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Bolton: Biden ‘Embarrassment to the United States’ for Asking Israel Not to Retaliate

via CNBC
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Former National Security Advisor John Bolton strongly criticized President Biden for allegedly encouraging Israel not to retaliate against recent Iranian rocket attacks.

Bolton argued deterring Iran requires a powerful response beyond proportional retaliation.

He said Israel should flatten Iran’s air defenses, target military headquarters, attack oil infrastructure and export facilities, and most importantly destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which poses an existential threat to Israel.

Bolton said, “Last night, the Iranians launched 320-plus cruise and ballistic missiles and drones. It’s a blessing that the Israelis find only 1% got through, but not every night is going to be that good. And unless Iran sees a powerful response, that risk will continue. And the way to re-establish deterrence is not proportional. That’s academic talk.”

Bolton said if reports are true that Biden urged no Israeli response, it would make Biden an embarrassment and go against American interests to curb Iran’s regional aggression and threats to international security.

Bolton portrayed Iran as the principal threat in the region and advocated military action by Israel to deter future attacks and eliminate Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

He said, “The way you establish deterrence is by telling your adversary, ‘If you ever try that again, the price you will pay will be so much higher in any gain you think you can get. You shouldn’t even think about it.’ So, I think Israel has a wide range of potential targets. Start by flattening Iran’s air defense capabilities. Next, you might go after the headquarters of the regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. You could consider going after their oil infrastructure, the oil fields, the distribution pipelines, the export port facilities.

Bolton added, “And most importantly, I think Israel should be looking at this as an opportunity to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which is the existential threat that Israel faces. I don’t know what they’ll do. I can’t predict it, but I will tell you this: If Joe Biden, as some press reports have it, is urging the Israelis not to retaliate at all, he is an embarrassment to the United States. This is an American interest to make sure that Iran, which is the principal threat to international peace and security in the region, is at a minimum put in its place to spare Israel, to spare the Gulf Arabs, and to spare us from the threat that they pose.”

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