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Bashing Bolton

February 23, 2009

Re "Smart power? Wise up, Hillary," Opinion, Feb. 18

Apparently, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton did not get the wake-up call the country sent to the Bush regime. When he naively states that "the president, and perhaps his secretary of State, are still running for office, rather than realizing that they are already there," he highlights the U.S.-centric point of view that permeated the neocon movement.

Mr. Bolton, a lesson from Geography 101: The world really is bigger than the United States. The Obama administration may have won the hearts and minds of Americans, but it has a long path ahead of it to correct the damage done to world opinion by the Bush administration. The Obama team is still running for the office of leaders of the free world, and will be for years to come.

Bill Gervasi

Ladera Ranch

After a failed experiment in trying to weaken North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il by isolating him, Bolton has the temerity to warn us that our new secretary of State is naive in trying to negotiate.

He says the Bush administration was right to abandon the Agreed Framework with North Korea because Kim was cheating. But setting a principled example for other nations to follow and sticking to it even when others don't hold up their end of the bargain isn't naive -- it's leadership. The Agreed Framework is a combination of carrots and sticks, and can only succeed as such. If Bolton thinks North Korea's violations of the framework mean that we must prevail with only sticks, then Hillary Rodham Clinton isn't the one being naive.

John Wolfenden

Sherman Oaks


That a pompous twit like Bolton, whose only real claim to his 15 minutes of fame is his mustache, should be given so much space on your Op-Ed page takes the issue of bipartisanship too far.

His ideas, vapid and reactionary as they are, belong alongside or within the story of the Columbian mammoth fossil discovered recently near the La Brea tar pits.

Werner S. Haas

West Hollywood

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