[Marxism] Bolton: "We are going to have to deal with a nuclear Iran"

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Dec 6 18:05:40 MST 2008

John Bolton Reads 'Em and Weeps 
posted by Robert Dreyfuss on 12/05/2008 @ 09:44am

It was an extraordinary scene at the American Enterprise Institute on
Tuesday, where John Bolton read 'em and wept. There is, he said, no way to
stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. 

His conclusion, stunning in its finality: "We are going to have to deal with
a nuclear Iran." 

In so saying, Bolton -- among the hawkiest of hawks from the now
neoconservative-movement-in-exile -- broke ranks with many of his neocon
colleagues. Most of them haven't given up on stopping Iran, as evidenced by
a raft of new reports from neocon-linked thinktanks. And they're busily
calling for stepped-up sanctions, making bellicose threats, and warning of
military action by the United States and Israel. But Bolton is folding his

"Iran's going to get nuclear weapons," said Bolton, to an audience at AEI
that seemed shocked into silence. "We have lost this race." If you don't
believe me, you can watch the video. 

According to Bolton, the idea that Iran can be deterred from going forward
by applying economic sanctions won't work. Had it been tried earlier, he
said, it might had an impact. "Sanctions could have dissuaded Iran," he
said. "But that time is past." Europe doesn't have the will to impose tough
sanctions, he said. He lamented his encounters with the German ambassador to
the United Nations, during Bolton's tenure as US ambassador there, and he
said that the Germans and other European countries won't take action to cut
off their lucrative trade with Tehran. 

But Bolton also said that neither the United States nor Israel will attack
Iran to stop its nuclear program. "Neither one is willing to use military
force," he said. Bolton said that until recently he believed that there was
a small chance that Israel, on its own, might attack Iran before January 20,
when Barack Obama becomes president. But Israel is mired in political
confusion in advance of its coming elections, and there is no political will
in Israel to go to war against Iran, he said. 

Bolton also said that the likelihood of a US attack on Iran under Obama is
nil. "Under an Obama administration, that possibility is essentially zero,"
he said. "After January 20, the chances are zero." 

If strong action had been taken in the past, say, starting five years ago,
Iran could have been stopped, Bolton said. Tough sanctions then would be
biting now, he said. Alternately, the United States could have adopted a
policy of "regime change," supporting ethnic minorities, disaffected youth,
and Iran's youth, to create revolutionary unrest, even though nearly all
experts on Iran have argued that regime change was never a viable option.
Said Bolton: "If we had started it five years ago, we might be in a
different place,. It was a good policy option. We should have pursued it. We
didn't pursue it." 

After Bolton spoke, I encountered a very senior neoconservative strategist,
who'd served in the Department of Defense, and who was quietly observing the
proceedings at the back of the AEI meeting room. I asked him if agreed with
Bolton's assessment. Preferring not to speak on the record, he said: 

"Well, I think what he said is basically true. We're going to find ourselves
in a position not unlike the one we faced with the Soviet Union during the
Cold War. We will have to contain them and deter them. The problem is, that
Iran will feel empowered, and we'll have an increasing level of tension in
the Persian Gulf."

What does that mean? I asked. According to this former official, it looks
ominous. "Eventually, we'll probably have to do something. But doing it
later will be a lot harder than doing it now." And by doing something, what
do you mean, I asked. "It might come to a war."

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