6.06.2005

But he put his hands on his hips!

OpinionJournal tells why John Bolton is the right man for the job:


On Thursday, Samir Kassir, a prominent Lebanese newspaper columnist and long-time critic of Syria, was murdered in Beirut when a bomb exploded under the hood of his car. The following day, we learned that Syria had test-fired three missiles the previous week--one Scud B, with a range of 190 miles, and two Scud Ds, with ranges of 400 miles. The missiles, of North Korean design, are configured to carry chemical warheads, according to Israeli security sources; they can hit any target in Israel along with U.S. military installations in Turkey, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

There are several lessons here, but one of them is this: John Bolton was right.

President Bush's nominee to be Ambassador to the U.N. has been assailed because he pushed U.S. intelligence services for evidence of Syrian work on weapons of mass destruction. As Senator Chris Dodd put it, Mr. Bolton "was trying to convince people that there are weapons of mass destruction in Syria, at a time when there was no evidence of that."

We're glad somebody was on the Syrian case. A ballistic missile test is provocative enough, but missiles configured to carry chemical warheads are not the act of a country that wants to change along with the rest of the Middle East. The firing of the missiles--the first such "test" in four years--came just two days before Lebanon held its first round of parliamentary elections since Syrian troops quit the country in April.

...

Which brings us back to Mr. Bolton, who has been denied a Senate confirmation vote because, among other charges, he challenged accepted intelligence wisdom. In the Syrian case, Senator Dodd and his comrade-in-filibuster Joe Biden concede that Mr. Bolton's final testimony to Congress on Syria's WMD was accurate and cleared with the State Department. But they claim that he was too aggressive in early drafts of his statements, and they want to see the names of fellow U.S. officials whose communications were secretly picked up by a U.S. spy agency. Those names have already been seen, as is the normal practice, by the ranking Senators on the Intelligence Committee, who claim they show nothing of import.

But he put his hands on his hips!

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