Wednesday, April 11, 2007

John Bolton on North Korea, Iran, Chavez and Pelosi

*Exclusive* John Bolton audio at Miami University

John Bolton came to Miami University yesterday and spoke on a variety of foreign policy issues. His speech was excellent, and although he didn't comment much on the state of the United Nations, he did comment extensively on what he considers the largest threats to international peace and security - North Korea and Iran.

North Korea: The ambassador commented extensively on the futility of negotiating with the North Korean regime. Referring to the country as a "17 million person prison camp" it's important to remember that the only goals the regime has is to maintain its own power. North Korea will, as it has over and over again, stall and make deals that it immediately breaks in order to continue its nuclear weapons program. Every deal that is made provides the regime more time and money in order to maintain power. In order to solve the international crisis brewing Bolton urges us to use China's influence over North Korea and ultimately work towards regime change and reunification of the Korean peninsula. Listen to Bolton on North Korea here.

Iran: Bolton went on to discuss the second major threat to world peace as Iran. He reminded us that every pointless deal made with North Korea reminds the Mullahs in Tehran that the west can be bargained into inaction. He reminded us that there is no other way to interpret the nuclear program of the Iranians other than a program designed to create a nuclear weapon. This information is not only based on U.S. intelligence data, but public information available from the International Atomic Energy Agency. Further, Iran has been projecting power throughout the region and supporting international terrorism such as Hezbollah, and Hamas. Also, with the shenanigans involved with the kidnapping of the 15 British sailors Iran has tested the resolve of the west, the U.N., and the E.U. and found no real contest. Bolton urges the Iranians to follow the example of Muammar Qadhafi and Lybia who peacefully ended their nuclear program and in exchange dramatically increased the quality of life of the Lybian people. Lessening our dependence on oil and no longer allowing Iran to circumvent international law will be the first steps in reigning in this rogue nation. Listen to Bolton on Iran here.

The ambassador then opened the floor up for questions, and a few focused on Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi. Bolton referred to Chavez as a "fruit loop" and "Castro without brains." He explained Chavez's attempt to buy a spot on the U.N. security council and buy his way into popularity in South America. Many nations beyond the U.S. see what an imminent threat Chavez's dictatorship is, and the ambassador reminded us that Chavez is unpredictable and a threat to the western hemisphere. Listen to Bolton on Chavez here.

Next, a question came up about Speaker Pelosi, and her recent trip to Syria. Bolton made no qualms about Pelosi's trip by saying "at best it's counterproductive" and reminding us that Pelosi was indeed trying to illegally establish alternative channels of foreign policy. Based on wide universal criticism of her actions, Bolton stated "I'll be surprised if she does much more of that." Listen to Bolton on Pelosi here.

John Bolton was articulate, knowledgeable, and direct when speaking about these international threats to world security. I can see clearly from this one experience that he was an asset to the U.S. and our mission within the U.N. It's therefore still unclear why and also unfortunate that the Democrats would rather play politics and refuse to ratify him within the post in which he was so exceedingly successful. The U.N is surely worse off without him.

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