John Bolton Opposed to Israel Nukes!


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boltonwatch.jpgFormer US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton appeared Wednesday this week on The Daily Show for a third time and got a ‘friendship bracelet’ from Jon Stewart for doing so.
Bolton is a smart war-monger who is careful with words and couches his cheerleading for an Israeli strike against Tehran in lots of buffer material like calling his wanted Iran strike an “unattactive option”.
Given his typical lawyerly shrewdness that I have come to expect and never underestimate, I was stunned when he abandoned his support of Israel’s nuclear weapons stash.
At 6:58 into this eight minute long Daily Show clip, Bolton said that he is close to the anti-nukes liberals of the world because he wants “only one country to have nuclear weapons” — the United States.
He definitely left every other nation of the list, including Israel.
Here is the exchange:

Jon Stewart: Best case scenario in your mind, really, heart of hearts, do you see a World War III? Because every scenario you write in your papers seems like it triggers massive confrontation on a global scale and at that point we are involved with World War III in a hot way….
John Bolton: The purpose of statesmanship is to look into the future, look at the risks and opportunities and try and shape developments to get us into the optimal situation. Looking at all these very dangerous scenarios, what it should argue to us is the continuing importance of the strategic reality in the world that we have to try and deal with.
Every country that gets nuclear weapons is an additional threat to our friends around the world.
Jon Stewart: Who — and this is your final question — maybe this is an easier one. . .Who wouldn’t you bomb?
John Bolton: There’s not that much difference between me and the people who want a world where no government has nuclear weapons. There’s not much difference. I only want one government to have nuclear weapons…
Jon Stewart: I know….Switzerland! Uh…hold on….
John Bolton: You’re sitting in it…[the United States]

Given Bolton’s typical precision, whether deployed bluntly or with a lighter touch, John Bolton not standing up for Israeli nuclear weapons might be considered “progress”.
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “John Bolton Opposed to Israel Nukes!

  1. Beth in VA says:

    I saw that interview and was once agian aghast at how nonchalantly Boton throws around the idea of violence as a solution to problems. He seems to be unaware of the backlash effect of bombs in the populace.
    He actually said he was only for “targeted” bombing of Iran. He has learned nothing from the Iraq disaster.


  2. Paul says:

    Steve — Are we on safe ground assuming that Bolton meant this as urging that Israel denuclearize? I would think it at least as probable that he was following the official state of denial regarding Israel’s nuclear weapons. Given that his ideal of a return to the 1946 status quo will never happen, the key question to follow up on here is, given that Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons, what is his policy about Israel’s nuclear weapons as of today? Given that as UN Ambassador he said nothing about that issue or about India’s flagrant dishonesty on the subject of its nuclear program while freely condemning nuclear proliferation in other places, I would not be optimistic here.


  3. Pahlavan says:

    I wish I could say I share Steve’s optimism about Bolton. I read and watch his interviws amazed at how Bolton was ever given a pass to a “think tank”. So much for setting reasonable standards…. He uses words like “statesmanship” after remarks loaded with self serving qualifiers that are totally irresponsible to use by a person in such position and stature. Who does this guy and his task masters think they are fooling?


  4. kotzabasis says:

    You will be “stunned” too some day in the future when you realize that Bolton is not the dogmatic hard liner as you wont presently to portray him. And in contrast to you physical leanness the bag of your mea culpas is over weighed.


  5. ... says:

    latest from mondoweiss
    I read here in Haaretz that Obama’s team in discussions with Israel about what to do about Iran included Gary Seymour, the White House honcho on arms proliferation, described as a “close friend” of Uzi Arad (above), Netanyahu’s national security advisor. Arad, you remember, is supposedly not allowed even to enter the United States because of his role in the Franklin spy case, besides being an uber-hawk. Perhaps someone can explain how is that his “close friend” has a top White House position–one that will be crucial to be determining whether or not we go to war with Iran. I don’t like to overstate the influence of “The Lobby”– but how is that Israel gets to have a “close friend” of Arad in the White House?


  6. Outraged American says:

    At some point some crazy person is going to blow us all up. And
    given the sheer amount of nukes UsRael has, I would venture to
    guess it would be Israel or us. We’re the only country that has
    used nukes, which we forget, while the rest of the world
    We almost elected that nim nut, Sarah Palin, to be Vice-
    President-ess. Which would have left her one heartbeat away
    from the trigger when John McCain kicked it.
    And, Yahweh knows, Sarah Palin likes triggers. Plus she can see
    Russia, on a clear evening, through her glasses, soon to be bi-
    focals, at which point she’ll lose her “sex” appeal, which is all she
    has going.
    Not that I like Obama, but I don’t think he’s bat shiiite crazy, like
    Cheney and Junior. Rahm, Zionist, former IDF, is, although I
    think he’d sell out Israel in a heartbeat if if furthers his career.
    So we’re screwed. Live for today. Get that Trader Joe’s canned
    beer with the 6.2 % alcohol content. L’ Chaim.


  7. DonS says:

    . . . oh, like ‘exceptionalism’ on steroids . . . .
    So this isn’t about disarmament; its all about us/US! Who knew?


  8. David says:

    I watched the episode. John Bolton meant exactly what he said. He believes that the United States is the single anointed savior of the world, that it is our job to eliminate all despots, and that only the United States should have an overwhelming military capability, which means that only the United States should have nuclear weapons. He has no use for international coalitions except as all other parties are subservient to the great and noble United States. I am not being facetious. This is what John Bolton believes, deeply and sincerely.
    While having Israel give up its nuclear stockpile for the sake of reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation in the region and the danger it ultimately entails of a nuclear exchange, John Bolton cannot help the world become safer, or for that matter even the Middle East become safer, precisely because of his mindset and belief system.
    Either we all disarm or disarmament will never have any chance. And either cooperation becomes the defining basis for international relations or we will continue on the current global express to nowhere worth going.
    John Bolton has nothing helpful to offer and a hell of a lot that is ultimately quite harmful. Steve Clemons’ dedication to derailing John Bolton was time and energy very well spent.


  9. DonS says:

    I tried like hell to access the show, but was unable through my Canada version of Comedy Central — hence am unable to read the context or body language.
    Still, giving all credence to Steve’s optimistic interpretation, I find it hard to believe that
    Bolton was not just caught up in the moment. Or, at the very least, created meaningless deniable inferences since, by including only the US in his supposed nuclear umbrella, he has also disenfranchised (de-nuked) a bunch of other countries.
    That is, Bolton no more meant to send a signal that he thinks Israel should give up its nukes than that France, Britain, and the rest should. Maybe we should file this under wishful thinking. But, as I said,I have thus far been unable to access the video.


  10. Curious observer says:

    Can’t say I’m that surprised. Bolton’s a pugnacious nationalist more than a neocon. He might even see a glimmer of daylight between the national interests of the United States and Israel now and then.


  11. JohnH says:

    It should be obvious to anyone, even neocons, that if Israel can bomb the unarmed USS Liberty with impunity, it can bomb other US targets as well. Allowing “friends” to have nukes is stupid and short sighted: “friends” often become enemies.


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