The absolutely deranged John Bolton just loves to put the lives of other people — and massive amounts of taxpayer money — on the line to fight the wars he likes. And there seems to be no limit to the wars he wants to fight. In a recent op-ed in the National Review, he argues that we should have taken out Syria’s Assad during the Iraq war — and never mind that it would lead to wars with lots of other countries.
Accordingly, regime change in Syria is prima facie in America’s interest as well as the interests of Israel and our Arab friends in the region, who see nothing but danger for themselves if Iran’s hegemonic ambitions unfold successfully. Why Republicans and Democrats alike have coddled Syria’s tyrants over the years is extraordinarily difficult to understand. Of course, as with overthrowing Saddam Hussein and Moammar Qaddafi, there is the question of what will replace a concededly distasteful regime. And today, that uncertainty is a major factor constraining our options for dealing with Syria’s conflict.
It would have been one thing to work with the Syrian diaspora to remove Assad and the Baath party when we had a massive military presence in Iraq, right on Syria’s border. In the days just after Saddam’s ouster in 2003, conditions were optimal (if nonetheless imperfect) for overthrowing Assad and replacing his regime with something compatible with American interests. We would not have needed to use U.S. ground forces. Our mere presence in Iraq could have precluded Iran — or, what we see today, an Iraq under Iran’s influence — from trying to protect Assad…Significantly, U.S. intervention could not be confined to Syria and would inevitably entail confronting Iran and possibly Russia. This the Obama administration is unwilling to do, although it should.
In the case of Russia, such a confrontation would likely break the famous “reset” button beyond repair. As a president waiting for reelection so he can be more “flexible” toward Moscow, Obama is simply incapable of contemplating this step.
I certainly hope so. Bolton is just itching for a war with Iran AND Russia, for crying out loud. And remember, this is the guy who is advising Romney on foreign policy — the same Romney who is so hopelessly stuck in the 70s and 80s that he still thinks Russia is our biggest adversary in the world. Romney has said of Bolton, “John’s wisdom, clarity and courage are qualities that should typify our foreign policy.” That should scare the hell out of you.