Archive for the ‘Bolton’ Category

Mumbai: Specter of State Sponsored Terrorism Raised by Diplomat

November 28, 2008

John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, raised the specter of state sponsored terrorism in the Mumbai terror attacks.

Bolton, speaking on the Fox News Channel Friday said envious nations may have acted to stop India’s rise as a global economic power by striking Mumbai with terrorism.

He said the terrorists may have targeted Americans and Britons to strike feat into the U.S. and U.K. business community.

Mumbai is the financial center of India with aspirations of becoming a world economic center like London, Hong Kong or New York.

Bolton said it is well within the rhelm of possibility that Pakistan’s security services were behind the Mumbai attacks but that it would take considerable time to determine the exact cause and source of the terror crimes.

The Inter-Services Intelligence or ISS is a Pakisan military security branch.  Bolton said the ISS would have the capability and perhaps the motivation to sponsor terrorism like that in Mumbai.

John R. Bolton
Above: John Bolton

Pakistan’s terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, or possibly another Pakistani group focused on Kashmir, Jaish-e-Muhammad could have supplies the “hit men” for the ISS, another U.S. source told us.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom


Russia Unromanticized

October 20, 2008

By John R. Bolton
The Washington Post
Monday, October 20, 2008; Page A15

Former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz argued recently on this site that the United States should neither be “isolating” Russia nor drifting toward “confrontation.” The Post’s Masha Lipman urged us to avoid “Cold War preconceptions and illusions.” Unfortunately, these distinguished commentators are aiming at straw men: No serious observer thinks we face a new Cold War or that isolating Russia because of its increasing foreign adventurism is a real solution. U.S. opposition to Russia’s recent behavior should not rest on a desire to “punish” Russia but on the critical need to brace Moscow before its behavior becomes even more unacceptable.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview with Germany's ARD television in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia will not be isolated over its conduct in Georgia. The Russian prime minister is also warning Europe not to the bidding of the United States. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview with Germany’s ARD television in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia will not be isolated over its conduct in Georgia. The Russian prime minister is also warning Europe not to the bidding of the United States. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool) (Alexei Druzhinin – AP)

Russia has been growing increasingly belligerent for some time. Its invasion of Georgia is only the most recent and vicious indicator of its return not to the Cold War but to a thuggish, indeed czarist, approach to its neighbors. Vladimir Putin gave early warning in 2005, when he called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” In the same speech, Putin lamented that “tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.” He may now be acting to reverse that “catastrophe,” as further demonstrated by Moscow’s embrace of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and other efforts to interfere in that country’s elections. Prudence based on history requires us to assess Russia’s invasion of Georgia as more than an aberration until proven otherwise.

Russia has repeatedly demonstrated its capacity to threaten American interests: providing cover to Iran’s nuclear weapons program by enthusiastically neutering sanctions resolutions at the U.N. Security Council and trying to market reactors to Tehran; selling high-end conventional weapons to Iran, Syria and other undesirables; using its oil and natural gas assets to intimidate Europe; making overtures to OPEC; and cozying up to Venezuela through joint Caribbean naval maneuvers, weapons sales and even agreeing to construct nuclear reactors.

Take the controversy over locating U.S. missile defense assets in Poland and the Czech Republic. We fully informed Russia before withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that we would create a limited (but geographically national) missile defense system to protect against the handfuls of missiles that might be launched by states such as North Korea or Iran. As anyone can tell from looking at a globe, anti-missile sites in Europe wouldn’t defend against the missile trajectories of a Russian strike on America. (That’s why the Distant Early Warning Line was in Alaska and Canada, not Europe.) Russia’s threats against Poland are aimed at intimidating Western Europe, an all-too-easy objective these days. We have real interests at stake, such as a route to the Caspian Basin’s oil and gas assets that does not traverse Russia or Iran. If Moscow’s marching through Georgia goes unopposed, marching will look more attractive elsewhere, starting with Ukraine, which has a large ethnic Russian population “beyond the fringes” of Moscow’s control. “Legitimate security interests” do not justify invading and dismembering bordering countries.

Read the rest:

Top State Department Official Baffled N. Korea Off Terror List

October 13, 2008

Reuters — The U.S. State Department’s chief verifier says she wasn’t consulted when North Korea was removed from the list of nations sponsoring terrorism.

The axis of evil lost a charter member this weekend, when the U.S. took North Korea off the State Department’s list of terror-sponsoring states. In return, Pyongyang promised to let international inspectors look everywhere except where its nuclear materials might actually be hidden.
Seal of the United States Department of State

North Korea restores access to UN inspectors and says it will re-start the dismantling of its plutonium-producing nuclear plant. Courtesy Reuters.
(Oct. 13)

Kim Jong Il, despite having broken every disarmament promise he’s ever made,  has thus managed to persuade another U.S. President that he’s serious about  giving up his nuclear program. President Bush’s agreement sends this message  to Iran and other rogue states: Go nuclear and your political leverage  increases.

The U.S. had vowed not to remove North Korea from the terror blacklist until Kim’s government had agreed to a “strong verification regime.” But then North Korea started calling the U.S. bluff — most recently on Thursday, when it told the inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to start packing their bags — and the U.S. caved. Tehran will get the point.

No verification regime is 100% certain — and searching for nuclear
materials in North Korea, with a history of lying and cheating, poses
special challenges foreven the most rigorous inspections. But our sources tell us the U.S. has the technical expertise to get up to 98% accuracy providing it can do snap, on-demand inspections anywhere in the country.

Instead, Pyongyang will permit the verifiers to have unfettered access only to its declared nuclear sites — all of which the IAEA has already combed over again and again. Access to any other location will be by “mutual consent.” Inspectors will be welcome to search the Yongbyon complex and a few other known nuclear sites, such as universities. If they want to inspect anywhere else, they’ll need Kim’s assent. If they request access, and Pyongyang agrees, it’s sure the offending materials will be long gone before the inspectors arrive. This is trust but pretend to verify.

Meanwhile, the State Department didn’t trust its own verification experts to take part in the disarmament process. Late Thursday, less than two days before the agreement was announced, we asked Paula DeSutter, head of the Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation, what she knew about  the pending deal: “I have no clue,” she said. “I know zero, zip, nada, nothing. . . . That’s on the record. Zero, zip, nada, nothing.”

Ms. DeSutter says that no one from her bureau accompanied State Department  negotiator Christopher Hill on his trip to Pyongyang two weeks ago. Nor did  anyone from her bureau take part in the interagency process that evaluated  the deal. “I was not consulted,” she said. The fact that the verification  bureau was left out of the loop is further cause to suspect that Mr. Hill and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cared above all about declaring a diplomatic success. (For the record, Ms. DeSutter said over the weekend that she supports the deal.)

Since the disarmament deal was struck in February 2007, the North has refused to give a complete accounting of its plutonium program, disclose how  many nuclear weapons it has and where they are, or come clean on its suspected uranium program. Now it has managed to wriggle out of its commitments on verification — all without having to wait for an Obama Administration.

Long Range Reprcussions of Letting North Korea “Off the Hook”

By John Bolton
The Wall Street Journal

North Korea has now achieved one of its most-prized objectives: removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. In exchange, the U.S. has received “promises” on verification that are vague and amount to an agreement to negotiate the critical points later.
John R. Bolton
Above: John Bolton

In the Bush administration’s waning days, this is what passes for diplomatic “success.” It is in fact the final crash and burn of a once-inspiring global effort to confront and reverse nuclear proliferation, thereby protecting America and its friends. Delisting the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a terrorist sponsor represents a classic case of prizing the negotiation process over substance, where the benefits of “diplomatic progress” can be trumpeted in the media while the specifics of the actual agreement, and their manifest inadequacies, fade into the shadows.

In the weeks before being delisted, North Korea expelled international inspectors, first from its Yongbyon plutonium-reprocessing facility and then from the entire complex. It moved to reactivate Yongbyon and to conduct a possible second nuclear-weapons test, and prepared for an extensive salvo of antiship and other missile capabilities. All of this the Bush administration dismissed as North Korea’s typical negotiation style.

The irony is that the DPRK need not have gone to the trouble. President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were apparently ready to cave in without the show of force, and rushed to announce the terrorism delisting during a three-day weekend. Thus, while the North’s macho display was irrelevant, the conclusion Pyongyang will draw is that bluff and bluster worked.

So now Pyongyang has what it wants, and Washington has a vague, inadequate invitation to more verification palavering. In any complex negotiation, implementation is the real test, and nowhere is this more painfully evident than in arms-control agreements.

North Korea is the world’s most accomplished serial violator of international agreements, beginning with the Korean War Armistice Agreement it signed in 1953 and including every other significant subsequent DPRK commitment. Most pertinent here, these breaches include repeated promises to give up its nuclear capabilities, beginning with the 1992 Joint North-South Declaration and the ill-fated 1994 Agreed Framework.

The only upside is that the Bush administration may not have time to concede anything more to Pyongyang before it limps into history. It is hard to see how Barack Obama could do worse. John McCain penetratingly observed on Friday that the U.S. must “avoid reaching for agreement for its own sake.”

But the damage done by the administration’s latest surrender extends far beyond failing to rein in North Korea. Key allies like Japan and South Korea were not adequately consulted, thus eliminating the veneer of “multilateralism” the administration so valued. Japan has been humiliated, objecting as it did not only to the verification agreement’s inadequacy, but also to the complete disregard for the numerous Japanese citizens abducted over the years by Pyongyang and never accounted for. The abduction issue is enormously important in Japan, as it would be in the U.S. if North Korea had kidnapped our citizens.

Sidelining Japan is a manifestation of the State Department’s Sinocentric obsession. The consequences could well be detrimental to both Washington and Beijing, however, if Japanese sentiment for developing its own independent nuclear-weapons capability continues to rise. This could occur as Tokyo sees the North Korean nuclear threat persisting, and as China continues to upgrade and expand its strategic nuclear forces and blue-water navy. Fears that the U.S. nuclear umbrella is no longer reliable will only add to Japan’s concerns. Japan may have been frog-marched into acquiescing, but there will likely be a widening of the split between the U.S. and its closest ally in Asia.

The negative ramifications are not confined to Northeast Asia. In Tehran and the capitals of other terrorist states and aspiring nuclear proliferators, policy makers are doubtless ecstatic that Pyongyang has out-negotiated Washington once more, and they are considering ways to apply the North Korea model to their own situations.

The North was nearly able to complete a nuclear reactor in Syria, and possibly other, related facilities, and suffered no penalty for it. Perhaps Iran will conclude it should do the same. What does it have to lose? In Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi must be wondering why Libya’s nuclear-weapons program now resides in Oak Ridge, Tenn., whereas the full extent of the DPRK’s program remains unknown and now unknowable.

Having bent the knee to North Korea, Secretary Rice appears primed to do the same with Iran, despite that regime’s egregious and extensive involvement in terrorism and the acceleration of its nuclear program. Watch for the opening of a U.S. diplomatic post in Tehran within days after our Nov. 4 election, and other concessions on the nuclear front. Hard as it is to believe, there may be worse yet to come.

Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations” (Simon & Schuster, 2007)

Israel Tested Iran War Plan Says American Diplomat

September 17, 2007

AFP- September 17, 2007

According to the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, the air strike into Syria this weekend was a war test for a strike against Iran. Iran has not made any statements. According to estimations, the invasion targeted storehouses with nuclear materials made in North Korea. Mr. Bolton expressed his satisfaction about the air strike while Syria has addressed the matter to the United Nations.

Another AFP report had this:

By Jean-Luc Renaudie

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel boasted on Sunday it has recovered its “deterrent capability” after an air strike in Syria triggered warnings of retaliation and intense media speculation over the aim of the operation.

Read the rest:

Israeli Air Strike on Syria: Israel, U.S. Shared Data On Suspected Nuclear Site
France: Prepare For War With Iran


Bush Again Proves Soft on China

September 7, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
September 7, 2007

President Bush again showed himself to be soft on China at this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Australia.

For good or bad, this American administration is following a conciliatory, pro-business policy line toward China.  Some believe this leaves human rights issues at best marginalized and perhaps totally forgotten.

During this week, western newspapers were alive with reports of Chinese government computer hacking — including into private Pentagon files.

President Bush was asked if he intended to discuss China’s hacking with president Hu Jintao of China.  The president said, “I may.”

In fact, he did not.  The president emerged from the meeting with the Chinese President to say, “He’s an easy man to talk to. I’m very comfortable in my discussions with President Hu.”

This strikes us as reminiscent of the president’s first term reflection on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin: “I looked into Putin’s soul and saw a man I could do business with.”

Since late last year, a Chinese ship-attack submarine surfaced within sight of a U.S. aircraft carrier before being detected for the first time in history, China demonstrated an anti-satellite missile capability the first time in history, China has continued to verbally bully Taiwan, and Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups have given China their lowest ratings for lawful behavior in the international community.

American allies including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia have expressed concern over China’s military investment and build up.  Prime Minister Howard of Australia has called China’s build up “destabilizing.”

China teamed with Russia a few weeks ago to conduct their largest combined military exercises ever.  And China, along with Russia, has blocked almost all U.S. initiatives in the U.N., including sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.

China has joined Russia in denouncing U.S. and NATO plans for missile defense in Europe.

U.S. military leaders believe China is supplying arms to the insurgents in Iraq and to Hezbollah in Lebanon, among other places.

China has been complicit in genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

China has failed to meet U.N. environmental goals and China lied repeatedly about poisoned food and other unsafe products it exports around the world.

China has the highest rate of death by execution in the world.

President Bush has looked the other way.

When President Hu invited President Bush to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Bush immediately agree — then said he was only interested in the sports at the Olympics and not the politics.  Yet we have historic precedent that leaders like Adolph Hitler worked hard to get the Olympics in their homeland because the political facet of this showcase cannot be discounted.

Washington Times analyst Bill Gertz reported in today’s editions that, “The president repeatedly has called relations with China ‘complex’ but has avoided all criticism of China’s military activities, including the provocative anti-satellite missile test in January, and growing Chinese information warfare capabilities. He has limited criticism of China’s repressive political system to its lack of religious freedom.”

“It’s the Goldman Sachs China policy,” said one defense official, referring to former Goldman Sachs executives Henry M. Paulson Jr., now Treasury secretary, and Joshua B. Bolten, White House chief of staff.

The bottom line: America has put money and deals before human rights.


Bill Gertz, “Inside the Ring”

China sees ‘danger’ in Taiwan’s U.N. intent

China repeats denial of military hacking

China: ‘Trust but verify’ needed

As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes

Permanent President Putin?

Cold War Redux?

Distrustful of China’s Government at Almost Every Turn

If China Has Nothing to Hide, Why Do They Hide So Much So Often?

Japan Worried By North Korea, China

Australia PM: China military rise risks instability