John Bolton, no longer embarassing the United States as the country's United Nations' representative, continued his one-man crusade to either impose his own lunatic fringe fantasy of U.S. world dominance, or, failing that, to set off an apocalyptic conflagration. These days, he's on a book tour, promoting his latest screed, titled "Surrender Is Not an Option." I might point out that the title is correct, because there is no one to whom we could surrender -- but that's not why I'm writing.
Today, he's taken his book tour to NPR's Diane Rehm show. Ms. Rehm did ask him about his service in the National Guard. Bolton is one of those chickenhawks that joined the National Guard to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War. In fact, he's really the extreme example, since he seems to favor using force, or threatening force, against any country with whom we have significant disputes. I was about to give Bolton credit for a unique degree of honesty for one of the chickenhawks. He admitted that he went that route to avoid serving in Vietnam. Any grudging glimmer of respect for Bolton that I might have had for a fleeting moment, vanished when he took a typically Bolton-esque bizarre turn that makes the other chickenhawks....
Rather than admit cowardice in his joining the Guard, or even claiming some principled opposition to the Vietnam War, Bolton offered an "explanation" that reached new heights of hypocrisy, incredulity and absurdity. (I don't have an exact quote now, but I may update this when the podcast is avaliable online -- but the following is a fair reporting of what Bolton said) -- According to Bolton, he saw the handwriting on the wall. He feared Ted Kennedy would win the Presidency and would succeed in ending American involvement in Southeast Asia, and so he saw it as futile to join a fight that the Defeat-o-crats were preparing to abandon. He claimed to have discussed that with his father, who was a WWII vet, and said he received his father's approval.
In short: Yes, he did join the Guard, rather than risk the draft, but only because Ted Kennedy would have turned his combat service into a vain effort. In other words, joining the Guard wasn't due to his own personal cowardice or lack of patriotism and resolve. It was Ted Kennedy's cowardice and lack of patriotic resolve. Way to go, Bolton! It's a real shame that the television writers' strike continues. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert could do real justice to the magnitude of Bolton's hypocrisy and psychosis. I'm afraid that this is the best I can do on short notice.