John Bolton's Wonderfully One Track Mind

John Bolton, U.S. United Nations Ambassador gives a press briefing after a meeting on North Korea at the United Nations Security Council in New York, Friday, Oct. 13, 2006. On Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, President Bush accepted the resignation of Bolton when his recess appointment expires. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

John Bolton, U.S. United Nations Ambassador, gives a press briefing after a meeting on North Korea at the United Nations Security Council in New York, Oct. 13, 2006.)
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In the latest installment of his long-running critique of the Obama administration's policy in the Middle East, Bolton counsel Israel's Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to flip off President Obama and get back to the business of taking out Iran's nuclear facilities.

It's an argument that the neo-con crowd adores. Douglas Feith, a former under secretary for defense in George W. Bush's administration, writes that U.S. criticism of Israel "is one of a number of strange shots that Obama administration officials have taken at U.S. allies and friends abroad." John Podhoretz offers a similar take.

Both are ideological bedfellows of Bolton - who is itching with frustration at the administration's apparent decision to restrain Israel from going after the mullahs.

A decade or so from now, history will judge Bolton either to have been a Churchill-like oracle or a loon. However, give the guy this much. He is consistent.

  • In a February column, Bolton called for the United States to attack Iran, arguing that only "decisive action" can halt Tehran from acquiring nuclear arms.
  • Bolton predicted in August 2009 that Israel would launch an attack on Iran by the end of the year.
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  • He may have been trying to justify a column he wrote a few months earlier, contending that it was "crunch time" for an Israeli attack.
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  • Bolton was undeniably prolific that summer. Just before the Iranian elections, he drew up a scenario explaining that while an Israeli attack against Iran would invite retaliation, it was still preferable to allowing a collection of theocrats to obtain the atomic bomb. (Bolton did not foresee the subsequent street protests which broke out after the regime rigged the election results. Interestingly, there is growing =http:>=http:>=http:>support for Iran's opposition movement inside Israel, which increasingly believes that a military strike would be counterproductive.)

  • In the summer of 2008, Bolton predicted that Israel would launch an attack before the swearing in of a new U.S. president.=http:>
  • In September 2007, Bolton Bolton told Tory delegates meeting in England that European negotiations with Iran had led nowhere and there was no alternative to attacking the country's nuclear installations.

  • Charles Cooper On Twitter»

    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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