John Bolton – ‘Thunder Bolton‘
H.R. McMaster will peace out in a few weeks. John Bolton, the mustachioed firebrand, will take his place. That’s fine…
President Trump’s new national security adviser JOHN BOLTON has been branded a bully, abrasive and ‘totally unhinged.’ He is set to replace total badass and warrior-scholar H.R. McMaster as Donald Trump’s national security adviser in a Lazarus-like resurrection for a guy considered the most maximalist and hawkish of American policy wonks. He will become Trump’s third national security advisor in less than 15 months. Last year, General Michael Flynn was forced to step down because of his failure to disclose that he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador in Washington before Trump took office.
Ambassador Bolton has a super bushy mustache (above), is a Bush-era defense doyen and was a totally tigerish and cantankerous ambassador to the UN. He was one of the OG signatories to the uber-nationalistic, neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, which openly called for the unilateral removal of Saddam Hussein and various pain in the neck dictators around the world. Described by critics as hardcore, confrontational and “extremely bellicose,” Bolton was accused (wrongly) of manipulating US intelligence on weapons of mass destruction before the Iraq war and of abusive treatment of his subordinates. He also has a disdain for “irrational multilateralism” and prefers American exceptionalism. For him, American weakness emboldens ‘bad actors’ (Putin, Xi, the mullahs, and transnational terrorists, etc.) around the world and makes the international system more chaotic and prone to conflict.
He joins the president’s newly minted dream team – Mike Pompeo, the former CIA chief, and now Trump’s new secretary of state. Hardliner femme fatale Gina Haspel becomes the CIA’s new spymaster. While President Trump might be grossed out by Ambassador Bolton’s big-ass walrus mustache (the POTUS has a distaste for men with facial hair), the two provocateurs at least see eye to eye on foreign policy issues. In a way, Ambassador Bolton could be considered a ‘proto-Trumpian’ figure or ‘post-Reaganite‘ due to his scathing criticism of the United Nations, Euroland, North Korea, China, Iran, etc. – positions that Trump has also embraced. They are both attracted to neo-con doctrines and have a penchant for militarism, Machiavellian realism and pragmatic approaches to projecting American power abroad.
Ambassador Bolton is a polarizing figure, no doubt, who believes in the ‘peace through strength and superior fire power’ approach (we do too!). He also has a fetish for military interventionism and preemptive strikes against troublemakers like Iran, Syria and international jihadists. He will definitely shake up the National Security Council in the West Wing in a few weeks time, and will sanitize the whole place in a jiffy (there are numerous Obama/Deep State holdovers and a few McMaster loyalists who have been loitering there and need to go – Nadia Schadlow [yuk] and Ricky Waddell [respect!], for instance). Anyway, we sort of admire his foreign policy chops and hope he will bring the hurt to America’s adversaries instead of allowing them to accumulate capabilities for the sake of subverting Uncle Sam. Most importantly, we want Mr. Bolton to secure world peace and promote universal values like freedom, personal autonomy, democracy, individual rights, global rule of law, self-determination and laissez-faire economics. America needs to adopt a long-range, principled and enlightened approach to self-defense and foreign affairs and stop heeding advice from fakers like Ian Bremmer, Samantha Power and Richard Haass. The ambassador is qualified to achieve these aims.
Ambassador Bolton has said some seemingly crazy shit, like, “the UN is a worthless institution that is rotting from the inside out” and “Obama and Hillary are personally responsible for China’s ongoing aggression and the genesis of ISIS.” But those statements, believe it or not, contain a boatload of truth. Anal-retentive, abrasive and definitely dramatic when doing international diplomacy, the ambassador is ace at delivering sassy circumlocutions and tirades against rascals like Kim Jung-Un, Tucker Carlson and Qasem Soleimani. Some of John Bolton‘s zingers (below) are fierce, funny and informative. We believe the moustache-sporting rabble-rouser will do a fine job in his new role as the NSC adviser. Listen to a speech he gave at Oxford and read his thundery quotes below. ‘American exceptionalism‘ ain’t so bad, ya’ll. Read on…
On the UN, 1994: “There is no United Nations. There is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States, when it suits our interests and when we can get others to go along.”
On UN bureaucracy, 1994: “The secretariat building in New York has 38 storeys. If you lost 10 storeys today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. The UN is one of the most inefficient…organisations going, Unesco is even worse and things go downhill from there.”
On UN reform, 2000: “If I were redoing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world…the United States.”
On Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, 2002: “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction.”
On Bush’s ‘axis of evil’ of Iran, Iraq and North Korea, 2002: There is “a hard connection between these regimes – an ‘axis’ along which flow dangerous weapons and dangerous technology.”
On Iran in 2009, before the signing of the international nuclear deal: “Ultimately, the only thing that will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons is regime change in Tehran.”
Advocating US-Israel bombing of Iran, 2015: “Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.”
On claims Barack Obama is a Muslim, 2016: “King Abdullah of Jordan, who is not simply the Muslim king of a Muslim country – unlike our president.”
On the attempted coup against Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 2016: “Erdogan… wants an Islamic state. The failed military coup was most likely the last gasp of the secular generals. Whether he goes on to declare a Turkish caliphate or not, I don’t know, but he has laid the ground.”
On the Iranian nuclear deal, 2016: “The Iran nuclear deal, in my opinion, was the worst act of appeasement in American history.”
On Israel, 2017: “The Middle East peace process has long needed clarity and an injection of reality, and Trump has provided it by making the decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.”
On Russia, 2018: “There needs to be a strategic response to Russia’s new nuclear missiles to show our allies in Europe that we will not let Russia push the US or its allies around.”
Bolton has also appeared in an weird Russian video in which he talks about loosening gun laws for Russians.
In 2013, he recorded a video for the Russian group Right to Bear Arms, which was founded by politician Alexander Torshin. Torshin is under investigation by Robert Mueller for possibly funneling money into the NRA to help Trump during the 2016 US presidential election. “Thank you for this opportunity to address the Russian people on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Russian Constitution,” Bolton said.
“Were the Russian national government to grant a broader right to bear arms to its people, it would be creating a partnership with its citizens that would better allow for the protection of mothers, children and families without in any way compromising the integrity of the Russian state.”Others on John Bolton…
“I think I would rest easy if he was dog catcher in Stone Mountain, Georgia. But maybe not.” -Carl Ford, former head of the State Department’s intelligence bureau.
“It concerns me that Trump would put someone in charge who is unhinged as far as believing in absolute and total intervention.” -Rand Paul, Republican senator.
“My long-standing support for a fix for the Iran deal may have just died an untimely death.” -Mark Dubowitz, Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, on Bolton’s new appointment.
Images via Wikimedia Commons + PBS
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