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Five Horrifically Bad Foreign Policy Ideas That Should Disqualify John Bolton From Being Secretary of State

Calling for the preemptive use nuclear weapons, and other potential catastrophes from America’s mustachioed warmonger.

Jeff Malet Photography/NewscomJeff Malet Photography/NewscomFormer U.S. Ambassador John Bolton is reportedly on the Trump administration's short list for secretary of state. Even though no official announcement has been made, Bolton's consideration is already drawing rebukes from libertarian-minded Republicans like U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who on Tuesday called Bolton's foreign policy views "unhinged."

Paul's spot on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee gives him significant sway over the nomination of Bolton—or anyone else—as secretary of state, but you don't have to share Paul's skepticism about America's interventionalist foreign policy to be terrified by the prospect of having Bolton in charge of the State Department.

Here's a brief reminder of some of the terrible things Bolton has done (or wanted to do) in the realm of foreign policy. We only included five of the worst examples, but share your own not-so-fond memories of Bolton's disastrous ideas in the comments below.

1. Bolton was a primary cheerleader of the War in Iraq and stands for everything Americans rejected about the Bush administration's foreign policy.

Let's just get the obvious thing out of the way up front.

"We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq," Bolton said in 2002 while serving as President George W. Bush's undersecretary of state for Arms Control and International Security. That wasn't true, as we'd later discover after it was too late.

(As an ironic aside: at the same time that Bolton was cheerleading for an American invasion of Iraq over nonexistent WMDs, he was working to derail a UN proposal to allow foreign inspectors to check on the United States' arsenal of biological weapons.)

Hindsight is 20/20, but not for Bolton. In 2015, he told the Washington Examiner that he still thinks the Iraq War was worth it and claimed "the worst decision made after that was the 2011 decision to withdraw U.S. and coalition forces." In Bolton's mind, U.S. troops should have occupied Iraq in perpetuity.

I've given up expecting much consistency from Donald Trump, but it's still a little surprising that The Donald would be considering Bolton for a high ranking place in his administration. After all, Trump's initial rise in the Republican primaries was largely due to his brilliant take-down of Jeb Bush, which hinged on reminding everyone why putting another Bush in the White House would be a bad idea.

"We should have never been in Iraq. We destabilized the Middle East," Trump said during a February debate in South Carolina. "They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none."

"Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake," Trump concluded, before hammering Jeb for taking more than a week (earlier in the campaign) to answer a reporter's question about whether his older brother made a mistake by launching the invasion.

Now Trump wants to hire someone who has taken 13 years (and counting) to do the same?

2. Bolton wanted the U.S. to go to war with Cuba over WMDs that also didn't exist

A year before the United States would go to war with Iraq due (at least in part) to falsely believing that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, Bolton was advocating that the United States should go to war with Cuba because of later debunked reports that Fidel Castro was developing weapons of mass destruction.

In May 2002, during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, Bolton said he believed Cuba was developing biological weapons and was capable of distributing them to Libya and Syria.

The New York Times reported on the speech: "'The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort,' Mr. Bolton said, taking aim at the Communist government of Fidel Castro. Cuba, he added, has also 'provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states.'"

The Times noted that it was the first time an American official openly accused Cuba of developing biological weapons. When the Times asked Bolton's office to substantiate this historic and potentially bellicose claim, they offered no evidence.

Those intelligence reports about Cuba developing WMDs? They were later debunked.

Jeff Malet Photography/NewscomJeff Malet Photography/Newscom

3. Bolton really, really wants to bomb Iran

Having apparently learned nothing from the decade-plus quagmire that resulted from the invade-now-come-up-with-an-exit-strategy-later Bush administration approach to the Iraq War, Bolton in March 2015 advocated for a similar bomb-now-and-figure-out-the-details-later approach to dealing with Iran.

In a New York Times op-ed titled "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran," Bolton argued that "only military action" could "accomplish what is required." The thing being required was preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. A limited strike against known nuclear production facilities could set the country's nuclear ambitions back by three to five years, Bolton argued, and should be combined with "vigorous American support for….regime change in Tehran," because we all know about the successful track record of regime change in the Middle East.

As Reason's Matt Welch noted at the time: "One of Bolton's main stated concerns is that Iran's pursuit of nukes will (and is already beginning to) set off a regional nuclear arms race, which would indeed be alarming. But isn't there another possible game-theory scenario here, in which a pre-emptive attack on Iran (like the pre-emptive, WMD-justified attack on Iraq) could incentivize regional powers and various nefarious regimes to go nuclear faster? After all, the U.S. doesn't spend a lot of time engaging in forcible regime change with countries (no matter how lousy) that already have the bomb. And Ukraine, for one, can tell you what happens to your defensive posture after emptying your nuclear arsenal."

4. President Obama followed Bolton's terrible advice about Libya and then Bolton blamed Obama for the resulting mess

In March 2011, while mulling a potential run for president, Bolton suggested to an Iowa crowd that the United States should try to assassinate Moammar Gadhafi, the then-dictator of Libya.

"I think he's a legitimate target," Bolton said, according to The Daily Beast. "He has murdered innocent American civilians. He has never faced responsibility for it. So I don't have any hesitation in saying that."

Later during the speech, Bolton admitted that he was willing to let Gadhafi live—"I personally would be happy to send him into exile somewhere," is how he put it, according to the Daily Beast—but said it would probably be easier to just kill him and let someone else take control.

That someone else, of course, turned out to be ISIS. After the Obama Administration intervened in the Libya to drive Gadhafi from power (the dictator was eventually captured and killed by his own people), a power vacuum developed and Islamic extremists have since set up shop in Libya—just like they did in Iraq and Syria…it's almost like there's a pattern here.

Proving that he can learn from the mistakes of non-Republican administrations, Bolton later blasted Obama for intervening in Libya.

5. Bolton suggested Israel should unleash nuclear weapons against Iran

Perhaps the most terrifying manifestation of Bolton's desire to bomb Iran no matter the costs or consequences for America (to say nothing of the consequences for the people of Iran fixed in his crosshairs) occurred in 2009 while Bolton was speaking at the University of Chicago.

"Unless Israel is prepared to use nuclear weapons against Iran's program, Iran will have nuclear weapons in the very near future," Bolton said. It's been seven years and Iran hasn't developed a nuclear weapon (and Israel thankfully didn't follow Bolton's advice), so either Bolton was exaggerating the threat or he doesn't have a good understanding of the words "very near future."

The logic here is almost too twisted to untangle.

Bolton argued that Israel's preemptive use of nuclear weapon against an enemy (an act that would smash all international norms regarding the use of nuclear weapons) should not only be considered, but should be encouraged. Such an act would not destabilize the region (to say nothing of those smashed international norms), he seems to be arguing. Yet at the same time he believes that Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear bomb—perhaps as a defense against exactly this sort of threat from Israel or the United States—are destabilizing?

Trita Parsi, the then-president of the National Iranian American Council, told Mother Jones that Bolton ought to ponder the aftermath of an Israeli nuclear assault on Iran.

"There is a day after you use a nuclear weapon," he said. "If you want to maximize collateral damage and really make sure that the Iranian-Israeli conflict will be another unending Middle-Eastern conflict, then nuclear weapons is your path and John Bolton is your guy."

Pondering the consequences of an unhinged, aggressive foreign policy isn't Bolton's strong suit. It's stunning that someone who has been so wrong, so many times could end up running one of the most important parts of the U.S. government.

Before the election, many people were questioning the wisdom (or lack thereof) of giving a temperamental, vindictive, and irresponsible man like Donald Trump control over America's nuclear arsenal. Those fears hopefully will never be realized, but letting John Bolton set the country's foreign policy does nothing to calm the nerves.

Bonus John Bolton awfulness:

He helped cover-up the Iran-Contra scandal.

He founded a political action committee with the goal of electing more hawkish candidates. Donors received this mustachioed coffee mug.

He wants to "cause Putin pain," whatever that means.

He supports the drone warfare program created under Bush and expanded under Obama.

He fears we might miss an opportunity to go to war with North Korea.

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  • T.F.G.||

    I celebrate his entire collection.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You can't just pick one, really.

  • Jgalt1975||

    I'm shocked to learn that Donald Trump might make appointments reflecting a complete lack of an intellectually consistent position on non-interventionism.

  • Zeb||

    Shocked!

  • Ship of Theseus||

    I'm pretty sure Trump's only "intellectually consistent position" is doggy-style.

  • Corrib||

    And even that position he can't hold for very long. hiiiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyooooooooooo, dick jokes.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Five Horrifically Bad Foreign Policy Ideas That Should Disqualify John Bolton From Being Secretary of State
    Calling for the preemptive use nuclear weapons, and other potential catastrophes from America's mustachioed warmonger.

    Please keep Mr. Bolton from all buttons in Washington, DC.

  • Zeb||

    But look at his mustache. That's a mustache that needs to be on TV more.

  • The Fusionist||

    You know who else was famous for his mustache?

  • Jgalt1975||

    Ron Jeremy?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yosemite Sam?

  • ||

    Frida Kahlo?

  • ||

    Sam Elliot?

  • Florida Hipster||

    Tom Selleck

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    Ummm...Hitler...?

  • Tundra||

    Winston's mom?

  • Riven||

    Stossel?

  • Tundra||

    Hi Riven!

    Married yet?

  • John Titor||

  • BakedPenguin||

    email me

  • BakedPenguin||

    @gmail.com

  • Chipwooder||

    Lanny McDonald?

  • Ted S.||

    Alex Trebek?

  • Vaelyn||

    Fu Manchu?

  • yet another dave||

    Ambrose Burnside

  • dschwar||

    Hercule Poirot?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Stalin

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    Hillary Clinton?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Honestly, even if you omit questions of principle or policy, simply politically, Trump would be a fool to hire Bolton. John Bolton is being pushed by the National Review, the people most inclined during the race, to stick a knife in Trump's back (they devoted a whole issue to trashing him). Moreover, Bolton has a record of throwing superiors under the bus.

    If you hire Bolton, you will find yourself in a war. If it goes well, Bolton and the gang at NR will be crowing all about how they dragged your ass into standing up for America and democracy. If it goes poorly, you'll find them recounting how they never thought you were presidential material in the first place.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I say put Bolton and William Kristol in latest SOCOM garb and weapons, then kick their asses out back of C-130 northeast of Palmyra and tell them Iran's next after they solve ISIS by next week.

  • Chipwooder||

    C 130 rollin' down the strip,
    Johnny Bolton gonna take a little trip

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Smart power at its best?

  • Brochettaward||

    It's bad just for the optics. Even if you want a warhawk Neocon in the position, why go with one who has so much baggage and next to no popularity even among Republicans?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Hillary then?

  • DenverJ||

    You know, that's a good suggestion. I bet Hillary Clinton would make a great Secretary of State and that... What? She was? When? Really?...
    Uh, nevermind.

  • BigT||

    Clinton: Ambassador to Libya

  • TheZeitgeist||

    You know the craven sociopath would take the gig if offered - would take anything Trump tossed her way, and start scheming for the big comeback.

    Like terminator in first movie, until red-glow in the eyes dims out getting crushed by hydraulic press it won't stop executing the mission.

  • JayWye||

    whether or not you realize it,we are already at war with Iran,because Iran is at war with us.
    1979 US Embassy invasion and hostage seizure = act of war
    Two US embassy bombings = act of war
    1983 Marine Barracks bombing = act of war
    1996 Khobar Towers bombing = act of war
    Iranian IEDs,arms and training to Afghan and Iraq insurgents = act of war.
    Saudi ambassador assassination plot = act of war
    Numerous Non-Proliferation Treaty violations,engaging in nuclear weapons work. Discussion of nuclear EMP attack on the US at least 20 times.

    We have PLENTY of justification for dropping bombs into Iran.

  • DenverJ||

    We have justification for dealing with Iran as a country opposed to our goals. You think that justifies bombing?
    You know, causing massive death and suffering to innocent people because their government is run by a bunch of dicks?
    Fuck off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The amateurs never learn that bombing causes the USA more problems because it creates future haters of America after we blow up their home, the country can rally behind the bombing against US interests without a solution and America loses is moral high ground when we bomb and kill innocents.

    We should only intervene when the US is attacked, the US declares war, troops go in full force and then the US leaves.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Don't forget seizing two US riverine boats worth of sailors in 2016.

    Oh wait, that was American's fault for taking their boats into Iranian territorial waters.

  • Bob K||

    But first we need to deal with those damn Brits.

    1814 - British Burn down the US Capital.

    Until we seek vengeance for this heinous act I say fuck everything else. All our forefathers did was make peace (pussies) and then didn't even place sanctions against the Evil Empire; in fact we went right back to trading with them.

    /sarc

  • Kratoklastes||

    Pretty odd list: most of it has nothing whatsoever to do with Iran, except in the fevered masturbatory fantasies of neoTrotskyites - scared weird little guys like Bolton, Paul 'The Ferengi' Wolfowitz, and their fellow-travellers.

    Your little government-high-school sophomore list doesn't start with the CIA overthrowing Mossadegh in 1953 and installing the Shah... I wonder why you would have forgotten that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. Trump needs to keep those RINOs as far away from his cabinet as possible.

    OTOH, Many of the these stories about Trump's transition team and cabinet are coming from the media. They have this tendency to skew the truth for their own purposes.

    Hmmm... I wonder what scheme the media might be brewing?

  • ||

    Obama listened to Bolton on Libya? How come this is the first I hear of this?

  • Brochettaward||

    It's simpler and more honest to say that Bolton has never heard of a foreign intervention he didn't support, and Obama agreed with him on this particular one (probably without even realizing it).

  • ||

    #NeverBolton!

  • Sir Digby Chicken Caesar||

  • Sevo||

    #6: That 'stache.

  • DenverJ||

    Au contraire, that mustache is the only thing Bolton has ever done right.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Bolton's stache helps him get into Teddy Roosevelt character during his, ahem, 'rough rider' internet chatroom sessions. Will be hilarious when he finds out Woodrow was Anthony Weiner whole time.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I'll add to my earlier comment, why waste the political capital? Remember, Bush 43 had to appoint Bolton to the UN ambassadorship using the recess appointment dodge. And there's a SCOTUS appointment to worry about coming down the pike.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump needs a cabinet in place soon, so he can hit the ground running on January 20, 2017. I think Trump is waiting until then to publicly announce his SCOTUS pick. This gives the media less time to nitpick his nominee before his announcement and the Senate confirming the person.

    IMHO, the Supreme Court pick is priority #1 but Trump needs a cabinet and that is very public process. Especially now that media has shifted gears to proving that Trump was a mistake.

  • LurkinInaBuildin||

    Oh of course you cocksuckers post this shit the minute I step away from the desktop where I composed a long reply to the Rand Paul/John Bolton article and refreshed fifteen fuckin Times for the PM links and now I have to type on this damnable phone

    THAT FUCKIN MUSTACHE IS A SYMBOL OF RESISTANCE AGAINST MISANDRY AND OPPRESSION OF MEN YOU FUCKIN FUCKERS AND NO I'M NOT A MOTHERFUCKIN HIPSTER

  • AlmightyJB||

    What are you so ashamed of that you feel the need to hide behind a giant clump of hair? jj

  • LurkinInaBuildin||

    So not only do women get the right to vote but all of a sudden men have to drag a fuckin razor across their faces every fucking day so we look like big fat cute little babies? Daily shaving is painful and a waste of time and Bolton deserves credit for not playing along with that shit and for making Rachel Maddow have a seizure on the air.

    As for his foreign policy opinions, whaddya expect? He seems to be your typical protestant/WASP/Masonic/wannabe-Jew type of old school white folk, of course he's obsessed with Israel. Welcome to America, there's no escaping that shit.

  • John Titor||

    Bolton really needs to market himself better. I suggest milk ads.

  • Homple||

    Five Horrifically Bad Foreign Policy Ideas That Should Disqualify John Bolton From Being Secretary of State

    #3 Will shock you.

  • Vampire||

    He enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard in 1974 and consequently did not serve in Vietnam. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost." In an interview, Bolton discussed his comment in the reunion book, explaining that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because "by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from."

    Bolton did everything he could to avoid going to Vietnam. Yet he has no problem advocating protracted conflict and sacrificing the lives of individuals in the military that would be sent to war. This guy is a terrible person.

  • JayWye||

    In 1974,Vietnam was ALREADY over for the US. I was RIF'd in early 1974,six months early,because the war was winding down. No way any enlistee in 1974 would have gone to Vietnam to fight.

    RIF = reduction in force

    Bolton was right about his observation,too.

  • DJF||

    He enlisted in the National Guard in 1970 after he lost his draft deferment when he graduated from Yale.

    He had plenty of time after he graduated to go fight and he could have left Yale at anytime before 1970 and serve several tours.

  • Rockabilly||

    If Dolton said "We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq," he should show us the WMD, that he claimed Saddam had.

    So Dolton, show me Saddam's nuculur bomb.
    I await.

  • But Enough About Me||

    D00d. It's "nukular."

    Don't you know anything?

    /sarc

  • 0x90||

    Ahem. Newkular.

  • JayWye||

    Al-Muthanna,The "Dragon's Egg". thousands of chemical rockets and mortar shells still existing. chemical weapons are WMD too. Also,mobile biolabs were found,capable of making anthrax.

    Plus there's evidence much of Saddam's WMD was shipped to Syria.

    and there were several other reasons given for the invasion of Iraq,that most of you folks conveniently forget about.

  • Corrib||

    like Iraq's links to Osama Bin Laden and acquiring nuclear material in Africa?

  • mtrueman||

    "chemical weapons are WMD too"

    The M stands for mass, as in great numbers of people. That's not chemical. When Asahara's Omu Shinrikyo launched a sarin attack on Tokyo subway only a handful of people died. Make no mistake, even one death due to chemical attack is one death too many, but the handful of sarin victims show us that chemical weapons are not WMD.

    "that most of you folks conveniently forget about."

    You mean like the existence of aluminium tubes?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I fucking hate John Bolton. We're going to make a psychopath Secretary of State? Guess it could be worse. He could put him in charge of Homeland Security. If you're going to give a sadist his own playground, better it be as far away from me as possible.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The best reason to oppose John Bolton is that he appears to have deceived, misled, and purposely withheld information from his bosses.

    In business, personal relationships, and everything else, you need a number of basic things in order before you can start evaluating someone's analysis and ideas.

    It was like that for me with Hillary. Once I found out that she accepted money from foreign governments while she was the Secretary of State, her various positions on any issue didn't really matter.

    If Bolton misled Colin Powell on Al Qaeda activity in Iraq under Saddam and misled Colin Powell on mobile WMD labs, . . .

    If Bolton berated any intelligence officials that questioned his preferred interpretation of the data, . . .

    If Bolton withheld information from Condoleezza Rice that was crucial for her to do her job, . . .

    If Bolton was in fact responsible for George W. Bush's infamous "16 Words" in the SOTU address that turned out to be bogus, . . .

    . . ., then what do I care about his analysis or his ideas?

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you want to talk about his ideas and philosophy, he's probably the epitome of very basic Straussian neocon thought--especially the part about Plato's "noble" lies.

    Strauss thought that political philosophy had come to a dead end with the amalgamation of Nietzsche as interpreted through Heidegger. When society comes to the the point of crisis and when people lack the necessary justifications to do what needs to be done, there's really only one answer--and to find it, you have to go all the way back to Plato's noble lie.

    Hence, Saddam Hussein is collaborating with Al Qaeda, Iraq have both a WMD and a nuclear program, and Hussein looking for yellow cake in Niger, etc. etc. . . all of which turned out to be noble lies apparently associated with Bolton.

    Philosophically, Bolton apparently sees his role as providing the American public with the noble lies they need to express American power internationally and push even harder for the cause of freedom.

    If all of his policy prescriptions are predicated on that philosophy, asking me about what he thinks about some specific foreign conundrum is like asking Mrs. Lincoln, "Well apart from your husband being assassinated, how did you enjoy the play?"

    Why should the American people believe anything Bolton says about anything?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Because Executive power is Great Again?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Also, Bolton is only there because there were so few Republicans that were willing associate themselves with Trump.

    Almost all the way down the list!

    Newt Gingrich
    John Bolton
    Sarah Palin
    Rudy Giuliani
    Chris Christie

    Other than being closely associated with Trump, what do all these people have in common?

    The correct answer is that they had no alternatives other than Trump.

    The only people who bet their futures on Trump were people who had no future.

    They had nothing to lose!

  • Bob Meyer||

    Damn good observation!!!

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Ken is obtuse with observation. Can you not ladle all of your cum into his special ego jar which goes toward firing his rockets for the fucking week? It is not that Agile does not love Ken- it is that Ken cannot be loved too much or his circuits which were created on a bench in a lost Detroit cavern of warehouses will grow into such a capacity that Ken WILL implode and burst into a quantum polarization of singularity and you really do NOT fucking want Ken S trapped between dimensions because the Sun will die and earth will eat itself...

  • Ken Shultz||

    Must I forever be denied the validation of my peers?

    It's Cassandra syndrome with a twist, . . .

    Cassandra was given foresight, but no one would ever believe her.

    People believe me, but no one will ever admit it!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Giuliani is another terrible choice. He would love nothing more than for us to be policeman of the world. I believe he said as much in a presidential debate when in ran in '08. While he and everyone else were laughing at Ron Paul before they saw how popular his ideas were.

  • Mauser||

    Giuliani scares me almost as much as Bolton. The way he worships our future dear leader is nauseating. Talk about an opportunistic sycophant.

  • Free Society||

    That is a good observation.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Other than being closely associated with Trump, what do all these people have in common? The correct answer is that they had no alternatives other than Trump.

    The translation of this is that they had pissed off the Republican party establishment and/or not catered enough to specific voting blocs. That's not by itself either good or bad. I'm not defending these people, I think they are idiots. However, if you look at Hillary's likely cabinet picks, the fact that they played the power game better doesn't make them any more competent or honest.

    Overall, I still think a cabinet of political pariahs is preferable to a cabinet of politically connected manipulators; the latter can probably do a lot more damage.

    Well, it's preferable except for the cringe-inducing effect of seeing Newt or Sarah on the news, but you can address that by simply tuning out.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'd rather have Palin as SoS than Bolton. Hell I'd rather have Clinton there than Bolton.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Why should the American people believe anything Bolton says about anything?

    You shouldn't believe anything any politician says; dishonesty is pretty much a prerequisite of getting into power and staying there.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    C'mon guys, he's hysterical on Red Eye & Kennedy... right?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, before Bolton jumped on the Trump bandwagon, he did have a future being Kennedy's punching bag.

    But that was less interesting to most people than watching Kennedy beat up on William Weld.

  • Vaelyn||

    Maybe Trump is considering the wrong Bolton.
    RAMSAY FOR SECSTATE!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Filleting enemies alive is definitely an enhanced torture technique!

  • Bob Meyer||

    "It's stunning that someone who has been so wrong, so many times could end up running one of the most important parts of the U.S. government."

    Not really. When was the last time that you saw sheer brilliance running any government agency?

    So long as you claim that the reason you failed was insufficient funding or resources you're a hero because it means that the powers that be have another excuse to increase the size of government.

  • Bob Meyer||

    Bolton should go into standup comedy. At least then when he "bombs" nothing gets hurt except Bolton's pride.

  • Professor Woland||

    Walter Block must be really proud of himself right about now.

  • Unintended Consequence||

    He knows what Aleppo is. Everyone knows that is the ONLY foreign policy point that matters!

  • ||

    These are five bad ideas in whose estimation, Rand Paul? The uninformed US public? Some twenty-year-old, baby-faced millennial with no real life experience who knows nothing about the real national security threats the US faces, who totally lacks the ability to think strategically? You really think you know it all.

  • T.F.G.||

    Yes. I really do know it all. Ask me anything. I promise I won't Google. I know -- like -- all of the significant cities in Syria and approximately where they are. They're all in Syria, right?

  • Jickerson||

    Even a mentally retarded child could make better foreign policy decisions than the so-called 'experts', so I'm not sure where you're going with this.

  • MarkLastname||

    Don't worry, some day I'm sure you'll have a point.

    Btw if you know so much about our Real National Security Threat, why don't you get a gun and go over to Iran and fight that war yourself. Save the rest of us the trouble of having to live with idiots like you with whom we don't share a civilizational death wish.

  • Vampire||

    If Trump was at all serious about getting rid of waste in the DOD, he would make John F. Lehman Jr. SECDEF. The military industrial complex would shit their pants. Just like EB, contractors that enjoyed CPF no ceiling contracting, and the folks trying to sell $100 hammers and toilet seats did.

  • Mauser||

    Very good point.

  • Mauser||

    Bolton has always been a perma war boner. Trump is having difficulty filling key positions in his administration so perhaps he's choosing boneheads like this out of desperation? Who the frick knows, it is immensely entertaining to witness the continuing destruction of the Republican Party though. Read Eliot Cohens schtick on Trump and his abhorrent ilk.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Trump is having difficulty filling key positions in his administration so perhaps he's choosing boneheads like this out of desperation?

    Pretty much. People are doing the political calculation of whether 4 years in a Trump administration is worth it. That's what happens when you elect an outsider. It's not necessarily a bad thing: Trump's cabinet is shaping up to be a bunch of incompetent has-beens, meaning they won't be able to get much done domestically or abroad.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Good point. The media won't say it that way but Trump being pro-interventionist will never materialize without a bunch of neo-cons to make it happen. The media wants Trump to fail and be interventionist. At this rate, Trump will fail on some stuff and be non-interventionist.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of "Bolton" would be "Notlob"!! It don't work!!

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Hate to break it to you, jack, but the only one that troubles me in the slightest is #4, and my personal bet is that Bolton thinks intervening in Libya was a decent idea, and that Obumbles DID screw it up. The man couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery.

    Invade Iraq? We had to. We were, technically still at war with them. They were "old business". Fight a war with Cuba? Should ahve done that the SECOND that Russia cut them loose. Bomb Iran? Why not? They ARE Bulding nukes, they probably will try to use them on Israel. What wait?

  • MarkLastname||

    I'm just going to assume this is all sarcasm.

  • Kratoklastes||

    Nobody brought up the whole "tried to cajole his [now ex-]wife into having sex with strangers so he could watch... and had trouble taking 'no' for an answer" thing that is mentioned so prominently in divorce filings. It might be one step too far to say that he forced his wife to have sex with others, or it might be half a step.

    I guess being a psychosexual degenerate on top of achieving Bill Kristol levels of always-wrongness doesn't disqualify one from senior government posts - after all, the aim of government is to rape the productive, and do it good and hard.

    Still, it's odd nobody mentioned it, so I just did.

  • Threedoor||

    #1 is bs. The gas shells were there and were used. When I was there in 05-06 they started showing up as roadside bombs. What I found more egregious were the French and Russian made rockets that were manufactured between 1992 and 2001 that were used against us.

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