Bolton Bristles When Challenged On Getting It Wrong On Iraq: That’s ‘An Ad Hominem Attack’

bolton.gifFormer UN Ambassador John Bolton has been intensifying his calls for a war with Iran, telling Fox News last weekend that Israel may attack Iran before the inauguration of a new U.S. President. He added that Arab states “would be delighted” if this happened.

Bolton appeared on XM radio’s Potus ’08 earlier this week to talk about an Iran war. He argued this issue “goes fundamentally to your tolerance for the risk of radical Islamists holding nuclear weapons.” Host Tim Farley interrupted and asked, “It also goes, does it not, to the credibility of those making the argument?”

Bolton bristled at the accusation:

Absolutely not! And by the way, the credibility point is an ad hominem reference. … But to address the merits of the argument requires a response on the merits, not an ad hominem attack.

Farley tried to interject, but Bolton demanded, “Let me finish my answer!” The host later followed up by noting that the credibility of the argument is lacking when war advocates like Dick Cheney and President Bush “tell you one thing and the truth turns out to be something else.” Bolton responded by complaining to the host that you’re “debating with me.” Listen here:

George Monbiot, a columnist for the Guardian, has charged that Bolton was “instrumental in preparing and initiating the Iraq war by disseminating false claims through the State Department” while he was under-secretary of state for arms control.

Before the war, Bolton orchestrated the removal of the head of a global arms-control agency, Jose Bustani, because the Brazilian was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. In Feb. 2003, Bolton orchestrated the removal of State Department official Rexon Ryu because Ryu “had been instrumental in getting the most controversial allegations” out of Colin Powell’s U.N. speech.

But Bolton would prefer all these acts are washed away with history so that he can have a clean slate to make his pitch for a new war.