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I love former Undersecretary of State and UN Ambassador (I am surprised he can stomach the continuing nonsense in NY called the United Nations!) John Bolton.  He’s a sovereignty man and although more interventionist than I am comfortable with, Ambassador Bolton puts America first, last and always.  I hope President Mitt Romney appoints Bolton to be his Secretary of State.

Here’s the latest article on Syria by Ambassador Bolton.  I was pleasantly surprised at some of the cautions within it:

But what are the American interests at stake [in Syria], and what is the best way to protect them? Although it is easy to concentrate on the stomach-churning television images, we should operate on the basis of strategy, not emotion. That does not mean doing nothing. But neither does it mean knee-jerk reactions instead of careful analysis.

Ambassador Bolton states there are US interests in Syria but the regime itself has no special ties to us.  There was a potential but “imperfect” opportunity to take out Assad in 2003 when we had ample military in Iraq to deter any Iranian counter-measures.  There are chemical and biological weapons in Syria and perhaps even nuclear materials.  That must not fall into the wrong hands.  But this could happen:  Replacement of Assad by an Islamic regime and the massacre of the group that backed him, the Alawis.  That might very occur if the rebels win and we do not want US weapons implicated in that:

There is one other important consideration. Assad and his father routinely butchered their Sunni political opponents to protect their political base in the Alawi sect, an offshoot of Shia Islam. If the civilians whose bodies we have seen recently on television were the victims of Alawite militias or Syrian government forces, it is, sadly, more of the same. There is little doubt that the Sunni desire for revenge is strong. After years of oppression and brutality, how could it not be? Accordingly, we are blinking at reality if we do not recognize that, following Assad’s ouster, especially if the violence grew, the bloodlust would be high and the risk of large-scale massacres of Alawites all too real. How would we feel if U.S. weapons were used in such massacres? Without a substantial on-the-ground troop presence, we could no more prevent them than we can prevent the current killings of civilians.  (emphasis added by me)

Shades of Fast and Furious!  But what about a lesser intervention such as a no-fly zone.  Bolton argues that any intervention is the same as full-fledged intervention and bears the same risks:

Indeed, any level of U.S. support, if it turns out to be effective, implies the same potential political and humanitarian problems as does U.S. support that is truly robust. The more effective our aid is, the more likely the opposition is to prevail. The issue is whether we want that to happen when we have so little understanding of, let alone influence over, what a successor regime would be like.

Watch out for blowback, Ambassador Bolton says.  The real issue is Iran, a fact that President Obama cannot understand:

In the case of Iran, U.S. military assistance to Syrian rebels would almost certainly end any prospect of further negotiations over Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. In fact, that would be no great loss, since Iran was never going to negotiate away its longstanding nuclear-weapons aspirations, a reality that Obama is congenitally unable to acknowledge. Syria today is the focal point of the ancient Sunni–Shia conflict, which is well beyond America’s power to resolve. Rather than encourage more fighting in Syria, we should concentrate on eliminating Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program. So doing would make our Arab friends less worried by, and more able on their own to rebuff, Iran’s politico-military adventurism around the region.  (emphasis added by me)

Intervention reduces choices and requires them.  I agree with Ambassador Bolton that Iran is a threat.  Have to keep our eyes on the ball.  Bolton argues that Libya is no example to emulate:

The case of Libya provides no encouragement. Unlike Assad, Qaddafi had zero outside support. In any event, post-Qaddafi Libya is hardly something to boast about. Indeed, Libya’s prospects themselves demonstrate that the chimerical “responsibility to protect” doctrine under which Obama justified U.S. intervention is not tethered either to reality or to American interests. To extend “responsibility to protect” to Syria without contemplating the larger consequences for our interests worldwide would simply be irresponsible. Advancing those interests sensibly might make it possible to ameliorate the situation in Syria, but we must first set our logic and priorities in order.

But Bolton has a plan, even though direct intervention is not part of that plan:

First and foremost, we should cut Syria off from its major supporters. The television images from Syria will not change permanently until the underlying strategic terrain changes permanently. Russia should be told in no uncertain terms that it can forget about sustained good relations with the United States as long as it continues to back Assad. We should resume full-scale, indeed accelerated, efforts to construct the limited missile-defense system designed by George W. Bush to protect American territory not against Russia but against rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. But we should immediately make it clear to Moscow that we will begin to consider broadening our missile-defense program to deal with Russian and Chinese ballistic-missile capabilities. We should also announce our withdrawal from the New START arms-control treaty, and our utter disinterest in negotiations to prevent an “arms race” in space. Let Moscow and Beijing think about all that for a while.

Can you imagine Secretary of State Bolton giving that message to the Kremlin and in Beijing?  There’s a new sheriff in town and the old days of apologies are over!  Bolton also recommends we pursue the pressure on the Iranian nuclear program and look for true friends to support in Syria:

Finally, in Syria itself, we should do now what we could have begun to do ten years ago (and what the Obama White House at least says it is doing now): find Syrian rebel leaders who are truly secular and who oppose radical Islam; who will disavow al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups; and who will reject Russian and Iranian hegemony over their country. We will need some reason to believe that this opposition can prevail against not only the Assad regime but also the terrorists and fanatics who also oppose Assad. This must be not a faith-based judgment but a clear-eyed assessment of reality. Such is the kind of opposition that, assuming it exists, we should support, aiming for regime change in Damascus when — and only when — it becomes feasible on our terms. On this matter, too, we should tell our European allies that we want their support for something other than semiotic diplomacy.

Mindless intervention in Syria of the McCain/LIeberman/Graham variety is not acceptable nor in America’s best interest.  I didn’t say it:  John Bolton did!  I would not say Ambassador Bolton is ready to support Ron Paul or anything like that!  But maybe some interventionists might find pause in his cautions.

I think Bolton could have been a credible candidate for President this time (I’d had a tough time between Ron Paul and John Bolton.  I even called for Bolton as Paul’s running mate – (got some interesting comments at the Daily Paul on that one!) certainly not Mitt Romney’s worst idea if done – but Governors Bobby Jindal or Bob McDonnell are my first choices.) as he is a clear sovereignty conservative.  Ambassador John Bolton should go to Foggy Bottom in a Romney administration.  If God forbid President Obama is reelected, there would be an open primary season in 2016, I’d have Bolton at the top of my list to support.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “JOHN BOLTON has a GREAT article on SYRIA: SURPRISINGLY more NON-INTERVENTIONIST than some might EXPECT!”

  1. Grumpy says:

    I’d be real surprised if Romney were to pick someone like Bolton-Gingrich, Cain or even Santorum might have– I think Paul would have been afraid of him and I’m fairly sure the idea would terrify Romney..

    Which is why he’d be perfect- He’d scare the rest of the world too–

  2. Thanks Grumpy for coming by! I agree. Bolton would be a great “bad cop” in the Romney administration. I do not think Ron Paul ia afraid of John Bolton but there is I am sure respect there.

    Thanks again for coming by.

    Sandy Sanders

  3. This is my 1,000th blog entry for Virginia Right. I wnat to thank the Lord and Tom White for this door of activism and ministry. But (Lord willing!) I have a lot more to do. Until our sovereignty and liberty is restored in our nation or I am promoted to glory, I will continue to speak out.

    Thanks for all my readers!

    Sandy Sanders


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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