"There's no such thing as the United Nations," Bolton said in 1994 — before becoming the UN Ambassador.
In the latest of a series of White House personnel changes, President Donald Trump replaced national security advisor H.R. McMaster with former UN Ambassador John Bolton on Thursday.
Bolton is well-known for his hawkish statements, to say the least.
“John Bolton was by far the most dangerous man we had in the entire eight years of the Bush Administration,” former Bush chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter tweeted last Friday, before the announcement. “Hiring him as the president’s top national security advisor is an invitation to war, perhaps nuclear war.”
It’s quite the statement about an administration that included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and other notable hawks of the 21st century.
Here are 9 things Bolton has said that scare the national security establishment:
“The [UN] Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference,” Bolton said in a 1994 speech. “There’s no such thing as the United Nations,” the future UN Ambassador later said in the same speech.
“I expect that the American role [in Iraq] actually will be fairly minimal,” Bolton said in 2002, before the invasion. “I think we’ll have an important security role.”
“The main thing people feared at that time, was Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons stocks,” Bolton said in 2009, defending the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In reality, what people feared were the Bush administration’s false claims that Saddam had nuclear ambitions and the Iraqi government had ties to terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda.
Source: Hoover Institution
“I still think the decision to overthrow Saddam was correct,” Bolton told the Washington Examiner in 2015. “I think decisions made after that decision were wrong, although I think the worst decision made after that was the 2011 decision to withdraw US and coalition forces.”
Source: Washington Examiner
“I think this needs to be done in a careful and prudent fashion,” Bolton said in 2008 about striking Iran. “But I think the strategic position now is that if we don’t respond, the Iranians will take it as a sign of weakness.”
Source: Fox News
“A strike accompanied by effective public diplomacy could well turn Iran’s diverse population against an oppressive regime,” Bolton wrote in 2009, advocating for Israel to bomb Iran. “Most of the Arab world’s leaders would welcome Israel solving the Iran nuclear problem, although they certainly won’t say so publicly and will rhetorically embrace Iran if Israel strikes.”
Source: Wall Street Journal
“The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote in 2015. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”
Source: New York Times
“King Abdullah of Jordan, who is not simply the Muslim king of a Muslim country, unlike our president [Obama],” Bolton said in a 2016 speech to the conservative American Freedom Alliance.
Source: American Freedom Alliance
“It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first,” Bolton wrote in February.
Source: Wall Street Journal