“There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made so far,” asserts The New York Times Editorial Board. “Coupled with his nomination of the hard-line C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state, Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalistic instincts.”
While the appointment of Mr. Pompeo, former president of Sentry International, an oilfield equipment company partnered with Koch Industries, must be deliberated by an frighteningly acquiescent Congress, John Bolton faces no such vote of approval. The national security adviser job doesn’t require confirmation.
National Security Advisor-designate (his term commences on April 9) John Bolton crusades for the launch of U.S. pre-emptive war against North Korea. He laid out “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First” for The Wall Street Journal on February 28, positing that “it is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current ‘necessity’ posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons by striking first.” Bolton disparages diplomatic channels, including the President’s planned summit with Kim Jong-un in May, suggesting such talks would be worthless.
And, if Trump fails to sign the sanctions waiver on Iran in mid-May, in violation of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, he could trigger a second crisis in the Gulf. Despite the State Department’s admission that Iran is “in technical compliance to their commitments,” the President seems determined to withdraw from the arms deal, in sync with prescriptions for war by his most belicose admirer.
“A close look shows [Bolton’s] genuinely one of the most extreme, irresponsible, and dangerous voices in the country,” said Adam Mount, weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists.
A senior adviser to George W Bush on issues of arms control and international security, Bolton championed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. He advocates an “aggressive military interventionist program around the world, coupled with staunch anti-immigration rhetoric,” wrote Jamiles Lartey at The Guardian.
The new National Security Advisor feels no humanitarian obligation to accept Syrian Refugees: “The U.S. can refuse to allow Syrian refugees entry ‘without in any way violating our humanitarian obligations'” Bolton told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in 2015, as millions were fleeing the American-sponsored war. What gets lost in this exchange is the reality that people are fleeing in large part because of American foreign-policy decisions. And the myth of American exceptionalism, that the U.S. wages war in the interests of humanity, that what’s good for the U.S.A. is good for the world.
There’s still time to drive out the Trump/Pence regime. But not a lot of time.
There will be no appeasing Donald Trump or his supporters. “It is useful for Americans to recognize that we are facing something entirely new and different in American history,” comments professor Peter Dreier. “Certainly none of us in our lifetimes have confronted an American government led by someone like Trump in terms of his sociopathic, demagogic, impulsive, and vindictive personality (not even Nixon came close). . .
“Our stance must be one of resistance and opposition.”