Bolton is no appeaser


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, March 29th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

CAL THOMAS, REPORTER: Let’s talk about the president’s choice for the new national security adviser. My analysis starts with the enemies John Bolton’s made.

REICHARD: Commentary now from WORLD Radio’s Cal Thomas.

THOMAS: From The New York Times and The Washington Post to the foreign-policy establishment, we’ve heard numerous criticisms of John Bolton: that he’s a hawk, that he’s too aggressive.

Now, in my book, opposition from those newspapers is a net-plus.

But opposition to Bolton comes down to some of his provocative writings and statements. So let’s consider some of them.

Here are some pithy Bolton-isms that I think are clear-eyed and right.

On diplomatic dealings with Iran, Bolton has said: “When you have a regime that would be happier in the afterlife than in this life, this is not a regime that is subject to classic theories of deterrence.”

On the strategy known as negotiation, Bolton has said, “Negotiation is not a policy. It’s a technique. It’s something you use when it’s to your advantage, and something that you don’t use when it’s not to your advantage.”

On the United Nations, Bolton has said: “There’s no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

Blunt talk, especially that last one, and especially given that Bolton once was U.S. ambassador to the UN.

But Bolton is no appeaser. He believes nations and terrorists who publicly proclaim their desire to destroy America should be taken seriously. He believes that credible planning should be done to make sure that destruction doesn’t happen.

Peace through strength has worked before, and Bolton believes it can work again. Strength is what deters bullies, not trying to “understand” their hostility toward America, as Hillary Clinton once recommended.

John Bolton exposes the weakness of America’s foreign policy under several previous presidents. He opposed President Clinton’s disastrous nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. He was critical of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Bolton understands that enemies cannot and must not be appeased or coddled. They must be defeated or at least deterred.

History shows the results of appeasement. It shows appeasement is never good for free people, and it’s not good for those struggling to gain freedom under totalitarian regimes.

The media love to attach pejorative labels to Bolton: “hawkish,” “dangerous,” “hard line.”

But given the threats we face from enemies who better fit those adjectives, John Bolton seems an ideal pick to advise the president on national security issues he knows a great deal about.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.


(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) FILE – In this Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 file photo, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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