Iran and North Korea achieved their objectives through diplomacy. Mr. Bush failed to achieve his. How can Mr. Obama do better? For starters, he could increase the pressure on China, which has real leverage over North Korea, to press Kim Jong Il’s regime in ways that the six-party talks never approached. Options on Iran are more limited, but meaningful efforts at regime change and assisting Israel should it decide to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities would be good first steps.
This comes just a few days after Bolton insisted that the violence in Gaza offers the U.S. an ideal opportunity to attack Iran.
Bolton, of course, doesn’t need an excuse. He called for a war against Iran over and over and over again. It doesn’t matter that his idea is crazy, Bolton has access to conservative media outlets and he knows how to use them.
One of the more ridiculous personnel decisions Bush has ever made was nominating Bolton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, fighting for his confirmation, and then giving Bolton a recess appointment when senators balked. One of the more accurate personnel assessments Bush has ever made came a year later when the president said, “Let me just say from the outset that I don’t consider Bolton credible.”
I’m not sure why anyone would.