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How Barack Obama is Endangering our National Sovereignty
by John R. Bolton
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by Massscorecard.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:
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@Massscorecard.org, Sept. 2013
by John R. Bolton.
Page last edited: Feb 06, 2014