(by Jon Ward, WashingtonTimes.com) – The two remaining options for the U.S. to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons are to force a regime change or use military force to take out suspected weapons locations, the White House’s former representative to the United Nations said yesterday.

“Our options now are, unfortunately, limited,” said John R. Bolton, the ex-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who now faults the Bush administration for “failed diplomacy” toward Iran and North Korea.

During President Bush’s first term, Mr. Bolton was a strong White House advocate as the top weapons-control official at the State Department. He served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006.

Since leaving the post, Mr. Bolton has emerged as one of the Bush administration’s toughest critics. He first spoke out publicly last February against a deal with North Korea that he said would only embolden the communist regime to keep pursuing nuclear weapons.

In a new book and in an interview yesterday with The Washington Times, Mr. Bolton blamed what he said is a well-ingrained culture of liberal European-influenced appeasement at the State Department for putting the U.S. in its current position.

Mr. Bolton also said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has failed to stand up to the “persistence of the State Department bureaucracy,” and that her influence in the White House is so strong that Mr. Bush is not getting independent advice from the National Security Council.

Miss Rice was Mr. Bush’s national security adviser before she was named secretary of state. Her former deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, is now national security adviser.

“I think we’ve got a situation unparalleled since [Henry] Kissinger was secretary of state and held the position of national security adviser at the same time,” Mr. Bolton said. “Functionally, it’s the same, and it shows Secretary Rice’s dominance within policy-making within the administration.”

Mr. Bolton also said possibly fatigue and the Iraq war have kept Mr. Bush from paying closer attention to what Mr. Bolton called “a U-turn in many of the administration’s policies” away from confronting rogue dictators pursuing nuclear weapons.

“Part of it I just can’t explain. It’s a mystery to me why the president would have changed the direction he was going in so dramatically,” Mr. Bolton said.

In his book, “Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad,” Mr. Bolton often refers to the “High Minded” and “True Believers” – his terms for what he views as a liberal establishment at the State Department and the United Nations that consistently tries to force the U.S. leftward on foreign and domestic policy.

In the book, Mr. Bolton says U.S. liberal groups now pursue a political strategy that he coins as “norming.” The strategy is to build consensus within such international bodies as the United Nations, on such issues as abortion, gun control and the death penalty, and then to pressure the U.S. to join the consensus or risk being “isolated.”

He argues that a “cultural revolution” is needed at the State Department that reorients career diplomats and staff to advocate for American interests rather than define success as “accommodation and compromise with foreigners.”

Mr. Bolton’s sentiments have drawn derision from some State Department officials.

“He’s very excitable, isn’t he?” said one State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity and quoted Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, a French diplomat from the 19th century.

“[Mr. Bolton] seems to have forgotten the important quote from Talleyrand: ‘Most of all, not too much zeal,’ ” the official said. “Maybe he should run for office.”

Copyright 2007 News World Communications, Inc.  Reprinted with permission of the Washington Times.  This reprint does not constitute or imply any endorsement or sponsorship of any product, service, company or organization.  Visit the website at www.washingtontimes.com.


1.  Who is John Bolton?

2.  According to Mr. Bolton, what two options does the U.S. have to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

3.  List the factors Mr. Bolton says have contributed to putting the U.S. in its current position.

4.  What is “norming?”

5.  What changes does Mr. Bolton suggest be made at the State Department?

6.  What do you think of a state department official’s reaction to Mr. Bolton’s assertions?

7.  Read John Bolton’s biography at the American Enterprise Institute website aei.org/scholars/scholarID.121,filter.all/scholar.asp
Do you think Mr. Bolton’s credentials give his statements credibility?  Explain your answer.

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