John Bolton: The Coming War on Sovereignty


Although it doesn’t deal with State Department nominee Harold Koh in particular, John Bolton’s essay “The Coming War on Sovereignty” (in the March 2009 issue of Commentary) provides useful general insights on the transnationalist approach to foreign policy-and on its usurpation of domestic politics.  Bolton’s essay reviews a Brookings Institution report, A Plan for Action, that proposes a foreign-policy agenda for the Obama administration.  (Koh, incidentally, is on the Brookings board of trustees.)

As Bolton puts it, the report’s transnational blueprint would entail “a sharp, indeed radical, turn away from the principles and practices of representative self-government that have been at the core of the American experiment since the nation’s founding.” The “pivot point” of that turn is a “shifting understanding of American sovereignty” – from the traditional meaning of “our collective right to govern ourselves within our Constitutional framework” to the modern liberal elite’s view of “transnational consensus as the proper model for the United States.”

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