Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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In defence of John Bolton


JOHN Bolton, President Trump’s recently dismissed (or departed) National Security Advisor, has suffered a lifetime of being traduced. For the Left, he is no less than an international disaster and a warmonger. 

His ‘crime’ is believing in defeating your enemies rather than appeasing them, as Melanie Phillips explains in an almost lone defence of him. If we want a safe and civilised world, ‘Boltonism must not be allowed to disappear’. You can read her full argument here.

On the other side of the pond, Mark Steyn has written his own appreciation of this unlikely, politically incorrect wisecracker, explaining that ‘whatever the President now says, at the time Bolton’s appointment was a Trump choice reflecting a desire to regain control of an administration in danger of being neutered by the GOP establishment’.

Quoting back to us his commentary written at the time of Bolton’s earlier appointment as America’s ambassador to the UN, Steyn reminds us that what he loved about him was the sheer volume of damaging material that could be dug up on him.

‘Usually, the Democrats and media have to riffle through decades of dreary platitudes to come up with one potentially exploitable infelicitous soundbite. But with Bolton the damaging quotes are hanging off the trees and dropping straight into your bucket. Five minutes’ casual trawling through the back catalogue and your cup runneth over:

‘The UN building? “If you lost ten storeys, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

‘Reform of the Security Council? “If I were redoing the Security Council, I’d have one permanent member . . . the United States.”

‘The International Criminal Court? “Fuzzy-minded romanticism . . . not just naive but dangerous.”

‘International law in general? “It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law.”

‘Offering incentives to rogue states? “I don’t do carrots.”’

But Mark Steyn concludes, ‘he does do shtick’. What’s more, Steyn happens ‘to agree with all the above statements’, as will many others, though he says he can see ‘why the international community might be minded to throw its hands up and shriek, Quelle horreur!’


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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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