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Bolton under fire

August 01, 2008

Re "One world? He's on a different planet," Opinion, July 26

It is hard to deny John R. Bolton's assertion that Barack Obama's Berlin speech was littered with naive and overly idealistic statements. That said, it seems ironic that Bolton -- with his Bush administration, neoconservative mentality of good versus evil and freedom versus totalitarianism -- would claim that Obama still has "a lot to learn about both foreign policy and the views of the American people."

The neocon foreign policy has been tried and tested. Thanks to the Iraq invasion and occupation led by the Bush administration, which included Bolton at the time, it is now painfully apparent that the neocon foreign policy has served to further polarize the world, weakening our country and adding fuel to the extremists' fire.

Mitchell Cyman

Pasadena

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What could possibly be more radical than advocating preemptive war? What could possibly be more naive than believing that America would be greeted as liberators when we attacked a sovereign nation without provocation?

Bolton and his compatriots can only flail about, erecting and destroying straw men, as they watch their policies tear the world apart. Obama understands that America's leadership role in the world must extend beyond our capability to impose our will militarily, and must encompass a renewed emphasis on diplomacy, cooperation and a shared global vision. As much as you try to deny it, Mr. Bolton, America needs the rest of the world as much as it needs America. You had your chance. It's time for the radical, naive and disastrous policies you advocate to be swept into the dustbin of history.

Tim Shaw

Irvine

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Unlike Bolton, Obama exists on the planet that thought invading Iraq was a bad idea. As one of the movers and shakers of the Iraq fiasco, Bolton has no foreign policy credibility on this or any other planet, regardless of what his resume says.

Eugene Sison

San Dimas

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As a Hillary Clinton supporter who had switched to John McCain, I want to thank Bolton for opening my eyes to reality and getting me back to supporting Obama.

As a former Berlin resident of seven years who has two sons born in that great city, I want to thank Bolton for opening my eyes to exactly what four more years of the current blind foreign policy would do to America's reputation. If Bolton believes that Obama is naive in foreign policy, my eyes have been opened to what America can expect from four more years of the Bolton-Cheney-Bush foreign policy that a McCain presidency would bring to our country and our world.

Bolton's view of the Cold War is warped beyond belief. Having lived in Berlin during Ostpolitik, I saw that West Germany's two-track solution of strong negotiation and strong defense policy was key to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Bolton thinks that it was only the latter that led to the fall of communism. To him, negotiation is for wussies.

I thank God that the Bush administration was not in charge during the Cold War, as it would have turned hot very fast.

Paul Pekar

Panicale, Italy

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Bolton's explanation of why the Berlin Wall was built is quite wrong. The true reason was that the East German Communist government simply had to shut the door to the massive drain of well-trained personnel to the West, not because of some profound ideological disagreement between communism and freedom.

Leave it to Bolton to see the world in Manichaean ideological conflicts; if he were still determining our foreign policy, we would be in the middle of World War III.

Peter H. Merkl

Goleta, Calif.

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