The Meddlesome Mr. Bolton

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 

Is there a person anywhere in the world who still thinks there is an ounce of sanity in the Bush administration? If so, let that person read John Bolton’s orders to Syria in the January 24 online edition of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Bolton is Bush’s unconfirmed ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton, a neoconservative warmonger, has managed to get the UN Security Council on January 23 to instruct Syria to disband and disarm the Lebanese militias. Bolton says, “I hope in Damascus they read it very carefully and then comply.”

How is Syria to meet this demand?

Last year Syria complied with US demands to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. As Syria has no military presence in Lebanon, it could not disarm a local police force, much less the Shia militias that defeated the Israeli army and drove it out of Lebanon and that have representatives in the Lebanese parliament.

After three years and unimaginable expense, the superpower American military has proved that it cannot disarm the recently formed Iraqi militias. Yet, the idiot Bolton thinks puny Syria can disarm the Lebanese militias that defeated the brutal Israeli army!

Syria was never in Lebanon as a conquerer or invader, as the US is in Iraq and Israel is in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Syria was invited into Lebanon by the Lebanese government for peace-keeping purposes, adding the weight of its military to indigenous militias in order to create stability where US, Palestinian and Israeli bungling had brought disorder and massive bloodshed.

Until they were withdrawn, the Syrian troops were a counterweight to the Shia militias. Now that the Shia crescent is spreading from Iran through Iraq to Lebanon, the stupid neoconservatives are confronted with the error of their ways. The Bush administration was trying to set Syria up for US attack by demanding that they withdraw from Lebanon. The neocons thought Syria would refuse and thereby become a target for demonization and invasion.

Alas, the Syrians departed. And now the problem is how to turn back the Shia advance, which is increasing in power inside Lebanon as well through the Hizbullah and Amal movements. Bolton’s solution is a ridiculous attempt to turn Syria into a neocon proxy and to set it at war with the militias. Otherwise, Bolton intends to damn Syria for “noncompliance” and again threaten Syria with US invasion.

It will be interesting to see who Syria fears most, the militias that triumphed over Israeli military might or the US forces that have been defeated in Iraq.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: pcroberts@postmark.net

 

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
September 4-6, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Regime Change Refugees: On the Shores of Europe
Lawrence Ware
No Refuge: the Specter of White Supremacy Still Haunts Black America
Paul Street
Bi-Polar Disorder: Obama’s Bait-and-Switch Environmental Politics
Kali Akuno
Until We Win: Black Labor and Liberation in the Disposable Era
Arun Gupta
Field Notes to Life During the Apocalypse
Steve Hendricks
Come Again? Second Thoughts on My Ashley Madison Affair
Paul Craig Roberts
Whither the Economy?
Ron Jacobs
Bernie Sanders’ Vision: As Myopic as Every Other Candidate or Not?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and Crisis
Jeffrey St. Clair
Arkansas Bloodsuckers: the Clintons, Prisoners and the Blood Trade
Richard W. Behan
Republican Fail, Advantage Sanders: the Indefensible Budget for Defense
Ted Rall
Call It By Its Name: Censorship
Susan Babbitt
“Swarms” Entering the UK? What We Can Still Learn About the Migrant Crisis From Che Guevara
Andrew Levine
Compassionate Conservatism: a Reconsideration and an Appreciation
John Wight
Adrift Without Sanctuary: a Sick and Twisted Morality
Binoy Kampmark
Sieges in an Age of Austerity: Monitoring Julian Assange
Colin Todhunter
Europe’s Refugee Crisis and the Depraved Morality of David Cameron
JP Sottile
Chinese Military Parade Freak-Out
Kathleen Wallace
The Child Has a Name, They All Do
David Rosen
Why So Few Riots?
Norm Kent
The Rent Boy Raid: Homeland Security Should Monitor Our Borders Not Our Bedrooms
Michael Welton
Canada’s Arrogant Autocrat: the Rogue Politics of Stephen Harper
Ramzy Baroud
Palestine’s Crisis of Leadership: Did Abbas Destroy Palestinian Democracy?
Jim Connolly
Sniping at the Sandernistas: Left Perfectionism in the Belly of the Beast
Pepe Escobar
Say Hello to China’s New Toys
Sylvia C. Frain
Tiny Guam, Huge US Marine Base Expansions
Pete Dolack
Turning National Parks into Corporate Profit Centers
Ann Garrison
Africa’s Problem From Hell: Samantha Power
Dan Glazebrook
British Home Secretary Theresa May: Savior or Slaughterer of Black People?
Christopher Brauchli
Poor, Poor, Pitiful Citigroup
Norman Pollack
Paradigm of a Fascist Mindset: Nicholas Burns on Iran
Barry Lando
Standing at the Bar of History: Could the i-Phone Really Have Prevented the Holocaust?
Linn Washington Jr.
Critics of BlackLivesMatter# Practice Defiant Denial
Roger Annis
Canada’s Web of Lies Over Syrian Refugee Crisis
Chris Zinda
Constitutional Crisis in the Heart of Dixie
Rannie Amiri
Everything Stinks: Beirut Protests and Garbage Politics
Graham Peebles
Criminalizing Refugees
Missy Comley Beattie
In Order To Breathe
James McEnteer
Blast From the Past in Buenos Aires
Patrick Higgins
A Response to the “Cruise Missile Left”
Tom H. Hastings
Too Broke to Pay Attention
Edward Leer
Love, Betrayal, and Donuts
Louis Proyect
Migrating Through Hell: Quemada-Diez’s “La Jaula de Oro”
Charles R. Larson
Class and Colonialism in British Cairo
David Yearsley
Michael Sarin: Drumming Like Summer Fireworks Over a Choppy Lake