Posted by: Inside-Out Peace | July 2, 2009

No, Mr. Bolton, It Isn’t

John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, has this opinion piece in today’s WaPo:

“Time for an Israeli Strike?” 

With Iran’s hard-line mullahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unmistakably back in control, Israel’s decision of whether to use military force against Tehran’s nuclear weapons program is more urgent than ever.

Iran’s nuclear threat was never in doubt during its presidential campaign, but the post-election resistance raised the possibility of some sort of regime change. That prospect seems lost for the near future or for at least as long as it will take Iran to finalize a deliverable nuclear weapons capability.

Accordingly, with no other timely option, the already compelling logic for an Israeli strike is nearly inexorable. Israel is undoubtedly ratcheting forward its decision-making process. President Obama is almost certainly not.

I’m finding a double standard: he’s saying Israel should unilaterally short-circuit the diplomatic efforts of the US and EU, by acting militarily to remove the nuclear threat in Iran (which is also a threat to the EU at least, if not the US), when in all other aspects of self-defense (even those which are a threat only to Israel) Israel is expected to hew to the line of the US, EU, Russia and the UN. 

Bolton says, later in the article:

Significantly, the uprising in Iran also makes it more likely that an effective public diplomacy campaign could be waged in the country to explain to Iranians that such an attack is directed against the regime, not against the Iranian people.

Yeah, because that explanation worked sooooo well in Iraq.  Your house is blown to smithereens?  Your husband is dead?  Your children can’t go to school?  You can’t work to support them?  There’s no power or water?  Don’t worry, we’re actually only fighting your government, not you.

In a survey done in Iran in May, the ratio of those with a favorable to unfavorable view of Jews was only 5:4.  I’m going to guess that this follows the general global trend of tolerance and acceptance of others, and that younger people have the more favorable view compared to older ones.  Do you know would it do to that, for Israel to singlehandedly take down Iran’s nuclear facilities?  It would create a whole new generation of Iranians bent on Israel’s destruction.

Mr. Bolton, if a military strike on Iran is really the only possible solution, you should be able to find someone else to do it.


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