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  • Bolton Questions Obama's Plan for Negotiating With Iran

    John Bolton

    It’s the difference “between a fork and a spoon,” John Bolton said at Heritage today. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was clarifying what Barack Obama’s narcissistic fantasy of negotiating with Iran really means. “Negotiating with Iran is not a policy, it’s a technique,” he said. Furthermore, the technique “is hardly a new idea — it’s an old idea that has failed.”

    Cutlery lessons aside, France, Germany and Britain have negotiated with Iran for the last five years, and all along Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has understood that the EU-3 speaks for America. The goal of the negotiations, of course, was to entice Iran into ceasing uranium enrichment. Bolton’s Sept. 25 op-ed in the New York Daily Sun demonstrates his frustration with the lack of results:

    Negotiation is like all human activity: It has costs as well as benefits. The history of Europe’s efforts underscores a significant cost of negotiating with a nuclear aspirant: time. More time is almost always on the proliferator’s side, because it allows for the complex work necessary to master the nuclear fuel cycle. The net effect of five years of EU-3 negotiation is that Iran is five years closer to achieving a deliverable nuclear weapon.

    Even accounting for Obama’s admittedly incredible personal talent, Bolton wondered if the Democrat presidential candidate really expects Ahmadinejad to lean back from the table in astonishment at the clarity of his argument. Does Obama have a magic argument up his sleeve that the EU-3 has not thought of in five long years?

    Bolton abruptly closed: “You can fiddle around, but if you fiddle around too long, those consequences are going to be dire indeed.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Bolton Questions Obama's Plan for Negotiating With Iran

    1. Robert Glaser,Massap says:

      John Bolton nailed it again. I believe he would be a valuable asset for the next administration. If Sen. Obama wins, however, I would expect to see someone more in the mold of Warren Christopher.

    2. dfelton says:

      Palin Pick The Real Reason McCain Trails in Polls?

      By Greg Mitchell

      Editor & Publisher (a trade magazine)

      Published: October 22, 2008 3:05 PM ET

      NEW YORK It may yet turn out differently, but at this stage in the campaign for the White House it appears that if John McCain loses in November the turning point will not be the financial crisis hitting in late September but his choice of Sarah Palin as his veep in late August.

      Two new national polls show that voters cite that choice as the main reason they have turned from McCain. Indeed, his slippage in the poll began in September after his convention bounce, and before the financial crisis truly hit, as media vetting on Palin began and she ventured out for her first TV interview. But here is another measure: the brutal criticism of that pick in newspaper editorial endorsements of his opponent — from GOP-leaning papers that endorsed George W. Bush.

      Many of them cited his Palin pick as a key reason for switching sides this time around. As the Chicago Tribune, which backed a Democrat for president for the first time in its history, frankly declared,

      “McCain failed in his most important executive decision."

      Yet McCain said today, referring to Palin, "I think she is the most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president.”

      Here is a gallery of some of these comments, all from Bush-backing papers in 2004.



      “McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate–but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.”


      “If McCain, who is 72 and has a history of cancer, should die in the presidency, he would be succeeded by Sarah Palin, whose selection as the vice presidential candidate calls McCain's judgment into serious question. She is not qualified to lead a nation facing its toughest challenges in decades.”


      “Then, out of nowhere, and without proper vetting, the impetuous McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. She quickly proved grievously underequipped to step into the presidency should McCain, at 72 and with a history of health problems, die in office. More than any single factor, McCain's bad judgment in choosing the inarticulate, insular and ethically challenged Palin disqualifies him for the presidency.”


      “Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.”


      “If elected, at 72, [McCain] would be the oldest incoming president in U.S. history. He's in good health now, we're told, although he has withheld most of his medical records. That means Gov. Sarah Palin could very well become president.

      And that brings us to McCain's most troubling trait: his judgment.

      While praiseworthy for putting the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket since Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, his selection of Palin as a running mate was appalling. The first-term governor is clearly not experienced enough to serve as vice president or president if required."


      “His selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as running mate, a move intended to energize the ticket and galvanize the Republican party, has rallied some supporters, but left others, including some in his own party, wondering whether McCain had put politics ahead of prudence.”


      “McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as running mate rang of desperation; an attempt to appeal to Democratic female voters upset that Hillary Clinton is not their party’s nominee and to make the Republican ticket seem more change-oriented by having someone that’s about as far removed from Washington as possible. Palin is talented in many ways, and we admire her regular-gal persona. But is she the person we want as president if something happens to the person we elect Nov. 4? Absolutely not. Although she plays well to the Republican conservative base, she leaves others gasping incredulously at McCain’s choice.”


      “As much as we respect the loyal and courageous service of Sen. McCain in the military and in Congress, his record of supporting the Bush administration's policies, particularly his support for the costly and unnecessary war in Iraq; his impulsive and improvident selection of an ill-prepared running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; and his negative, conflicted and uneven campaign lead us to believe that he is not the man to lead the nation at a time when extraordinary change is needed.”


      “As for judgment, Obama chose a running mate who neither hurt him in the polls nor diverted the spotlight from the main man on the ticket. McCain’s choice has done both. McCain tries to masquerade this recklessness as the virtue of a maverick. Would he use that same recklessness in appointing Supreme Court justices and Cabinet members?”


      “Sarah Palin. The governor of Alaska took the national political scene by storm, and by surprise, when McCain picked her as his running mate. Palin has obvious appeal to the conservative wing of the Republican party, and her outspoken, folksy ways brought her a lot of attention for a while. But her 15 minutes of fame in the national spotlight are over. On the campaign trail, we're not seeing the kind of substance, depth and breadth of experience that's necessary in someone a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

    3. Mike Vienna VA says:

      Gov. Palin has more experience at governing than, Senator Obama. Has he been chief executive of anything? I'll admit he is a good talker and needs to be careful of what he sweeps under the carpet. Let's keep in mind when he promises the world on a string, he has never been there done that. mb

    4. Barb MN says:

      They are literally inducing this negativity on Palin to deter people from their admiration of her. Nit picking every little thing even though irrelevant, when they have yet investigated a threatening man, coercing violence and racism, running for the presidency who's lies are relevant.

      She is an excellent role model of the people we need to represent American principles. She truly WORKS FOR THE PEOPLE. Her record CLEARLY SHOWS THIS! Efficiently, effectively and without waste. And that's what threatens the overstaffed government of the USA.

    5. Barb MN says:

      Iran wants Obama. Let them have him.

    6. Brad Az says:

      You are dead right Barb. I think I would trust Sara over McCain, and any other beltway bandit in DC. She is no liability to McCain. If he had not chosen Mrs Palin, he would be right back where he was a year ago, just about out of the game. I have no reservations about Sara stepping into the presidency, because I can tell you now, she is more trustworthy, more loyal, and more honest than any other aspiring to this position. The media and opposition ARE trying to destroy her, because she is honest, trustworthy,and loyal. All unacceptable traits to the liberal elite.

    7. PM Connors, Phoenix, says:

      I am not sure how Governor Palin entered the fray on this thread, other than dfelton has an issue, but this individual with a marked difficulty for expressing original thought needs to be aware that Ambassader Bolton is mentoring the governor.

      I've read and listened to the Ambassador many times in recent months and like others hope that in a McCain victory Mr. Bolton will be appointed wisely. He is truly on the mark regarding Iran, as he has been in many other areas.

      For the record, Palin was and is an excellent choice for this country… finally a real person not a celebrity with a history of dubious associations (you know like the main attraction on the midway from the other camp).

    8. MAJ Price, Fort Belv says:

      As a military officer who served 15 months in Afghanistan and other location around the world, I think its time we realize that we do not have a choice but to negotiate with Iran. Negotiation does not mean that we are yielding to their views or compromising our own. It simply means that we are willing to come to the table on equal terms and begin a dialogue to reach common goals. Key to negotiation is that both parties generally give up something. Our initial policies of isolation and non negotiation in Iraq and Afghanistan have put us behind the power curve in settling some of the key issues. They have also emboldened some of our enemies and sent the message that the U.S. viewpoint was the only one we were willing to discuss. Today, we are beginning to see the benefit in starting a dialogue with Iran, and using this as a springboard to reach out to more moderate voices in Iran and the middle east in general. This strategy, is what will eventually set us up for success.

    9. Patrick J. Heckers says:

      The sole reason J. McCain lost this election is simple. McCain was to moderate and therfore was unable to convince the conservative base that our principles would remain strong. With his tendency to wander to the left on issues such as immigration and campaign finance the base was very hesitant to entrust power to him. Sarah Palin with her lack of washington exsperience proved on solid piece of evidence, She is conservative in more ways then any republican in washington today. The people of this nation want someone to stand firm and do whats best for the nation, more the any they look to the republicans to be fiscally responsible and able to handle any economic crisis. The GOP failed and moved center left with any policy they wrote, affording the Democratic party to move left. International affairs are a key to any adminstration and as we approach the presipious with Iran this country needs a strong answer to the crisis. Obama is not the solution in this situation as this grows he will become the problem and the end result will be devistation.

      Republicans must regroup and reconnect with the conservative values and principles, that have made this part before the party of trust and peace. This election has freed us from the burden and unjust label as the party of racist, biggots and war mongering. We are free and we must return to the core principles, fiscal responsiblity, Reduction in size of government and the elimination of the ideal that government is the solution to everyones problems. Republicans must now purge the moderates left who did not go down in defeat with this election and we must return to policy decisions from the right to the center. This is what we are up against with Mr. Obama who will govern from the far left, and unfortunately unable to moderate to the center.

      Coservatism is about the true rights of man. Peace and prosperity and freedom are at the core of our beliefs. that all men are created equal, and that governments role is to ensure its own demise by creating one simple work Happiness. If a society in general is happy, the government will fail.

      Iran is the threat that will define this President, I feel however that any policy he makes towards Iran will be weak and flexible to manipulation by the world leaders. Their is one reason that now Irans president wants to talk to Obama and the United States he sees the weakness in Obama. Putin as well will see this weakness and exsploit the opportunity.

      We face not only a government here that seek to change the face of this nation. We face a greater threat from around the world. Our military must be kept to the ready to responde to defend freedom around the world.

    10. christine says:

      To comment on "Iran wants Obama. Let them have him."

      I say we shouldn't let a terrorist country have any input in our democratic government. It's our government not theirs. They simply should not be controlling us, they shouldn't get what they want from us, because they are terrorist. They have done wrong. It's black and white.

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