John Bolton and Darfur

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

John Bolton and Darfur

Everyone has been writing about John Bolton, recently nominated to be UN Ambassador to the UN. For example, as I mentioned in my Daily Darfur post, Susan Rice and Mark Leon Goldberg both wonder what effect his nomination will have on attempts to deal with the genocide in Darfur.

I managed to track down an interview with Bolton conducted by that bleeding heart humanitarian Bill O'Reilly from March 24, 1999 and I think Bolton gives us a pretty good idea of where he stands on such issues
O'REILLY: And I find it difficult to stand by and watch another Cambodia, another Rwanda, unfold. And I believe the United States has a responsibility here.

BOLTON: Let me ask you this, Mr. O'Reilly. How many dead Americans is it worth to you to stop the brutality?

O'REILLY: I don't think I would quantify that because...

BOLTON: I think you have to quantify it. I think if you don't answer that question...

O'REILLY: ... I think if you're going to be a superpower...

BOLTON: ... you're ducking the key point that the commander in chief has to decide upon before putting American troops into a combat situation. We are now at war with Serbia. And the president has to be able to justify to himself and to the American people that Americans are about to die, or may well die, for a certain specific American interest.


BOLTON: You cannot say that there is a sufficient American interest involved to warrant the casualties that I think we're about to face. And that's where the president is likely to come unstuck, because he does not have the political support in this country at the moment for the long-term sustained campaign you're talking about.

O'REILLY: You may be - I'm sure of that. If it's a long-term situation, he does not have it. And as far as American interest, I would cross out "American" and put "humanitarian" interests...

BOLTON: I believe...

O'REILLY: ... I do not believe in standing by while people are slaughtered.

BOLTON: ... Our foreign policy should support American interests. Let the rest of the world support the rest of the world's interests.
Shorter John Bolton: People being slaughtered is not America's problem.

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