by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
Angel Fire, NM
Oct. 26, 2007
BOLTON SAYS IRAN ATTACK IS 'CERTAIN'
ANGEL FIRE, N.M., Oct. 26, 2007 -- In case you missed it, buried in an interview in one of the world's most prestigious publications, longtime Bush Administration operative and defrocked Acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says you can count on a U.S. attack against Iran before the end of Mr. Bush's second term.
If any mainstream news organizations picked up the next-to-last paragraph of Financial Times Washington bureau chief Edward Luce's full-page Bolton interview on Oct 20, I missed it. A Google search indoes show familiar cast members named Rice, Cheney, Bush and Bolton, but the reference was to his March 11, 2006, saber-rattling at the United Nations.
Back then, Bolton, lacking votes from the new Democratic majority to formally confirm his appointment to the UN post, said that when it comes to the prospects of war with Iran, "all options are on the table." Now hewrites books and works at the American Enterprise Institute.
After discussing Bolton's new book, "Surrender is not an Option," and documenting his club sandwich (french, not freedom fries, with ketchup) over the $57.54 lunch, as an afterthought Luce tosses in a question about war with Iran:
"... [A]s we wait for the bill we finally get around to the subject of Iran," Luce writes. "Bolton finishes with a flourish, confidently predicting that George W. Bush will launch a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office.
"He [Bolton] can't resist one last European dig. 'Four years of European diplomacy have given the Iranians the one asset they could not have purchased - and that was time,' he says, wagging his finger. 'And now, irony of ironies after fiddling around with all this futile diplomacy, we finally have a French president who sounds just like we do on Iran.' C'est la guerre, I think. A sobering conclusion to a sober Anglo-Saxon meal."
Why should the Bolton drumbeat be taken any more seriously than similar comments to the contrary this week from Rumsfeld's replacement, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, or Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, along with the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs and his mouthpieces? One might note that Bolton is an oldtime, longtime Bush confidant. Many observers on both sides of the aisles felt that the President's steadfast loyalty to Bolton during the nomination process, even in the face of controversy, showed much more than the President's typical "loyalty to a friend."
It was, after all, Bolton and a team of GOP lawyers on the ground during the 2000 election running the Republicans drive to make sure that every last vote for Bush in Florida was counted at least once. Bolton's cabinet-rank post at the UN was his reward for a well-executed hatchet job on Al Gore and the Democrats - nothing more, nothing less. Then come the Democrat's congressional renaissance, and Bolton's official career folds like a Young Republican card table when Hillary's bus pulls up. Bolton was relegated to the Washington world of think tanks and lobbyists, the same world that prepped the Bush transition team;s abbreviated planning of war with Iraq - long before Sept. 11, 2001. It would be simplistic to see the Iraq-Iran two-war punch as a quiniella (where you win by picking the two horses that come in first and second, in either order), In that case, the timing of either war would be interchangable. In reality, the final lame duck Bush months are the rest of a daily double, where you've got to pick horses in the order of their finish - except now, you know which war came first. Now the first war, scheduled as a short, 4-furlong sprint, is still going strong. The race to war in Iraq is now well-documented in the stories of how Dick Cheney was chosen as vice president (i.e., largely through the influence of Bolton's neocon pals). Sadly, the more convoluted the excuses for the Iraq war, the more it seems it was actually pre-ordained revenge against Saddam for an assassination plot mounted against President George H.W. Bush, the current President's father, during his visit to Kuwait during Gulf War I. The second half of the daily double is Mr. Bush's determination to leave a legacy that one or more generations of young Americans will not be able to extricate themselves from, even if the Iraqi war dwindles into civil war and tri-partite ethnic cleansing.
This is not a value judgment, but an observation. With good intelligence indicating that Iranian operatives supported by the Ahmadinejad government in Tehran, are contributing to the maiming and killing of U.S. troops, it becomes tougher to argue against slamming Iran.
The nuclear issue, though, is wonderful cocktail party cover for the human element. Mr. and Mrs. Bush, on every visit to Walter Reed or every medal ceremony, need to justify to themselves before the families of the dead and wounded. They have to persuade these victims it is not bad Administration policy which took their sons and daughters, but smuggled Iranian arms, explosives, and commandos sneaking across the Iraqi border.
If only Mr. Luce had secured an exclusive lunch with Britney Spears or Michael Jackosn. Now that would have generated some news!