Readers React: John Bolton’s bad advice for Obama on Ukraine

To the editor: I scanned former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton’s Op-Ed piece for any mention of how his onetime boss handled a similar crisis: Russia’s partial annexation of Georgia in 2008. (“U.S. still has time to stake out a position of strength on Ukraine,” Op-Ed, Aug. 19)

Bolton cited only George W. Bush’s 2008 “plan” to incorporate Ukraine into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There was nothing about the Bush administration’s measured response on Georgia, which was basically to do nothing.

Nor did he touch on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s obvious motive in annexing Crimea: to preserve Russia’s access to its only warm-water naval base, more than 700 miles from its capital. (Imagine America’s response if our only Atlantic naval base were enclosed in an unfriendly nation that close to our shores.)

Bolton argues for more “strength,” meaning threats of war.


Once again, one of the architects of the disastrous Bush-Cheney foreign policy is lecturing President Obama, who has spent five years undoing his predecessor’s blunders. It’s like the drunk who T-boned your car criticizing how the fireman is cutting you out of the wreckage.

Doug Molitor, Covina


To the editor: Bolton insists that the U.S. needs to eliminate the zone of ambiguity between NATO and Russia, “even if Obama’s flaccid leadership has tragically lost Crimea for good.”


I hope the following question will not sound rhetorical: For whom is Crimea lost?

There is a famous saying: Speech was given to man to hide his thoughts. Bolton does not want to hide his thoughts: Crimea is lost for NATO.

Vladimir Bogorad, Chatsworth