A pattern emerges

A PATTERN EMERGES…. Time‘s Joe Klein notices that a certain former U.N. ambassador has a preoccupation with bombing a certain Middle Eastern country, and manages to keep finding major newspapers to publish his thoughts on the subject.

In the Washington Post today, screw-loose wingnut extraordinaire John Bolton has a column in which he advocates an Israeli strike against Iran. This would be shocking, except that…

On June 26, Bolton had an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in which he advocated bombing Iran. And, well, er…

On June 12, he had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he advocated bombing Iran.

And that’s just three op-eds in three weeks. We could go back a little further and find Bolton — in op-eds, on Fox News — advocating military attacks on Iran for years.

Indeed, as Adam Serwer noted, given Bolton’s incessant rhetoric on the subject, “it’s hard to take seriously his proposal that now is actually the opportune moment to bomb Iran.”

I’d just add that it’s interesting to consider the competing conservative messages on Iran. For the better part of June, the line was that the United States needed to do more to support Iranians. What we really needed to do, neocons said, was speak up and let the Iranian people know we’re on their side. And yet, here’s Bolton, arguing again that the one thing that’s really needed is a bombing campaign on Iran.

Spencer Ackerman suggests there’s a problem with Bolton’s approach.

Yes, the Israeli bombs will only kill the bad Iranians. When patriotic Iranians of the opposition see Israeli F-16s raining death from above on Iranian targets, Bolton actually expects them to think, “Boom shack-a-lacka! Here come our Israeli liberators! Let them bomb whatever they like, since even though Mir Hussein Moussavi supports a nuclear program as part of a consensus opinion, I believe Israeli propaganda that says it has our best interests at heart! That’ll show Mahmoud Ahmadinejad! Did you hear that, Aunt Marjam? Aunt Marjam…?”

If there’s one thing that a Bush official should understand, it’s that people under attack from a foreign enemy don’t rush to embrace their more moderate leaders.

Joe Klein described Bolton as “dangerous and demented.” That may seem harsh, but under the circumstances, it also seems appropriate.