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March 23, 2007

John Bolton, Robot Killer

John Bolton:

A former top American diplomat says the US deliberately resisted calls for a immediate ceasefire during the conflict in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

Former ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the BBC that before any ceasefire Washington wanted Israel to eliminate Hezbollah's military capability...

Mr Bolton now describes it as "perfectly legitimate... and good politics"...

Mr Bolton, a controversial and blunt-speaking figure, said he was "damned proud of what we did" to prevent an early ceasefire.

I hope people don't condemn Bolton here as a monster. Obviously he would be a monster if the "people" of Lebanon were actual human beings. Fortunately, they're highly lifelike animatronic robots.

SERIOUSLY, THOUGH: I can barely resist making a montage of pictures of dead Lebanese children, with John Bolton in the corner saying "I'm damned proud of what we did." But that doesn't get anyone anywhere. Besides, I'm sure someone else has that covered.

AND: I see from the phonebook that Bolton lives a short distance from where I grew up, and just down the road from my high school. He also went to Yale, and his daughter's there now.

I find it difficult to come to terms with two aspects of this kind of thing. First, that I've spent so much time so close to genuine human evil, mostly without being aware of it. And second, that human evil is so boring. You can understand why Faust would sell his soul, but all John Bolton got for his is the opportunity to shop at Montgomery Mall.

Posted at March 23, 2007 08:23 AM | TrackBack

Yes, but note that the Montgomery Mall is located on DEMOCRACY BLVD!

Because, you know, democracy means the opportunity to shop at hundreds of fine retail outlets! And John Bolton is RIGHT THERE keeping us safe - and the mall open.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at March 23, 2007 09:30 AM

It's tacky pointing out where his daughter goes to school unless she's one of his political advisers.

I find it difficult to come to terms with two aspects of this kind of thing. First, that I've spent so much time so close to genuine human evil, mostly without being aware of it. And second, that human evil is so boring.

Having this commonality with him (school and malls); does it make you question your moral fibre? There but for the grace of randomness go I?

But I love that mustache. And that head of hair? To die for.

Posted by: Ted at March 23, 2007 09:45 AM

You can understand why Faust would sell his soul, but all John Bolton got for his is the opportunity to shop at Montgomery Mall.

If for the sake of argument we accept that there is an entity, a Satan, that people can sell their souls to, then I guess it's a matter of very different quality souls.

I guess that to this entity, this dark angel, Satan, the going rate for a soul like Bolton's is just not that much.

Posted by: atheist at March 23, 2007 09:45 AM

I find it ironic, in a bitter sort of way. that for all Bolton's realpolitik macho strutting the Israeli's lost and lost badly. An earlier ceasefire might have allowed them to maintain the fiction of their absolute military superiority...

Posted by: Bourbaki at March 23, 2007 10:41 AM
eliminate Hezbollah's military capability

yeah, but it's their submarines that are the real threat.

Posted by: hibiscus at March 23, 2007 11:44 AM

He'll be happy to know that Israel left thousands of unexploded, toylike cluster bomblets all over souther Lebanon, so the bombing will never stop.

Posted by: Helmut at March 23, 2007 12:45 PM

…human evil is so boring.

Not just boring but terribly small; and easy to beat until it gathers up a big enough flock.

It was a pedestal from which a god had been torn, and in his place there stood, not Satan with a sword, but a corner lout sipping a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Posted by: Ashley at March 23, 2007 02:02 PM

Yes, yes, yes, but he's doing it on your dollar.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 23, 2007 04:57 PM

I'm still continually amazed at how little value neocons put on human life and how many such lives they are willing to sacrifice.

Oh yeah, that is unless one such life should be that of one of the partying twins or the daughter at Yale.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEBâ„¢ at March 23, 2007 08:14 PM

Each of us is far more than the worst thing each of us has ever done.

But for some, the worst thing they have ever done is so bad one finds it hard to reconcile with everything else they do...

Posted by: En Ming Hee at March 23, 2007 08:41 PM

someone did make a very touching display - a video set to music - called "more time to bomb?" It showed the bodies of many dead children, and interviewed a six year old who lost her whole family. A young teenager with half a face destroyed was also on there. It was on Information Clearing House for a while - but it is down now.

Oh, and the lyrics to the music went something like this:

something inside so strong, so strong,
I knew that I could take it even though you are doing me wrong, so wrong,
but something inside so strong, so strong, will keep me going, above all of these wrongs....

It also covered a bit of Palestine and how the Israelis are trying to destroy their self- worth and humanness.

every time I watched it, I cried.

Posted by: Susan at March 23, 2007 09:26 PM

One of the few times I've been to the Montgomery Mall, I saw the movie "Italian for Beginners." I've since seen it on DVD. I liked it very much.

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at March 24, 2007 03:53 AM

Please strike the reference to his daughter. She is not to blame and could be made a victim by her identification.

Bolton deserves what he gets. His daughter should be left alone.


Posted by: Humane Being at March 24, 2007 09:56 AM

I don't think Jon is excoriating Bolton's daughter, merely pointing out how Bolton's world and Jon's world are so close (they share a connection via her attendance at Yale). I'm not sure this is necessarily a valuable observation, though - I'm sure we've both eaten yogurt, but Bolton has done it in the White House, while I have not. We're both of us human, but the crucial difference is that one of us is given scads of power and has the will to abuse it, while the other has none and probably never will.

Posted by: saurabh at March 24, 2007 12:54 PM

We didn't need to know where his kid goes to school.

It's wrong.

Posted by: Humane at March 24, 2007 01:33 PM

I guess what he should have said was "I'm proud and damned" for what I did, given which goeth before which(eth).

I have this picture in my mind of Bolton's fearsome mustache leaving his body when he sleeps, and flying out into the night, killing whoever it might encounter, even nuns. Then Bolton wakes up every morning, blithely unaware of what his mustache did the night before.

Only it's not particularly funny, because it's too close to being a metaphor of your average American's understanding of his country's foreign policy.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at March 24, 2007 02:06 PM

It cannot get any more blatant or brazen than this. This is an absolutely clear admission ... nay, a proud statement ... of state-ordered murder.

Why oh why is this not headlined in every major newspaper and on every major television news show around the planet ?

Yeah, yeah .. I know why. But, damn ... !

Posted by: Jon Husband at March 24, 2007 02:53 PM

Why is it wrong to tell us where his kid goes to school? Is the kid being condemned, somehow, for going to Yale? No. Does the mention of the kid have anything to do with denigrating Bolton? No. Is it mentioned for any reason other than to demonstrate a link to Jon, who ALSO went to Yale? No. Do you have any reading comprehension skills at all? No. Will you back off about this? No.

Posted by: saurabh at March 24, 2007 04:40 PM

I went looking for the song I spoke of - here it is on the internets!

Posted by: Susan at March 24, 2007 08:02 PM

I went to Yale. They gave me directions. Then I went to my grandmother's house, and we went to IHOP.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at March 24, 2007 09:07 PM

you know what? i think maybe john bolton is being shopped around. i think his gruffness makes people think he can't play mouthpiece.

Posted by: hibiscus at March 24, 2007 11:09 PM

What are his accomplishments, maybe that's why we keep hiring him?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 25, 2007 12:53 PM

Banality of evil, indeed!

Just remember kids, brains and diplomacy don't solve problems - macho bluster does!

Posted by: Batocchio at March 25, 2007 06:00 PM

I know that Jon is making a point about the closeness of his life and that of a man he views as simply evil, and how this really creeps him out. I know that anyone who wishes to take the obvious, literal intrepretation of this post will come to the same conclusion.
I also know that, for the briefest of moments there, it seemed a bit like Jon was saying: "These are bad people, here are hints at where they live, the vigilante in you knows what to do. . ." and it repulsed me.
So, at the risk of being accused of fomenting censorship, I strongly suggest he rewrite or completely strike the portion of the comment that references the residence and school of the Bolton family. Again, I do not accuse Jon of doing anything wrong, but simply of stating something in a way that could easily be monstrously misinterpreted.
Oh, and I agree that Bolton's actions and admission are of the most reprehensible sort imaginable.

Posted by: rubberband at March 26, 2007 06:46 AM

rubberband: But don't you see? That's the brick wall we're headed into. Look at our gang problem, isn't that exactly what they are, armed Vigilantes?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 26, 2007 01:58 PM

Rubberband...First, the meaning of the post seems to be perfectly clear to the rest of us. And second, has anything of significance ever been written that could not "for the briefest of moments" be misinterpreted by someone somewhere?

Really, your outrage and concern could be better put to use elsewhere.

Posted by: New Day at March 26, 2007 08:02 PM

See it here susan

Posted by: wotdoesitmatter at March 31, 2007 03:50 PM