Yesterday, the Navy Seals launched a daring and successful effort to free the American cargo ship captain who had been held hostage by Somali pirates for five days, killing three pirates. Throughout last week, some conservatives used the hostage situation to lobby for military action and massive defense spending on irrelevant weapons.
At the forefront of the calls for war was, unsurprisingly, former U.N. Ambassador and perpetual war-monger John Bolton. Even after the successful rescue of the American hostage, Bolton endorsed a ground invasion of Somalia this morning on Fox News:
FOX HOST: Ambassador, if you were serving in this administration, would it be your recommendation that they go in to, militarily with air strikes and/or boots on the ground, into these so-called feral cities, where these pirates are taking hold? Should we go in and take those people out, and take their installations out, now, militarily? Is that what you’re suggesting?
BOLTON: Yes. … Unless we go in and really end this problem once and for all, we will simply see it grow over time.
On Friday, Bolton called for a “coalition of the willing” to attack Somalia, saying the use of force was “the prudential response” to piracy problems. He kept up his calls for war over the weekend. Watch it:
For Bolton, war is always the best option. Last year, he said that attacking Iran “is really the most prudent thing to do.” In 2002, he declared Saddam Hussein to be “a real threat,” making it “a very prudent and logical conclusion that he needs to be replaced.” And less than two weeks before Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq, Bolton praised “the prudent course we are on with Iraq.”
Bolton’s insistence that we will see the piracy off the coast of Somalia “grow over time” without U.S. military intervention to “end this problem once and for all” is striking. Back in 1994, Bolton lambasted the Clinton administration for expanding the U.S. mission in Somalia to prevent it from becoming a failed state. Clinton’s efforts “led to the violence and embarrassment that ultimately ensued,” Bolton wrote.
In 2005, Bolton stood by his critique, saying, “I would not have intervened in Somalia.” Today, however, Bolton views such intervention — including the possibility of “boots on the ground” — as “the prudential response.”