1. Today is Thursday, March 26, 2015. It is six days until April Fool’s Day.
2. So that can’t explain today’s op-ed piece in The New York Times by Bush-era U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Although the piece does read like a sick joke: Bolton says the only way to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons is for the United States (or Israel, in a pinch) to bomb Iran.
Bolton’s argument is that letting Iran continue to develop its nuclear capabilities will encourage other Middle Eastern states — Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey — to do so as well. And that, as a result, President Obama’s legacy will be a region armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.
There’s more than a couple of problems here.
First off, while Bolton admits that this is something Obama inherited rather than created, it will be all his fault anyway. Obama’s insistence on solving this problem peacefully is a mistake — in the view of one of the pom-pom boys of the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history, the invasion of Iraq.
Secondly, Bolton dismisses the idea that hey, wait a minute, Israel has nuclear capability. But Bolton comically says that the nations in the region understand that Israel only has the capability as a deterrent. That it would never use it as an offensive weapon. That’s plain silly. If these people want nukes, they’ll especially want them if Israel has them – I can’t imagine that Benjamin Netanyahu impresses his neighbors as Mr. Reasonable, especially after that last election.
Finally, the casualness with which Bolton describes what would happen if the United States attacked Iran is breath-taking. First of all, of course, we should be able to knock out their capabilities pretty quickly, according to Bolton. We’ll set them back three to five years. It’s going to be a piece of cake to this guy who, again, rallied ‘round the Iraq debacle.
And, of course, Bolton says the U.S. should couple this attack with support for dissident groups in Iran. Because when tens or hundreds of Iranians are killed in an American missile attack or aerial bombing, being perceived as having American support will be a popular death sentence. Either that or, even more likely, you’re no longer a dissident — everyone throws their support behind their embattled nation.
Give Bolton credit — when Netanyahu spoke to Congress, he was too afraid to say what Bolton said. But that was because he knew what Bolton hasn’t figured out: the American people are not the least bit interested or inclined to start a horrific war in the Persian Gulf. And Johnny, it’s not because we’re afraid and it’s not because our military isn’t amazing.
It’s because we’re not warmongers. We don’t kill because it seems like a better solution than talking. That’s what murderers do, Mr. Bolton.
3. The idea that a co-pilot could deliberately take down a passenger jet with 150 people aboard is horrific.
It’s impressive that authorities have found out so much in such a short time. It’s important that they answer all the questions about the German Wings crash in France as soon as possible. Because flying scares some people enough.