a 2006 study by US-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2008 to 2015 there is a window of strategic opportunity for the Chinese to use military force against Taiwan where the US will be at a disadvantage should it come to Taiwan’s aid.
    Now if things really heat up in the Taiwan straight and China feels it has a window of opportunity from ’08-’15 to strike Taiwan the only thing holding them back might be an assurance that the US will defend Taipei. Its really irresponsible for Clinton to be making these comments that could send the wrong signal to the Chinese.
    We cannot afford to mess with our security assurances to Taiwan or antagonize China on the Taiwan issue. If China decides to ever retake Taiwan by military force, there is a big possibility of a pre-emptive strike against US Pacific Command Forces.
    I expect this type of irresponsibility from Bolton as is its par for the course but I hope the democrats presidential candidates really watch what they say since irresponsible comments not only endanger Taiwan but our forces in the far east as well.

    Reply

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