John Bolton Gets Another Op-Ed to Promote Bombing Iran

(11:00AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

As news about Iran has faded from television and the print media in all the hub-bub about the death of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, as well as the resignation of Sarah Palin, the Washington Post‘s Op-Ed publication Thursday of yet another neo-conservative’s view about Iran has gone pretty much unnoticed. That view is nothing new. It’s bomb, bomb, bomb.

Why the Washington Post‘s editors think this perspective deserves repeating is, of course, not a difficult question to answer given who runs the editorial pages and given the alter-the-debate, pay-for-a-seat salons recently proposed by the newspaper.

This time, the bomb, bomb, bomb barker is John Bolton. One of the founding crew at the Project for a New American Century, he’s been at his noxious efforts in various government posts since the Reagan administration. He capped his career as America’s public face at the United Nations for five months in 2005 until Congress refused to extend his recess appointment from Mister Bush. One of the few times in eight years that we saw some spine from moderate Democrats in matters of foreign policy.

Give Bolton and the other PNACkers credit. They never shied away from the term “imperialism”; they embraced it as eagerly as a previous generation embraced Manifest Destiny, without shame or irony or the least modicum of restraint. And they have, as we know too well, not been shy about proposing invasions and bombings in support of the empire.

Like many of his kind – from Bill Kristol to Newt Gingrich – Bolton has been pushing to bomb Iran for years. He wanted the U.S. to bomb alleged training camps, to bomb it during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and always, always, always to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. This call for illegal pre-emptive action is made all the more disgusting in light of the neo-conservatives’ recent support for the protesters in the streets of Tehran, Isfahan and other Iranian cities. Had they gotten their way during the Cheney-Bush administration, a lot of those protesters would have been blown to bits long before the mullahs’ militias clashed with them over rigged elections.

But the prospect of a few thousand dead civilians has never before been a barrier to such proposals.


The nuclear facilities are Bolton’s target in his Op-Ed, only this time it is Israel he is urging to take action, rather than having the United States do so. This is not innovative. Others have made the same proposal repeatedly. But now the time is urgent because the Obama administration is going to let Tehran do what it wants, Bolton claims.

Specifically, he wrote:

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. …

Those who oppose Iran acquiring nuclear weapons are left in the near term with only the option of targeted military force against its weapons facilities. 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. This was always true, but it has become even more important to make this case emphatically, when the gulf between the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the citizens of Iran has never been clearer or wider. Military action against Iran’s nuclear program and the ultimate goal of regime change can be worked together consistently.

Where is the talk of cakewalk? Where are the images of strewn flowers? Perhaps the best day for Israel to take this action would be August 19, the 56th anniversary of the CIA coup that installed the playboy shah as Iran’s U.S. puppet.

Spencer Ackerman at The Washington Independent, one of the few to take notice of Bolton’s chest-thumping, wrote:

Yes, the Israeli bombs will only kill the bad Iranians. When patriotic Iranians of the opposition see Israeli F-16s raining death from above on Iranian targets, Bolton actually expects them to think, “Boom shack-a-lacka! Here come our Israeli liberators! Let them bomb whatever they like, since even though Mir Hussein Moussavi supports a nuclear program as part of a consensus opinion, I believe Israeli propaganda that says it has our best interests at heart! That’ll show Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! Did you hear that, Aunt Marjam? Aunt Marjam…?”

If there’s one thing that a Bush official should understand, it’s that people under attack from a foreign enemy don’t rush to embrace their more moderate leaders.

There are those in Israel who would certainly like to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, just as Israel struck the French-built Osirak nuke in Iraq in 1981. But Iran’s facilities are much more distant, they are scattered, and, at least some of them are hardened against air assaults. Any attack would, at best, merely delay the building of nuclear weapons if that is what Iran has in mind, something for which no evidence has proven. If Iran doesn’t have that purpose currently, the choice Bolton is urging would surely push Tehran to move in that direction. Saddam Hussein sped up Iraq’s nuclear program after the Osirak attack until it was permanently blasted in several air raids during the first Gulf War.

What an attack broad enough to strike key Iranian nuclear installations would do is kill large numbers of civilians. Despite justifiably decrying the savagery of terrorists who kill civilians as a primary method of warfare, both the United States and Israel have shown no compunction about killing civilians themselves, finding it better to express sorrow for the dead babies after the fact than choosing not to make them dead in the first place. Is this what Bolton thinks will make Iranians love us and lead to “regime change”?

Again, one need not ask why John Bolton and his pals still get their words into print at the Post. Fred Hiatt made it clear long ago that he is a shameless warmonger, willing to promote bloody lies and bloody policy if that is what it takes to keep the empire intact.


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    • rb137 on July 5, 2009 at 07:15

    to say about Bolton. I can’t fathom any of his ilk for that matter. They are shocked, shocked that Mark Sanford spent too much time under a blanket with Byron and Shelley as a teenager, but bombing Iran is just fine.

    But it isn’t just Bolton. It’s too many people.

  1. Why isn’t this war criminal writing these op-eds from prison?

    • Edger on July 5, 2009 at 08:55

    but I think he is not stupid. And he has the connections and the intelligence to know that far from slowing down Iran’s nuclear programs, bombing their facilities would speed the programs up and immediately shift them to a weapons development focus.

    For whatever his reasons, and we can I think safely assume that they are energy grabbing related, he wants not just to bomb Iran but to start an all out war. And he is not only not concerned about Iranian lives, he is just as unconcerned about American lives and any other peoples lives.

    Payvand’s Iran News, 1/23/06

    What is the response of Iran to the U.S. or Israelis threat?

    By Hussein Sharifi

    When I asked them what Iran would do if the U.S. was serious in attacking Iranian nuclear sites, Hussein said, “Then they open hell’s gates towards themselves,” and smiled. When I asked him to elaborate more, he continued, “In the papers there is always talk about air attacks on Iranian installations by Israel or the U.S. This type of psychological warfare is used to divert our attention. We know for a fact that no two Western wars are similar and we are sure that the Israelis would not risk an air attack. We know there are at least three possible scenarios of attacking these sites, including using their submarines in the Persian Gulf, commandos from the sea, or Mojahedin Khalgh trained in Israel and Azerbaijan to destroy the Bushehr nuclear power plant from the inside, but these are only plans. We have even more plans for how to confront them as well. This is a game of chess and we have practiced many different scenarios.” Ali, another revolutionary guard, smiled and responded, “We have indicated directly and indirectly that with the first bullet shot at Iran, the map of the Middle East will be changed forever. Many American puppet regimes and dictators will fall and there will never be a government like what is now in Israel.

    We have our sensors in place in the U.S., Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, and most Arab countries. We know ahead of the time when they are coming, and since Mr. Bush has given American democracy along with the preemptive strike as the right of everybody in the world, we are going to use it and use it effectively. We are present in most of the military briefings of the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq. As soon as we see that it is imminent we hit them and hit them hard…

    Whether the U.S. or Israel attacks us, we will consider it as Israeli attack since we know how much power they have over the U.S. political and decision-making system.” If the attack happens, that will trigger the nuclear efforts of Iran. We will definitely go underground and speed up nuclear weapon production, since there will be no choice except to have them and have them soon. Right now we do not need nuclear weapons which are a liability rather than an asset, because we do not have hostile enemy which we cannot smash when we want to. The country has been able to stand on its feet for the last 2,500 years and will do so in the future. Look at the last war we had with Iraq, which by the way, was shortest war we had during the last 200 years.”

    The whole thing is worth a close read…

    Hussein Sharifi is a retired military officer who served in Iranian Imperial Army and Islamic republic army and now resides in the United States.

    • pico on July 5, 2009 at 09:03

    aimed neither at Israel nor at general readers, but specifically to other conservatives to build resistance to Democratic foreign policy.  How else am I supposed to parse a line like this:

    This is precisely the view of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reflected in the Group of Eight communique the next day. Sen. John Kerry thinks the recent election unpleasantness in Tehran will delay negotiations for only a few weeks.

    Bolton makes no particular judgment of the Russian Foreign Minister except to drop his name, followed by Senator Kerry?  His purpose is between the lines: in conservaspeak, if it comes from Russia it’s dubious, and if it comes from Kerry it’s loathsome.  

    That’s what makes this kind of editorial so headache-inducing: though I’d already question anything signed by arguably the worst person we’ve ever sent to the UN, he’s not even trying to engage the subject honestly.  This is a purely ideological and partisan essay with specifically ideological and partisan goals.  Bolton doesn’t really care if Israel bombs Iran (in fact, I love that he passes all the moral responsibility for the strike onto Israel): he wants to win more Republicans.

  2. alive and kicking. The WaPo is one sick ‘newspaper’. It is just the mouth piece for the lobbyist’s and the neocons who seek to keep the game they started going. My question is although the neocons wet dream of geopolitical world dominance, seems to be failing spectacularly why is our ‘foreign policy’ still playing with the same script. The Iranians are being squeezed by us on both sides of the map and were ginning up the Pakistan/Afghanistan side.

    I see hardly any difference between the insane Bolton statements and the policies we are perusing in our shifting war on terror. Bomb Iran? Doubt it, the fight for resources need the silk road reopened, pipe lines and access seem to be what the motivation for all of our actions in the Middle East are about. The neocons agenda while strategically different is still going strong. The main difference it seems to me is that this administration is not as overtly blood thirsty and is smarter about achieving the same end goal.


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