Johnnie Get Your Gun

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John Bolton, my old friend, insists that the U.S. cannot stand idly by and watch Libya fall into the wrong (that is, the same) hands. Establishing a no-fly zone and/or a no-drive-zone? Well, we can’t “do nothing,” can we?

But he lets slip a fascinating insight into the pro-war mentality: “Of course, there is no guarantee that a successor regime to Gadhafi would not also support terrorism, but given a choice between Gadhafi and uncertainty, uncertainty is more likely to be the safer choice.”

As diplomatic historian Charles Burton Marshall once said, “there is no such thing as the foreseeable future.” Bolton admits that, and yet is willing to bet the farm — **our** farm — on it. This is profoundly irrational, however statesmanlike it strives to appear.

I am disappointed that Mr. Bolton doesn’t recommend a constitutional course, such as a public debate, followed by a vote on a Declaration of War that requires a majority of both houses of Congress to be adopted. In advocating democracy abroad, does he not trust the rule of law at home? Does he even care whether the American people want another war? And if they don’t, is it because they are dumb? And, since a small group of well-placed agitators with private agendas inside the Beltway are smarter, that they have the right to dismiss the will of the people?

If that is the case, doesn’t it represent the same dangerous, bellicose bullying that neocons of both parties are pretending to oppose around the world?

4:06 pm on March 15, 2011