Former American U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has warned that any deal we reach with Iran is “an unprecedented act of surrender” to a country that nobody can trust. Bolton is also upset with the president’s reaction to the letter that 47 U.S. Senators sent to Iran, because they were just trying to stand up for the Constitution (and war).
This deal is fundamentally flawed. There really is no deal I’d trust Iran with. It is a regime determined to have nuclear weapons and this deal will give it to them.
Any deal we make with them that doesn’t include either much tighter sanctions, or outright war, is going to be fundamentally flawed to the warmongers. Besides that, Bolton seems to have forgotten that we’re not the only country at the table with Iran. Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China are also at the table, trying to work out a deal for Iran to slow down, or stop, its research into nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
He also clearly doesn’t understand that it’s hard to make progress with world affairs when we get stuck in a chest-pounding rut. When it comes to solving the problem of a “rogue state” like Iran (or Russia, for that matter), we’re pretty stuck on the idea of economic sanctions, when we’re not stuck on the idea of war. However, according a 2013 article by Carla Robbins of the Council on Foreign Relations, such sanctions haven’t worked with either Iran or North Korea. Syria’s getting worse, not better, under their sanctions.
Robbins points to Cuba as the most conspicuous failure of economic sanctions as a matter of foreign policy. After over 50 years, Cuba has yet to drop the Castros as their leaders in order to get our sanctions on them lifted.
There is some evidence that economic sanctions can work under certain circumstances, such as ending apartheid in South Africa. Economic sanctions on Libya had some of the effect we wanted, as well. But the evidence supporting the effectiveness of sanctions is far scantier than the evidence against.
Bolton also said, according to the article in The Hill:
The president coddles the Iranian ayatollah and attacks his own countrymen and our closest allies over this deal. The danger we hope to avoid is now imminent. This is just one example of how the President doesn’t care about America’s national security.
Bolton’s simply toeing the party line, here. Republicans want war with Iran, in part because Israel wants war with Iran, and they also want a regime change. These negotiations will ensure neither of those things. Last year, according to Salon, Bolton said that the U.S. was acting like a nation in decline in seeking a diplomatic solution to the situation in the Ukraine. He very likely sees the negotiations with Iran this way, too.
Then again, conservatives seem to want war everywhere. And when they can’t get war, they want other punishments, not negotiations that could prove to be mutually beneficial. It comes down to what makes us look strong. To Republicans, and people like Bolton, pounding on their chests, and striking with an iron fist, are the only ways we have to appear strong. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, we have to do it anyway.
Bolton’s statements were idiotic, at best. As a former U.N. ambassador, he really ought to know better than this.[separatory type= “thin”]