It's the first day on the job for the exploding cigar known as John Bolton. As of this writing, the top ten stories of the UN building are still intact--but it's only 10 a.m.
My problem with Bolton isn't so much that he's a flamer and a bully. That hardly makes him unique in this administration. My problem with Bolton is that given his track record, we can't believe a single word he says. (Duh, he's not unique in that regard either, is he?)
If we're actually trying to restore US credibility in the global community, Bolton was the wrong guy to send to the UN. He was one of Bush's key pre-invasion intelligence fixers, and has generally been smack in the middle of the reality vacuum that surrounds this White House.
The Washington Post and other sources report today that Iran isn't so close to having nuclear weapons as we thought. In fact, the new National Intelligence Estimate says that they're a decade away from being able to manufacture a key H-bomb component.
What was all the hoopla about?
In January of this year, Dick Cheney was saying that Iran's nuclear program was so far along that the Israelis might conduct an air strike as they did on Iraq two decades ago.
In April 2004, Joltin' Bolton, then the State Department's head honcho on WMD proliferation said, "If we permit Iran's deception to go on much longer, it will be too late. Iran will have nuclear weapons."
Bolton accusing someone else of "deception." That's kind of like GOP hardliners crying about the Dems conducting a "smear campaign" on Karl Rove.
Speaking of Rove/Plame/Niger/Traitorgate, has anyone figured out whether Bolton's appointment gives him diplomatic immunity from prosecution in the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation?
In, Out, or Stuck in the Doorway?
So, what's the deal in Iraq? General Casey, commander of US and coalition forces there, seems to waffle back and forth on the subject. Our troops will only leave when Iraqi troops are ready to take their place. Does he--or anyone--have any idea when that might be? Apparently not, as Casey says there is no timeline.
Brigadier General Karl Horst, head of Iraqi force training, says, a reduction of U.S. forces is event-driven, not time-driven, which means you meet the goals and objectives."
Well, it's nice to hear a military man talking about goals and objectives for a change. But talking about goals and objectives and having specific ones are two different things.
Even if you have specific goals and objectives, without a time line you don't have a plan, you just have a wish. And you know what they say about wishes and fishes.
The Bush administration position now seems to be that "setting a timetable without credible Iraqi forces to replace departing U.S. troops would only embolden the insurgents to create more chaos."
It seems like only a couple weeks ago they were arguing that setting a timetable would cause the insurgents to "wait us out."
It must be my years in the military. I somehow find myself secretly wishing I could trust my government despite the overwhelming body of evidence that indicates I can't.
I'm off to Williamsburg tomorrow for a couple days of family stuff. Maybe that will take the edge off my "malaise."
Catch you later in the week.