John Bolton: “Dangerous Time for the United States”
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton spoke at Furman, Monday evening, in an event hosted by Conservative Students for a Better Tomorrow.
In an interview with The Times Examiner before his address on “The Case Against Global Citizenship,” Bolton said President Obama “is the most radical president who has ever been elected. His obvious priority is domestic policy, restructuring our economy in a whole variety of ways people are familiar with. I think it is a very dangerous time for the United States.”
Bolton told The Times Examiner he is “worried mostly about the President’s failure to be concerned about international challenges, his seeming lack of interest in national security policy, and the fact that our adversaries around the world have calculated that this is a very weak administration, and that they have adjusted their own policies accordingly to take that weakness into account. I worry over the next two years that we will actually see an accelerated pace of challenge to the United States that we are just not ready to handle.”
Bolton called the President naive and that he has “an academic view of America’s interests in the leftist academic bubble he has lived in for many years.” Bolton accused the President of being “apologetic about defending American interests and asserting American power to do that. It is very much an ideological view of America and the world that the overwhelming majority of American citizens do not share.”
Bolton told The Times Examiner we must prosecute anyone associated with the leak of sensitive information through WikiLeaks, saying that such leaks constitute treason, and that “if our cyber warfare experts need target practice, they can try it on WikiLeaks.” Bolton said the leaks “will have a detrimental effect on American diplomacy. There is simply no doubt about it.”
Bolton cautioned that “there is no point in negotiating with North Korea” and that “our objective should be the reunification of the Korean peninsula, the elimination of North Korea as a separate state. We should squeeze them, isolate them, cut them off internationally. We should put more pressure on China to acknowledge that a reunited Korean peninsula is inevitable. They should get on the right side of history.”
Bolton said he has been saying for years that the only real answer to the Iranian nuclear weapons program is to destroy it, because diplomacy and sanctions have failed. “Whether it is the United States or Israel, someone has to do it. Once Iran gets nuclear weapons, the balance of power in the Middle East changes irrevocably.”
The Democrats did not want a conservative at the United Nations so they filibustered Bolton’s nomination, but even then-Sen. Joseph Biden told Bolton that if a vote took place on the floor of the Senate, Bolton would have gotten 56 or 57 votes and his nomination would have been confirmed. President Bush appointed Bolton to the position in a recess appointment, and he served from Aug. 1, 2005 to Dec. 9, 2006.
Bolton said he “would favor dramatic changes in the way the U.N. is financed to move away from the assessed or mandatory contributions we have now where the U.S. pays 22 percent of the cost of most U.N. operations,” opting for a move to a voluntary system “where we would pay for what we think is worthwhile and we stop funding it if it does not produce results,” he said.
Bolton said he is considering running for president because “at the national debate level, we have not talked enough about national security in the past two years…. We need a president who cares about this because the president’s primary responsibility is to protect us from foreign threats. There are obviously critically important domestic economic issues to debate, and if I decide to get in, I would be prepared to debate them and explain why we need to bring government spending down, bring taxes down, bring the deficit down, and bring government regulation down.”