John Bolton on Syrian resolution: “I would vote no”

posted at 5:21 pm on September 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It sounds like the White House is gunning for the support of Sen. John McCain in whipping up the necessary votes for Obama’s proposed use of force resolution for Syria, but McCain’s most recent line of thinking is that he can’t quite get behind the resolution because it doesn’t go far enough. He’s evidently looking for some clear-cut strategery and more defined and rebel-aiding goals tfrom the Obama administration before he casts his yea, but former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton — a.k.a., major Bush-era foreign policy hawk — doesn’t think getting involved in Syria at all is really in the United States’ interests, and that neither the Syrian government nor the rebel groups will prove particularly helpful to advancing U.S. goals. As Bolton points out, however, it’s looking increasingly likely that the White House will get the Congressional green-light on Obama’s resolution, because they are in full-on lobbying mode working to get their ducks in a row. Oof.


I would not have referred the matter to Congress, and I think if I were a member of Congress, I would vote against an authorization to use force here. I don’t think it’s in America’s interest. I don’t think we should, in effect, take sides in the Syrian conflict. There’s very little to recommend either side to me, and I think the notion that a limited strike, which is what the president seems to be pursuing, will not create a deterrent effect with respect either to Syria’s use of chemical weapons or, more seriously, Iran’s nuclear weapons program. So, all in all, since I don’t see any utility to the use of military force in Syria in this context, I would vote no. Now the argument that the administration makes is, the president’s committed us here, it’ll cause a huge blow to America’s credibility if Congress doesn’t approve the use of force. And I’d say, a huge blow to America’s credibility compared to what? Compared to the mess the president’s already made of it? I just don’t think there’s a convincing argument here, and frankly it doesn’t matter what the intelligence shows. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Assad’s regime used chemical weapons. I don’t think that’s going to change anybody’s mind. … I think they’re going to approve some resolution authorizing some use of force, God only knows what it will say. But I think the administration will win, I think the White House candy store is open, I think the ideal job to have today is to be a Democratic member of Congress. ‘What do you need for your district or state?’ … The White House is going to do whatever it takes to get a majority.


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So would I.

But my vote, as Bolton’s, doesn’t matter a tinker’s dam today.

coldwarrior on September 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

John Bolton doesn’t count, he is evil. The Left.

Oil Can on September 3, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Weird day in America – Bolton and Kucinich are brothers in sanity.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

So, all in all, since I don’t see any utility to the use of military force in Syria in this context, I would vote no.

Kind of a “duh” deal there. “Since there’s nothing to accomplish, let’s not.”

Now the argument that the administration makes is, the president’s committed us here, it’ll cause a huge blow to America’s credibility if Congress doesn’t approve the use of force. And I’d say, a huge blow to America’s credibility compared to what? Compared to the mess the president’s already made of it?

Obama’s credibility.

Axe on September 3, 2013 at 5:25 PM

What the hell are a couple bombs going to deter?

It’s like throwing a rock at a hornets nest. To think otherwise is plain stupid.

patman77 on September 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Stud.

Longtime Listener on September 3, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Sign hanging on the Hill. “Votes for Sale!!”

Deano1952 on September 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

It sounds like the White House is gunning for the support of Sen. John McCain in whipping up the necessary votes for Obama’s proposed use of force resolution for Syria, but McCain’s most recent line of thinking is that he can’t quite get behind the resolution because it doesn’t go far enough.

Yeah, McCain just finished staging the administration’s lies with Kerry. Turns out that we who object to this adventure are unreasonable Muslim-hating xenophobes! (not that there is anything wrong with that).

McCain and Kerry all but made the claim that the majority of the rebels are Jeffersonian democrats just chomping at the bit to get out there and draft a bill of rights or something. It’s all pretty disgusting.

Happy Nomad on September 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

The only strike I would support is one targeting the top leaders. Blowing up remote airfields would only make the use of chem weapons more likely. Bombing Assad and his top generals/aides in their beds has a proven track record – Reagan altered Libyan Qadhaffi’s path significantly when the strike nearly killed him.

LarryinLA on September 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

it’ll cause a huge blow to America’s credibility

that shipped sailed in 2008.

can_con on September 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM

..I just don’t think there’s a convincing argument here, and frankly it doesn’t matter what the intelligence shows.

Bolton nails it, as usual.

Karmi on September 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Congress is showing 0 wisdom.

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

The only strike I would support is one targeting the top leaders.

LarryinLA on September 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

This administration can’t even get its story straight if this is regime change or not. The thin-skinned rat says no. Lurch says yes. SHOULDN’T WE AT LEAST SORT THAT OUT BEFORE CONTEMPLATING ANYTHING ELSE????

Happy Nomad on September 3, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Did you email em Karmi. Or is me asking you this question also considered hassling you?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:31 PM

He would vote “no” because he’s not completely nuts. There is zero upside to bombing Syria. It is crazy.

happytobehere on September 3, 2013 at 5:33 PM

According to some, that makes Bolton an isolationist. HAHAHAHAAHAH!

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Cruz/Bolton 2016! Oh how I love the stache

neyney on September 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

Am I the only one noticing that it isn’t Congress that are asking all the questions that should be asked concerning this matter?

Happy Nomad on September 3, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Right now, I vote hell no.

Philly on September 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

He’s right. Nothing to recommend either side in this conflict, and no interests of the US at stake.

beatcanvas on September 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Alas,

I think the White House candy store is open, I think the ideal job to have today is to be a Democratic member of Congress.

Because — Bolton reasonably implies — Republicans supporting Obama’s illogical scheme is a foregone conclusion.

kunegetikos on September 3, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Those Republicans voting yes will be bigger interventionalists than Bolton? Yeah. That’s a winning political position. Good luck with that.

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

We are actually having a national conversation about the necessity of going to war — SO THE RODEO CLOWN WON’T BE EMBARRASSED. We are actually talking about joining another nation’s civil war — on the side of al qaeda — because if we don’t our inept, feckless president will look inept and feckless. We are having this conversation like it’s sensible, as if it isn’t the sheer lunacy that it is. Unbelievable. Any time now Code Pink is going to be screaming “Bomb ‘em!!!! Save Obama and bomb the sh!t out of those people!!!!”

Rational Thought on September 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

It may not matter, from HA’s Headlines : How Tehran will spring its big ‘surprise’ on Obama

Knowing Obama, he’s probably involved with begging Iran in secret (secret from his ally al-Qaeda).

Karmi on September 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Assad should pay for the american soldiers he helped kill, but this “shot across the bow” gunboat diplomacy with Syria makes no sense.

rob verdi on September 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I’d vote to keep the combatants from leaving Thunderdo…er…Syria, wait until there’s a winner, and then change the “one man leaves” to “no man leaves”.

Indeed, the reason there still is a debate on the left is Assad the Younger was an antagonist of Dubya and Israel.

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Weird day in America – Bolton and Kucinich are brothers in sanity.

Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

For different reasons. Kucinich believes that Assad and Iran should be the rightful destroyers of Israel.

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Karmi on September 3, 2013 at 5:42 PM

?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

John Bolton on Syrian resolution: “I would vote no”

No surprise. Bolton is THE MAN, and he knows what he’s doing, unlike McShame, who’s a moron traitor and Indonesian Dog-Eater worshipper.

The only time the US should have attacked Syria was when they were aiding Iraqi fighters against us, but Bush wasn’t into fighting the full war, then. Other than that, the US needs only to let Israel follow its own defense requirements with our full support (and not muffled support, as when Israel hit the Iraqi reactor or the Syrian nuke site).

US interests lie in taking down Iran .. but Barky wants to go dancing with the mullahs. That dog-eating POS couldn’t even give tepid support to the protesters in Iran.

I return to my first and last thought on Syria – airdrop Barky into Damascus with a shotgun and leave him to Nature to dispose of. Now that would be in our national security interests.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on September 3, 2013 at 5:46 PM

What do you expect from a mom-jean wearing, affirmative action candidate, community organizer, empty suit with nothing really solid on his resume except for a few participation trophies the Left has thrown his way, surrounded by some of the dumbest and naive staff members and political operatives this country has ever seen?

You expect a coherent and well thought out foreign policy?

BigAlSouth on September 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Anyone who votes yes to this thing should be tried for treason. This is ridiculous. Aiding AQ is not in our interests and helping them IS helping the enemy. Dubya tee eff is wrong with these people? Oh yeah, ruling elite.

LaughterJones on September 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Did you email em Karmi. Or is me asking you this question also considered hassling you?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:31 PM

“Mommy, he’s still looking at me.”

“Mommy, make him stop.”

slickwillie2001 on September 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

slickwillie2001 on September 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Maybe we could offer Karmi some cheese to go with that. Lolz! ; )

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Don’t be surprised if Kerry’s crappy performance and the lack of quality intelligence on the supposed gassing starts to cause more fallout from potential yes votes.

Tater Salad on September 3, 2013 at 5:51 PM

McRINO Outdoes Himself: Defends Syrian Rebels Use of Jihadi Battle Cry “Allahu Akbar,” Says He “Guarantees They Are Moderates”…Something seriously wrong with this man.

Zcat on September 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

We are actually talking about joining another nation’s civil war — on the side of al qaeda — because if we don’t our inept, feckless president will look inept and feckless.

Rational Thought on September 3, 2013 at 5:41 PM

It’s worse than that. The Republicans are running interference for Obama.

kunegetikos on September 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Zcat on September 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

My only explanation.

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM

It’s Bizarro-World USA – plain and simple

Freaking Bizarro-World

jake-the-goose on September 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

This Congress is just such a bunch of weakness, 0 seems to have them rapped around his little finger. They won’t learn. Therefore they are with him. America time to send them all packing. As always your choice. Wake the heII up!

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

It’s Bizarro-World USA – plain and simple

Freaking Bizarro-World

jake-the-goose on September 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

John ‘Freaking’ Kerry is SOS !! – wtf

Chuck ‘Freaking’ Hagel is SOD !! – wtf

Freaking Bizarro-World

jake-the-goose on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Two members of MorOn.org actually agreed with Bolton and then immediately collapsed from the trauma of it, stone dead.

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

If you’re going to go after Syria for having chemical weapons, then the key is you must send in ground troops. If you fail to send in ground troops, then assisting the rebels means that after the Assad regime falls the weapons end up in the hands of al Qaeda, which is far worse than the status quo.

Instead, we have a commander-in-chief who only wants to “send a message” rather than achieve an objective. We would be better off doing nothing than inserting ourselves into a conflict where we openly admit that we’re not actually seeking to do anything, but merely wish to communicate our disapproval.

The only morally compelling case to launch a full-scale invasion of Syria is whether there is evidence of mass-murder. The gas attack which killed 1,429 Syrians would certainly qualify — provided that these people are completely unrelated to al Qaeda elements. But that’s the key thing: the Obama administration seems completely incapable of acknowledging the existence or relevance of this question, much less answering it.

And finally there’s one last unanswered question that I haven’t seen anyone cover before: are Assad’s chemical weapons originally an Iraqi stockpile that Saddam gave to him during the lead-up to Gulf War II, or has he manufactured them himself? If the latter, is he using fixed installation, mobile weapons labs, what?

Stoic Patriot on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Two members of MorOn.org actually agreed with Bolton and then immediately collapsed from the trauma of it, stone dead.

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Ironically, the only two “consistent” members of that group.

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

I just don’t think there’s a convincing argument here, and frankly it doesn’t matter what the intelligence shows.

Someone just called BS on the “look over there, a monkey!” tactic.

kunegetikos on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Weird day in America – Bolton and Kucinich are brothers in sanity.
Schadenfreude on September 3, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Those 2 are 90% of the time wrong for me, so this is BAU. you siding with a crazy prog is something you would usually worry about. If Obama said no again (this was not the first time Assad used this gas), you would have called a wuss. Lose-lose… I’m kinda glad that elected officials don’t listen to you…and I bet most of the house will vote yes. Nothing is uglier than acting like a little b!tch when you just finished bullying the guy into doing something.

This is about America and Israel. Oh and AIPAC just asked Congress to vote yes.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Steve Eggleston on September 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Lolz.

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

McCain: Shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar!’ Same as Christians Shouting ‘Thank God!’

WTF…

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/09/03/McCain-allahu-akhbar

Zcat on September 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Two members of MorOn.org actually agreed with Bolton and then immediately collapsed from the trauma of it, stone dead.

Bishop on September 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

It’s okay. The Republicans will bail out their President for them.

kunegetikos on September 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

So, just to be clear, we can put you down as pro-war?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

So, just to be clear, we can put you down as pro-war?

Bmore on September 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

No. It’s “Pro-Al Qaeda.”

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 6:16 PM

When I heard McCain say that Allahu Akbar said by Muslims is the same thing as Christians saying Thank God, I was infuriated. Saying McCain is senile is a compliment. McCains comments were most revealing about his character. He is a pathetic person.

mobydutch on September 3, 2013 at 6:16 PM

The only strike I would support is one targeting the top leaders. Blowing up remote airfields would only make the use of chem weapons more likely. Bombing Assad and his top generals/aides in their beds has a proven track record – Reagan altered Libyan Qadhaffi’s path significantly when the strike nearly killed him.

LarryinLA on September 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Reagan didn’t broadcast what he was going to do and give the opposition a week and a half to bury the munitions and hide in a deep. deep bunker.

Obama’s cruise missles will do nothing.

Vince on September 3, 2013 at 6:21 PM

If Obama said no again (this was not the first time Assad used this gas), you would have called a wuss.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on September 3, 2013 at 6:07 PM

So, Assad allegedly gases people in Syria, but it could also have been an Al Qaeda false flag operation. We don’t know. Your solution? Provide military assistance to the people who definitively killed thousands of Americans. Genius.

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Recalling in part Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld remarks (that were mocked by the Left): “There are known unknowns and unknown unknowns” Those two alone are enough to halt any aggressive action on the part of our ninny president.

onlineanalyst on September 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

onlineanalyst on September 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

I’m waiting from Queen Pelosi to explain to us how Syria was involved on 9/11. That’s what the left has been telling us why they opposed Iraq.

Kingfisher on September 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I’m waiting from Queen Pelosi to explain to us how Syria was involved on 9/11. That’s what the left has been telling us why they opposed Iraq.

Kingfisher on September 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

She’s actually supporting the side involved in 9/11 against the side not involved in 9/11.

besser tot als rot on September 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM

But I think the administration will win, I think the White House candy store is open, I think the ideal job to have today is to be a Democratic member of Congress. ‘What do you need for your district or state?’ … The White House is going to do whatever it takes to get a majority.

Well put.

BTW, “foreign policy hawk” is just too simplistic to be meaningful. Bolton may be OK with using force for some things, but he’s not OK with this use of force. And it seems to be that he doesn’t see any valid national interest in the use of force.

The only way descriptions like “foreign policy hawk” make sense is in a particular context. In the case of Iraq, or using the military to fight terrorists overseas, Bolton was very much a foreign policy hawk. Absent a good national security reason, he’s not.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM

so, we have John Bolton, Ted Cruz, LTC West, Rand Paul saying NO

DEO GRATIAS ….. who has the most credibility with Conservative America on this issue, the above 4? … or McCain, Grahamnesty, Boehner, Cantor?

Ted Cruz: Soldiers didn’t join the U.S. military to “serve as al-Qaeda’s air force”

Allen West slams ‘useful tools’ McCain and Graham for pushing Obama’s same old inept foreign policy http://fw.to/8meRJWF

exodus2011 on September 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Stop where you are, World Police! And like in the movie someone is pulling the strings on our leaders. They are unable to perform otherwise.

jake49 on September 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Great the candy store is open.

Wonderful. So chemical weapons have been used against the American people, indirectly. We pay the financial price not just in military spending, but domestic spending as well.

Wonderful.

If using chemical weapons is against international law why are we alone? If this is really a 100 year old policy/law, then why are we doing so little all by ourselves?

Kerry talked in circles. Any vote will give permission for any and all actions…

Oh dear. This is a disaster.

petunia on September 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

are Assad’s chemical weapons originally an Iraqi stockpile that Saddam gave to him during the lead-up to Gulf War II, or has he manufactured them himself? If the latter, is he using fixed installation, mobile weapons labs, what?

Stoic Patriot

It’s pretty well known that Syria has been manufacturing chemical weapons for decades. They don’t need Iraq’s.

If Obama said no again (this was not the first time Assad used this gas), you would have called a wuss.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle.of.two.dudes.with.big.wangs

Someone’s projecting again.

xblade on September 3, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Eye-So-Lashunust!

iwasbornwithit on September 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

John Bolton is now going to be called a “neo-isolationist”.

William Eaton on September 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

McRINO Outdoes Himself: Defends Syrian Rebels Use of Jihadi Battle Cry “Allahu Akbar,” Says He “Guarantees They Are Moderates”…Something seriously wrong with this man.

Zcat on September 3, 2013 at 5:53 PM

My profanity-laced response won’t make it onto HotAir any time soon. But … this.

Jaibones on September 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM

McCain: Shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar!’ Same as Christians Shouting ‘Thank God!’

WTF…

Zcat on September 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Yes, remember when those Christians were shooting dead all those U.S. service people at Ft. Hood, and screaming “Thank God”?

Or remember when those Christians were steering commercial jet liners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, murdering thousands of Americans, and screaming “Thank God”?

Or remember when those Christians were trying to light their shoe bombs aboard a U.S. airliner, and screaming “Thank God”?

McCain is so right. It’s exactly the same thing. How very Islamophobic of me not to have recognized it sooner!

Friggin’ loon.

AZCoyote on September 3, 2013 at 9:14 PM

If using chemical weapons is against international law why are we alone? If this is really a 100 year old policy/law, then why are we doing so little all by ourselves?

Kerry talked in circles. Any vote will give permission for any and all actions…

petunia on September 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

There is an international treaty banning the use of chemical weapons, but Syria was never a signatory to the treaty. Therefore, Syria is not breaking any international laws by using chemical weapons. This is why Monsieur Kerry has to talk about “norms” rather than “laws.” This is also why the NY Times printed an editorial this weekend acknowledging that bombing Syria would be illegal (but recommending that Obama should do it anyway, because laws don’t matter when a Dim is president).

Kerry has to talk in circles, because the position he is advocating is so damn idiotic and completely contradicts everything he and his boss Obama have previously said about the use of U.S. military might. They are flagrant hypocrites (and idiots), and they are receiving political cover for their hypocrisy from the even more flagrantly hypocritical (and idiotic) MSM.

AZCoyote on September 3, 2013 at 9:21 PM

Sign hanging on the Hill. “Votes for Sale!!”

Deano1952 on September 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Obama made it clear on day one he would pay (using our money of course) for votes. Unscrupulous career politicians have turned it into a full government entitlement. Government goodies for votes.

America as Rome.

alecj on September 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Thank God McCain lost!!

PappyD61 on September 3, 2013 at 10:28 PM

Wait! Is this same Bolton who last week on Greta said we should have military response? Before backing down 2 days later (and since) and insisting No?

As much as I like the guy, after his Romney support and now this reversal I am losing faith in more and more so called self appointed “conservatives”.

Anyone paying attention to what Lavrov stated this morning? Too bad even so called conservative media failed to report. 2 weeks ago Turks arrested a bunch of “Syrian refugees”, aka Al Qaeda fighters, with a 2 kilo tank of Sarin gas. Right at the edge of the supposed “Assad Sarin attack”. And Lavrov, he of “Overload” button fame, is asking the West to explain this event as well as point out just WHO carried out the Sarin attack we are all so bent out of shape about. Russians KNOW, why don’t we admit? Just how many times in past few years have we seen Muslims fake some sort of an attack?

So, my question. Did we, along with other weapons, ship Sarin out of Benghazi last year? So far, even by WH admission, we spent $1 BILLION on supporting “rebels” in Syria, aka Al Qaida, that buys a lot of Sarin, no?

riddick on September 3, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Whenever you commit an act of war, there will be unintended consequences. It is a given. Bombing another country may be a peaceful act to the bomber, but it is an act of war to the bombee–and their friends.

Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. They thought that would send a message to the United States to stay out of Asia. How did that work for them? Not only that, it gave FDR the opportunity to destroy Germany, who had done nothing to us, but was an ally of Japan. If we bomb Syria, there will be retaliation. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month. But, it will come in some as yet undefined form, at some time of someone else’s choosing. You should not take serious actions unless you are prepared for serious blowback. Others realize that, and they are staying well clear of Obama’s folly.

The argument that we must go to war to protect Obama’s credibility is like saying we have to pay a prostitute to protect her professionalism. Or something.

Oldflyer on September 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

By the way, just to set the record straight. Reagan bombed Qaddafi’s compound, and missed Qaddafi, and PanAm 103 followed.

As I said earlier, you take serious action you better expect serious blow back.

The lesson, IMO, is that you need to have serious provocation and serious interests at stake; and you better be prepared for unintended consequences.

That is one reason why it is a good idea to elect serious people to the Presidency.

In my humble opinion, McCain is an idiot. He always was, he just got a free pass for a long time because he was a competent POW. One of many by the way, but the only one whose father was a 4 star Admiral.

Oldflyer on September 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM