John Bolton, who served at the ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush, visited On the Record With Greta Van Susteren to talk about about the ongoing protests in Egypt.
The wisdom that he brought to the discussion? That opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who headed the International Atomic Energy Agency for 12 years, is “a dilettante.”
Bolton, whose term as ambassador to the UN was preceded by a stint as the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security in the Bush Administration, was reportedly behind the United States’ effort to deny ElBaradei a third term at the helm of the IAEA in 2005 after ElBaradei openly questioned the veracity of the Bush Administration’s claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Bolton later called ElBaradei “an apologist for Iran” and accused him of personally interfering with U.S. policy in that country.
Bolton used his appearance on Van Susteren’s show last night to both criticize ElBaradei and question his ability to bring stability to Egypt.
Does ElBaradei speak for all of these people? I get the sense that this is an eclectic group people with different interests, different political persuasion, all with gripes. It would be easy if they did have one leader to negotiate with. I think ElBaradei is a dilettante. I don’t think he’s going to last long as negotiator. He’s going to start the negotiation. It is very difficult to understand who to negotiate with this this diverse group. Just because there are a lot of people in the street doesn’t mean this is going to be resolved soon. I think the real force, the real stability remains with the army that has no intention, has shown no indication it is prepared to relinquish power.
Bolton added that he thinks the military will resolve the crisis in a way that preserves its access to American weaponry, keeps the Muslim Brotherhood out of power and “guards and protects the military’s preeminent position in the state” — which Bolton says is a good thing.
What you have to keep first and foremost is what America’s interests are. Not some academic class in comparative government. The issue is what is in our interest: first stability and the Egypt -Israeli peace agreement that’s threatened by loss of stability and potential chaos. We’ve got a strategic interest in our relationship with the Egyptian military and the stability that it provides for other Arab regions in the Middle East, particularly in the Arabian Peninsula.
Watch the video below: