How Barack Obama is Endangering our National Sovereignty
by John R. Bolton
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, applies his foreign policy to domestic issues in this book. Specifically, Bolton is concerned that international treaties will affect US domestic policy choices, as well as affecting US foreign policy choices. (p. 41)
Bolton calls himself an "Americanist" (p. 18), which means something like believing so strongly in American Exceptionalism that there is never any need to second-guess US policy at home or abroad. Bolton accuses all "globalists" of wanting to change US policy by going over the heads of the US Congress, and hence circumventing the US Constitution and undermining US sovereignty.
Of course Bolton is exactly correct in his accusations against globalists, among whom I include myself. I support an international climate change treaty because the US Congress won't approve one on its own -- and Bolton opposes it for exactly that reason (pp. 6-9). But Bolton's supremacy of US sovereignty assumes that US policy is infallible: one wonders whether Bolton would disapprove of international treaties, on grounds of sovereignty, against US incarceration of Japanese residents during WWII; or against US wiretapping of its own citizens during GWOT; or US slavery prior to the Civil War. I bring up slavery because Bolton's justification for "national sovereignty" sounds just like the pro-slavery arguments for "states' rights" in the Civil War, except on a larger stage. "States' rights" provided a veneer of legalism and constitutionality for the distasteful practice of slavery (with the same argument applied today for limiting African-Americans' rights); "US sovereignty" provides the same veneer to justify that the US can do anything with impunity.
Bolton has announced for US president, so we will see if his argument holds among the electorate. Certainly it is a much more sophisticated justification of the use of unilateral US force than the usual neoconservative argument of "we need oil". And Bolton is a much more interesting spokesperson than the usual right-wing crowd -- his voice will enrich the Republican primaries. But the question remains: will Bolton strike a chord with Republican voters, or are his arguments too esoteric? We don't know but we look forward to finding out.
Bolton's book is a very thin book with a very long title, and part of a series of very thin books with very long titles, which the publisher calls "broadsides". Below are some of the very long titles, which pretty well explain their contents:
The "Encounter Broadsides" series -- all conservative, focusing on both foreign policy and domestic policy -- make for accessible reading for the general voter on topics which would otherwise be in lengthy tomes. We encourage voters to read these not only because they explain and encapsulate hard-to-understand current events, but also simply because they fit in your pocket and make great reading when you've only got a few minutes to spare.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Sept. 2013
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
John Bolton: Vigorous democratic debate about death penalty is healthy.
Energy & Oil|
John Bolton: Climate treaty is another step toward global governance.
John Bolton: Increased taxation is not the answer to global warming.
Families & Children|
John Bolton: No internationalization of family & domestic issues.
Barack Obama: No balance of power among nations will hold.
Bill Clinton: 1998: Signed onto International Criminal Court founding.
George Bush Sr.: Democrats see America as just another pleasant country.
George W. Bush: Withdrew from International Criminal Court agreement.
Hillary Clinton: 2009: Regrets US not part of International Criminal Court.
John Bolton: International "norming" constrains US sovereignty.
John Bolton: American sovereignty is chipped away by global governance.
John Bolton: International human rights experts & courts not needed in US.
Barack Obama: OpEd: treat terrorist threats as criminal; not acts of war.
John Bolton: International Criminal Court second-guesses US self-defense.
John Bolton: Americanists know: national survival requires strong defense.
John Bolton: Supports clandestine Proliferation Security Initiative.
War & Peace|
Barack Obama: OpEd: Af-Pak drones: targeted kills but extra-judicial.
Joe Biden: UN approval is not needed for US military action.
John Bolton: Drone strikes don't get Mirandized; why should others?
John Bolton: 2008: Supported Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip.
The above quotations are from How Barack Obama is Endangering our National Sovereignty
by John R. Bolton.
2016 Presidential coverage (recent books by early contenders):
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