Skip to comments.John Bolton: President Reagan would be rolling over in his grave to hear Rand Paul praise him
Posted on 04/29/2014 2:45:28 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
Rand Paul wrote a column yesterday called Where I stand on containing Iran, defending his foreign policy positions with regard to Iran and aligning himself with former President Ronald Reagan. But John Bolton said he found the column as incoherent as the remark that led to the article:
Being incoherent is a problem and that’s what his op-ed was and that’s what the remark that originally provoked it was. He was asked about what to do about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and he couldn’t quite get it out whether he really wants to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons or how he intends to do it or what he intends to say about it.
Bolton goes on to say that the strategic ambiguity that Paul used in defending himself is really about being ambiguous on what your methods are, but that as president you should be crystal clear in telling your adversaries exactly what is and isn’t acceptable and then letting them guess what you are going to do about it. It’s not an excuse for incoherence.
Rand Paul praised Reagan several times in the article and that’s where Bolton was fiercest in his criticism of Paul, especially having worked for Reagan himself:
[Reagan] would be rolling over in his grave to hear Rand Paul praise him.
Let’s talk about Ronald Reagan, the real president: One of the most massive increases in defense spending in our history which we needed and which led to the demise ultimately of the Soviet Union; invading Grenada; aiding the Contras against the Sandinistas; bombing Libya…
But if Rand Paul thinks that Ronald Reagan is his model, then it’s not incoherent, it’s fraud.
As opposed to Bolton's old boss, George W. Bush, who made it crystal clear that North Korea and Iran would never be allowed to have nuclear weapons. Two years later NK had them, and 7 years later nothing substantial had been done to stop Iran from getting them.
I don't agree with everything Paul said in his column, but on the whole I think it shows that Paul spends a lot more time thinking about these things that most knee jerk politicians. And he's right about one thing, making threats and not following through in the event is worse than saying nothing.
“But if Rand Paul thinks that Ronald Reagan is his model, then its not incoherent, its fraud.”
Amen! I will NOT vote for Paul in either a primary or general election. I won’t vote for libertarian trash - they are NO better than liberals.
IF the GOP wants to retain my vote beyong the primary...they had better nominate a SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE. I will no longer vote for a Romney, etc. in a general election. They do not win anyway.
Of course, I will not vote for a liberal (ANY Dem), but I may just start staying home.
John Bolton would make an excellent Secretary of State.
Now that the cold war has been rekindled, it is not likely that Russia will cooperate with the US to force Iran to forsake nuclear weapons in an unmistakably verifiable manner.The result will be that Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain functional and intact. This is totally unacceptable to Israel and Saudi Arabia. If this were a Presidential year, the candidates would not be allowed Rand Paul’s vague, non committed position. The major question to the candidates and the American people would be if the Saudis and Israelis do attack Iran, what will be the position and role of the United States? Polls will probably show that those that advocate “caution’ or “non involvement” will be most popular and likely to be elected.
100% of pot heads agree with you, even though they don’t understand a word of what either of you said.
He might also object to Bolton's turning his foreign policy into a lampoon or caricature of what was in reality more intelligent and subtle than Bolton remembers.
Rand Paul is proving as weak on just about everything, not just foreign policy, even abortion and gay marriage, the man is just floundering.
I don’t believe Israel, even with help from the Saudis has the capability of stopping Iran’s nuke program. It’s too well hidden, dispersed and buried to stop it. Really the only solution is regime change. It’s also the one thing the mullahs fear. The only time they ever suspended the program in 30 years was a brief period following the invasion of Iraq. Once they realized that we were too bogged down in the aftermath of removing Saddam to attack them they started it back up.
I don’t believe anyone in either party is seriously considering regime change in Iran, but if they are, then Paul is right, it’s best not to talk about it. But he’s wrong in saying we would need a congressional debate to do so. In that he is contradicting himself, as such a debate would clearly spell out our intentions.
But I agree with Bolton. Rand's article rambles and is confusing. IMO, foreign policy is Rand's weakest area. Hope he straightens himself out there or I hope someone else comes up to the plate clearly calling for SEVERE cuts in government (at least 80% - not all at once but soon and hopefully for the rest of our lives).
I like that.
Secretary of State? I wouldn't want that guy to deliver my mail.
[Reagan] would be rolling over in his grave to hear Rand Paul praise him.
Lets talk about Ronald Reagan, the real president: One of the most massive increases in defense spending in our history which we needed and which led to the demise ultimately of the Soviet Union; invading Grenada; aiding the Contras against the Sandinistas; bombing Libya
But if Rand Paul thinks that Ronald Reagan is his model, then its not incoherent, its fraud.
These statements themselves seem a bit confusing, unless they were excepts and the editors rendered these statements a bit confusing. I've always like John Bolton, but not sure what he's saying here (maybe you need the full text).
The specific criticism cited here about referencing Reagan is puzzling. Rand clearly talked about defense being the #1 job of government and our policy should be peace through strength. Not sure where the "incoherency" and "fraud" is here.
“He might also object to Bolton’s turning his foreign policy into a lampoon or caricature of what was in reality more intelligent and subtle than Bolton remembers”
Plus the truth is that what to do about Iran is a complicated issue and nobody has been able to really get a handle on it. Slowing Iran down has been the best anybody has been able to do.
I think President Reagan would be rolling over in his grave knowing that John Bolton is exploiting his good name.
Oh, that's smart.
That same attitude has brought us two terms of Obama.
You smug stay-at-homers make me sick to my stomach.
You don't think -- you just react. In doing so, you demonstrate how stupid this country has become. You consider yourself conservative but you allow the left to win. Will you ever wake up?
What would you expect a neocon to say?
With the public getting to see what effect Obama’s weak, libertarian like foreign policy is having on Russia and Chinese aggression, the public probably won’t be eager to have a libertarian foreign policy follow Obama’s libertarian policy.
“John Bolton is a big-government globalist”
Actually, no he is not. He is a realist who understands that nations like China, Russia, and Iran are countries that have foreign policies that state openly and precisely, that they are security threats to the United States.
Well there you go...the Alex Jones wing of the libertarian party has officially weighed in
Israel only spent about $18.2 billion in 2013, but they get a lot of bang for their buck.
Iran spent $17.7 billion on defense last year. Most of their arms are obsolete. They could still give a land invader lots of trouble, but in this case, the invader need not occupy any one location for long. Once Iran's limited gasoline sources (reserves, refineries and input terminals) are destroyed, serious defense would grind to a halt.
Saudi has modern weapons, and though much less populous than Iran, including hired guns, Saudi Arabia has a population of nearly 30 million to draw from. Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the U.A.E. might assist. Saudi is also growing closer to Pakistan:
A possible scenario might even be for Saudi to strike and attempt to encourage Iran to lash out (hit) Israel, giving Israel excuse to join in.
Also of note is Saudi's rejection of a seat on the UN Security Council, in late 2013, in displeasure with the West, the UN, and the US in particular, over Syria. This and the defense spending sounds much like Israel's "do what we need to do" philosophy.
A determined Saudi-Israeli effort could do the job, though with significant casualties...
Were all fighting for the same end goal. The faction crap needs to stop... Bottom line we want federal government reigned in to it’s constitutional boundaries, we want our debt paid down, we want our borders protected, we want to keep our guns, we want our freedoms. The end.
What you just listed isn’t what Rand Paul wants....he doesn’t care about the borders and has said so.
Don’t know what he wants for sure. He’s a politician trying to cater to big money donors right now. It’s just not a reason to lump him in with all libertarians.
He is a self professed libertarian who choose to run as a R to get elected
That’s what he needs to do. I supported that decision, I’ve been turning more libertarian with age but I still wouldn’t vote for a 3rd party yet.
goody for you. I am a conservative and chose to vote for conservatives
I’ve held my nose and voted for GWB twice, McCain and Romney. None of them were conservative. :-[
N. Korea had nukes since the 80’s. You sound like a dem blaming Bush for N. Korea’s nukes
You are much mistaken. NK exploded it's first nuke on October 7, 2006. Up until they exploded it, the best US intelligence estimates were that NK was 3-5 years away from getting a bomb.
As for Bush, following 9/11 he spelled out in no uncertain terms that the worlds most dangerous regimes would not be allowed to get the worlds most powerful weapons. He specifically mentioned Iran, Iraq and North Korea, calling them the "Axis of Evil". He followed through with Iraq, but get so bogged down in nation building there that it was soon clear to everyone there was no political will in the US to preemptively go to war again. So he basically played out the clock on Iran, for which I do blame Bush. As far as NK was concerned, any attack was off the table one they tested their first nuke. My point is not to bash Bush who is a good man making tough choices, but to warn against drawing lines in the sand that you later back down from.
Typo correction, NK tested their first nuke on Oct. 9 2006.
North Korea did not decide to reactivate its nuclear weapons development program as a reaction to George W. Bush’s labelling it a member of the Axis of Evil. North Korea was actively working on nuclear weapons during the hey day of the Clinton and Kim Dae Jung attempts to engage North Korea on friendly terms.
A recent study by the Congressional Research Service noted that “North Korea’s secret uranium enrichment program appears to date from 1995 when North Korean and Pakistan reportedly agreed to trade North Korean Nodong missile technology for Pakistan uranium enrichment technology.”
“The Clinton Administration reportedly learned of it in 1998 or 1999, and a Department of Energy report of 1999 cited evidence of the program,” the study added.
Also, at the National Defense University, a 1999 study group chaired by Richard L. Armitage, now deputy secretary of state, and including Paul D. Wolfowitz, now deputy defense secretary, concluded that the 1994 agreement had frozen “only a portion of [North Korea’s] nuclear program” and that Pyongyang was “seeking to develop a covert nuclear weapons program.”