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Jesus, to think I trusted the BBC.

First up on BBC World News this morning- John Bolton, on why Bill Clinton's successful rescue of the two kidnapped journalists in North Korea was "bad for America on balance".

His ostensible reason was that somehow, Bill Clinton going there "conferred prestige" on North Korea and "made them stronger", gave them a "propaganda victory", or whatever.

I suspected the real reason is that Laura Ling and Euna Lee were working as correspondents for Al Gore's TV network Current TV, and as such John Bolton didn't really give a shit whether they lived or died, but I digress.

The BBC journalist used Bolton's bloviating as proof that "opinion is divided" in America over whether or not this diplomatic mission was a good thing.

Bullshit. Just because John Bolton hates diplomacy, or really any form of foreign policy that doesn't involve big explosions and loud noise, doesn't mean that "opinion is divided". What Americans saw was one of their former presidents successfully bringing two pretty young women home from a place the media tells them is awful and bad, and that's what the majority of us are going to take away from this.

There is not a single person, outside of the hard-right clique that dominates the upper echelons of American foreign policy, and the sort of people that soak all day in the right wing media and absorb their thinking reflexively, that is spending even one second worrying whether or not we've "conferred undo prestige" on North Korea or "rewarded them for bad behavior". And I highly doubt that people like John Bolton even take themselves seriously-- people like him, or Bill Kristol, or any of them, are really just looking to start another war.

It should also be noted that not days, but hours before this successful rescue, Bolton had already declared it a failure. I won't link the article here, mostly because WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt can suck it, but, well, just read this:

   The reporters' arrest, show trial and subsequent imprisonment (twelve years hard labor) was hostage taking, essentially an act of state terrorism. So the Clinton trip is a significant propaganda victory for North Korea, whether or not he carried an official message from President Obama. Despite decades of bipartisan U.S. rhetoric about not negotiating with terrorists for the release of hostages, it seems that the Obama administration not only chose to negotiate, but to send a former president to do so...

   While the United States is properly concerned whenever its citizens are abused or held hostage, efforts to protect them should not create potentially greater risks for other Americans in the future. Yet that is exactly the consequence of visits by former presidents or other dignitaries as a form of political ransom to obtain their release.

Read between the lines. North Koreans are "terrorists". While we are "properly concerned" about our citizens being held hostage, we can't use negotiation or diplomacy to secure their release, because then we would be "negotiating with terrorists", which is anti-American.

So, what then? What does Mr. Bolton suggest we do? Continue to taunt Kim Jong Il with our high-minded intransigence? Or better yet, for a guy like Bolton, fly some bad-ass special forces there in the middle of the night, blow some shit up, and fly them out of there on a helicopter with TV cameras in tow? Is that what he wants?

Or would he rather they sit in prison and rot, sacrificed to the God of American Exceptionalism? Left to die for some ephemeral notion of national superiority? Is this what he wants?

Bolton doesn't say. He doesn't have to; that's not what he gets paid to do. To wit-

   The writer, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute...

In other words, Bolton draws a check for poisoning our political discourse with half-baked nonsense. He doesn't have to propose an alternative- he just gets paid to whine, in much the same way that Bush paid him to say mean things about the U.N., and sent him there as an ambassador to basically wave America's d**k around and remind everyone that we weren't going to listen to anything anyone else had to say.

But all that is par for the course for American political discourse; I expected a little more out of the BBC.

Actually, now that I'm writing this post, I don't really blame the BBC- Bolton's POS editorial got top billing on the Washington Post editorial page yesterday, and as they're supposed to be one of our papers of record, I could see how the BBC could get bamboozled into thinking that Bolton actually represents American opinion outside of the tiny right-wing cabal that he runs with.

All the blame really goes to Fred Hiatt, the same man who brought you Sarah Palin's debut as a "policy expert", for conferring undue prestige on John Bolton.

Cross-Posted (with more provocative title and more unrestrained prose, if you're into that) at beatpanda

Originally posted to beatpanda on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:37 PM PDT.


Fred Hiatt:

14%3 votes
85%18 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for a better media (12+ / 0-)

    Thanks for reading.

    To be human in 2009 is to rise in defense of the planet we have known and the civilization it has spawned.

    by beatpanda on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:36:16 PM PDT

  •  I am hard pressed to come up with (5+ / 0-)

    any good or useful thing this dick has accomplished on this planet.

    For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?'' ...

    by QuaintIrene on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:49:55 PM PDT

  •  What would John Bolton know about (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wenchacha, Treg, Lujane, beatpanda, Makai Mauka

    diplomacy, anyway.  He has never been good at it, and fucked up a few deals along the way, one of which led to a nuclear North Korea.
    He has damaged the security of the united states, and should be mocked and derided, not quoted.

  •  i seriously hate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Makai Mauka

    john bolton. i reserve hate for very few people. so i try to also be amused by him and his furry mustache so that my hate is not self-destructive.

    he is the ultimate "party over country" type of dick head.

    the greatest threat to america is its sense of exceptionalism.

    by SeanF on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 12:54:23 PM PDT

  •  You mean there are still people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, beatpanda, Mariken

    who care what Baron von Mustache thinks?  John Bolton is to effective diplomacy as Michael Bolton is to listenable music.

  •  If Bolton were detained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, DontTaseMeBro

    in North Korea, how long before this chickenhawk would be crying for the U.S. to do anything to free him?

  •  Any prestige for John Bolton is too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Makai Mauka


    "Forever is composed of nows." Emily Dickinson

    by Leftovers on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:11:44 PM PDT

  •  If those were still in charge, we'd never know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Makai Mauka

    that the cost of freeing two americans was Bill Clinton's air fare.  They'd insist that NK was demanding something ridiculous, like leaving the Korean penninsula or lifting sanctions, and those women would be rotting in jail for years AND their imprisonment would be used as proof that there's no reasoning with NK.

    "Buy your Birkenstocks now before they're Federally Mandated. Stock up on Jolly Ranchers before they're taxed like cigarettes."

    by Inland on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:23:41 PM PDT

  •  Bolton is just some unemployed dude (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Situational Lefty

    He was so shitty at the UN he could not get confirmation outside of a recess appointment by Bush.

    His opinion is exactly as valuable as the drunk down at my neighborhood bar.

    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

    by greendem on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:50:07 PM PDT

  •  Just Had a Headline Interview On NPR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beatpanda, Situational Lefty

    For his expertise on North Korea, in which I don't think they included his being run out of the country for disrupting diplomatic negotiations.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:55:10 PM PDT

    •  Why does this idiot still have a job? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Situational Lefty

      Seriously? How does this work? Why do otherwise reputable media organizations call him for his opinion? He's just some asshole collecting a wingnut welfare check.

      Has anyone noticed that he is the only person in the media making this argument?

      To be human in 2009 is to rise in defense of the planet we have known and the civilization it has spawned.

      by beatpanda on Wed Aug 05, 2009 at 01:57:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bolton, gov't pension for crimes against humanity (0+ / 0-)

        Most likely collecting a wingnut welfare check(s) is not John Robert Bolton's only income.

        Bolton is currently a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and of counsel to the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, in their Washington D.C. office. He is also involved with a broad assortment of other conservative think tanks and policy institutes, including the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Project for the New American Century (PNAC), Institute of East-West Dynamics, National Rifle Association, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Council for National Policy (CNP). Bolton is often described as a neoconservative, though he personally rejects the term.

        Just like all the other immoral characters working to advance the Bush/Cheney regime on the U.S. government payroll, Bolton most likely gets a lifetime pension (and healthcare?) at U.S. taxpayer expense in additition to payoffs from all of his capitalUSt$ gains through the U.S. wealth care system.

        That people like Bolton are even free to roam the United States, muchless the world and do so in the grand style of some prince, reflects just how horribly deep in crap the world is thanks to the United States.

  •  bolting opposite to J. Bolton advice, best move (0+ / 0-)

    The one useful thing about dangerous, criminal, egoistic, Cold War/Bush2 leftover garbage the likes of John Bolton is that it is nearly impossible to go wrong by choosing an action that is the direct opposite to an action suggested/supported by Mr. Bolton.

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