Stop panicking about John Bolton
John Bolton is an accomplished, very smart person with principled, hawkish instincts on foreign and defense policy. He's wrong about the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but liberal hysteria against him is just that. Oh, and please leave out the comments about his mustache
When Donald Trump appointed John Bolton to be his next National Security Advisor (NSA), I thought my Twitter feed was going to explode. A virtually limitless stream of commentators, journalists, former U.S. government officials and others seemed to be having a collective panic attack.
A flurry of feverish opinion pieces followed. With Bolton starting his new job on April 9, we can expect another wave of hysteria surrounding his appointment.
No, Bolton’s appointment doesn’t mean that another World War is inevitable. No, it’s not fair to lambast the guy as a thoughtless talking head just because he has made regular appearances on Fox News. And no, we shouldn’t spend any more time talking about his mustache.
The New York Times recently ran a preposterous op-ed that analyzes Bolton through the prism of his mustache!
“Even if he [Trump] still does not like Mr. Bolton’s mustache, Mr. Trump may be drawn to the pugnacious manliness it represents.”
We’re talking about a very smart man with significant government experience who has been called again to serve. He’s deeply (and rightly) skeptical of the United Nations system and sincerely believes that American leadership is an essential element of world affairs.
I’m, of course, not suggesting that his ideas are sacrosanct or that he’s always right. Frankly, it’s worrisome that he still thinks the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a good idea. And, unfortunately, he seems to be largely uninterested in human rights and democracy promotion.
Nevertheless, what really seems to be going on is that many people just can’t stand Trump. And in that context, they’re going to denounce whatever Trump does and whoever Trump appoints.
Bolton is an accomplished person with principled, hawkish instincts on foreign and defense policy. He’s doesn’t believe that Washington should shy away from unilateral action. He looks at American’s greatest foreign policy challenges – from North Korea to Iran and beyond – with sincerity and seriousness.
He doesn’t subscribe to Barack Obama’s hopelessly naïve vision of global order. And the liberal punditocracy can’t stand him. Let’s hope he hits the ground running.
Taylor Dibbert is a writer based in Washington, D.C.
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