Roger Kimball offers a very unpersuasive defense of John Bolton:
Something similar can be said about North Korea. Bolton’s critics chatter like terrified, dyspeptic starlings because he has suggested that Kim Jong Un’s deployment of nuclear weapons presents an existential threat that may have to be met by a preemptive military strike. But does any thinking person doubt this? Moreover, as Rocket Man prepares for his meeting with President Trump, the presence of John Bolton in the American entourage should have a clarifying effect on the tubby tyrant.
Kimball doesn’t deny that Bolton supports attacking North Korea, and he doesn’t even claim that it wouldn’t lead to a nightmarish war that might involve the use of nuclear weapons. He takes evidence that Bolton is a warmongering loon–namely that he thinks a preventive war with North Korea is a good idea–and thinks that just by pointing to it he has somehow refuted the criticisms of Bolton’s position. To answer Kimball’s silly rhetorical question, almost all thinking people are certain that war with North Korea is not worth the staggering cost, and no one seriously believes that North Korea’s nuclear arsenal poses an “existential threat” to the U.S. Repeating ridiculous alarmist claims and then mocking others for rejecting them is not an argument. It is a statement of ideological delusion.
No doubt Bolton’s presence will have a “clarifying effect” on the North Koreans, but it isn’t one that anyone should welcome. Bolton has made it perfectly clear he sees no point in a meeting that doesn’t lead to North Korea’s capitulation. Since North Korea won’t do this and Bolton has said that the U.S. should offer them nothing in exchange, his involvement will make sure that the ill-conceived summit yields no positive results.
Kimball asserts that Bolton is not a warmonger, but that is the only appropriate name for someone who has spent almost his entire public career agitating for, promoting, and defending unnecessary wars of aggression.