Carolyn Glick: A Conversation With John Bolton
[Jpost] If Israel has a case to make, the Trump White House is willing to listen.
President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
’s decision to appoint Ambassador John Bolton to serve as his National Security Advisor indicated clearly that Trump is advancing a national security strategy far different from those of his predecessors.
On and off for decades, Bolton has held some of the most senior foreign policy positions in the US government. And throughout his long career in foreign policy, Bolton has been the bane of the foreign policy elites. In part this owes to his extraordinary successes. After 15 years of fruitless and often half-hearted US efforts to repeal UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 from 1975 that branded Zionism as racism, as assistant secretary of state, Bolton got the job done in 1991.
As Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the George W. Bush administration, Bolton created and implemented the Proliferation Security Initiative. The PSI was the most successful counter-proliferation program the US has undertaken in recent years.
As UN Ambassador in 2005 and 2006, Bolton dismantled the corrupt UN Human Rights Commission. He opposed the formation of its successor, the equally corrupt Human Rights Committee, saying, "We want a butterfly. We don’t intend to put lipstick on a caterpillar and call it a success."
Bolton’s record of success engendered jealousy among many members of the Washington establishment. But they were more irked by his refusal to go along to get along. Bolton’s stubborn insistence on basing US policies on reality, rather than ideology or fashion has made him the bête noire of the foreign policy establishment.
Trump’s decision to appoint a man who insists on operating on the basis of realities on the ground ‐ even when they are inconvenient and make foreign policy professionals and queasy allies angry or nervous ‐ speaks volumes about his approach to foreign policy and the goals he has set for his administration.
Long considered ‐ rightly ‐ one of Israel’s best friends in Washington, Bolton has distinguished himself throughout the years by his conviction that Israel is the US’s most powerful and vital ally in the Middle East. So it isn’t surprising that during his visit to Israel this week, one of his biggest headline-grabbing quotes was one where he seemed to reject the country’s hope of securing US recognition of its illusory sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Speaking to Rooters Tuesday, Bolton said, "I’ve heard the idea [of US recognition of Israeli illusory sovereignty over the Golan Heights] being suggested but there’s no discussion of it, no decision within the US government."
He added, "Obviously we understand the Israeli claim that it has annexed the Golan Heights ‐ we understand their position ‐ but there’s no change in the US position for now."
In a conversation with this writer Wednesday morning at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Bolton emphasized that he had said, "for now."
"I said, ’US recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan is not on the table, for now.’"
His clarification was not a diplomatic feint.
There are two aspects of the Trump White House’s relationship with Israel that distinguish it from its predecessors. Unlike his predecessors, but like Bolton, Trump relates to Israel as a key US ally and a partner. Trump’s predecessors generally viewed Israel as a supplicant.
Trump and his advisors are willing to listen to Israel’s positions objectively. They don’t assume, as many of their predecessors did, that their Israeli counterparts are hustling them.
When Bolton says the administration hasn’t changed its policy regarding Israeli illusory sovereignty in the Golan Heights, he’s inviting Israel to make its case. Why is it important for the US to change its policy? How would such a move improve the strategic balance of forces on the ground? Why is it in the US’s interests to act in this way?
If Israel has a case to make, the Trump White House is willing to listen.
Posted by: trailing wife 2018-08-26