Bolton Memoir Out (Don’t Bother)
It’s probably not necessary for most readers of the blog, but my advice would be to save your $17.82. John Bolton’s Surrender Is Not an Option is predictably devoid of perspective and makes for dull reading. Bolton has a massive chip on his shoulder (all the way back to his youth as a scholarship kid in high school and at Yale). The “High Minded” and “True Believers” are the enemy here. This is probably the closest thing to a money quote:
Many tak[e] offense that anyone would describe the United Nations as an “instrument” of any national foreign policy, and most certainly not that of the United States.’ These are the true believers, the High Minded elite who worship at the altar of the Secular Pope. Of course, all 192 nations pursue their national interests at the UN—seeking to use it as an instrument of their foreign policy—but only the United States is criticized for it. Even those who are not vergers for the High Minded, however, have ample practical reasons to channel increasing decision-making authority into the UN system, especially if part of their agenda is to circumscribe U.S. global power. I include in this category not only those seeking to influence traditional matters of foreign affairs, but also the increasing category of “global governance” advocates who hope to transfer areas of authority traditionally left to national government to supranational bodies, or to constrain nation-states through “norming,” effectively tying their hands. Issues like family planning and abortion, the right to keep and bear arms, environmental policy, the death penalty, and many others, even taxation, are now being dragged into the international arena, often with the support of the U.S. left. They have found themselves unable to prevail in a fair fight within America’s system of representative government, so they now seek international forums to argue their positions, where their collectivist proclivities find greater sympathy among foreign governments and NG0s.
I didn’t know that Bolton was yet another among senior Bush officials who dodged the draft (“Dying for your country is one thing, but dying to gain territory that antiwar forces in Congress would simply return to the enemy seemed ludicrous to me”). Little known fact: he was an intern to Spiro Agnew (“a kind and humorous man, a real middle American”). The only use of “international law” I found in the book was just so, in scare quotes. He’s elsewhere on record as saying that unsigning the Rome Statute was his “happiest moment in government service,” elaborated here as “I felt like a kid on Christmas Day.” Why do those lacking humor on the Right come across as puerile?
(And could this be the anti-matter John Bolton?)