John Bolton is a tarnished character. The once United States Ambassador to the United Nations is now promoted as a ‘scholar’ in the pro-Israel lobby group, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Bolton is not a peacemaker, nor, in his defense, did he ever try to appear as if one. When he was appointed as the US Ambassador to the UN by George W. Bush, his stint lasted for only one year, starting August 2005. His time in this position was marked with discord and conflict. He stole the limelight with such statements as “The (UN) Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
When the Iraq war failed to achieve any of its objectives, thus signaling an American retreat in the Middle East, neo-conservative politicians like Bolton retreated to their right-wing, neo-conservative institutions. Those who did not have one, established an organization of their own and began issuing press releases at random, hailing Israel at times, and chastising their President, Barack Obama, for one thing or another.
When the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ took place, neocons, like Bolton, saw in it an opportunity, but one that was difficult to discern. On one hand, they understood little of the mechanisms that propelled popular actions, for they are used to operate at the highest level of power with total disconnect from the people. On the other hand, it was clear for them from the start that Obama was taking no chances by stepping back into a Middle East quagmire that was originally designed by his predecessor.
Unable to affect much change in the region, as they once envisioned under the leadership of the likes of Richard Perle and his Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocons mounted a strategy predicated mostly on discrediting their administration’s lack of strategy.
In a sense the ‘Arab Spring’ invigorated the neocons, but also reminded them of their political impotence. Gone were the days of concocting foreign policies from neo-conservative think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), the Center for Security Policy (CSP) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), of which, among others, Perle is an active member.
In fact, Perle is quite a cherished member of the American Enterprise Institute, where Bolton often mounts his occasional articles in mainstream US media, offering a ‘vision’ regarding how to take on Iran, how to reform Arab states and how to redraw the map of the Middle East in ways that are conducive to US foreign policy interests.
The latest of such intellectual charges by Bolton was published in the New York Times on November 24. Under the title, “To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State,” he theorized once more, raging against “Obama’s ineffective efforts” to destroy ISIS and demanding, instead, a “clear…