Just ten days after firing his ” Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, Mr. Trump decided to remove one of the last remaining ‘adults’ in the room, by firing H.R. McMaster relieving him from his post as National Security Adviser. As with Tillerson, McMaster learned of his demise through a Tweet, Mr. Trump’s preferred method of terminating people these days. In that Tweet, he states:
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18,
@AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
Most of us who have lived through the Iraq War know Mr. Bolton quite well, so this article is dedicated to those who may have been born around 2000 or shortly thereafter. The reason? I think since you folks are getting more involved in our politics, you might want to know all of Trump’s players; Bolton included.
Hopefully, this article will assist.
Choosing Mr. Bolton to replace McMaster is quite an interesting choice for Mr. Trump given the fact that he stated during his campaign how he was “so opposed to the Iraqi invasion.” Mr. Trump makes the claim that he told Sean Hannity from Fox News this information, explaining how the invasion would “destabilize the entire region.” But according to FactCheck.org, The Washington Post Fact Checker, and BuzzFeed News, this is not the case. In fact, the latter source points to an interview Mr. Trump had with Howard Stern in 2002. In that interview, Trump was asked whether he “was for the invasion,” to which Trump responded, “Yeah, I guess so.” About the only caveat Trump placed on his statement is as follows:
“You know, I wish it was, I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
As you can imagine, this has the majority of those of us who lived through the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Iraq a bit puzzled as to why Trump would actually want a man like Bolton to serve as the most powerful man assisting him in foreign policy.
So, what should you know about Mr. Bolton?
First, Bolton was part of the Bush administration that sold this nation a proverbial “bill of goods,” by telling us that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq, providing the Bush administration with a pretext to invade that sovereign nation. Of course, we all found out after the invasion that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq, and furthermore, we could not even connect the dots as to why former President Bush had invaded the nation in the first place. After all, it was Osama Bin Laden and his terror network who was responsible for crashing planes into the Twin Towers of New York, with another flying into the Pentagon, and a final one thought to be traveling towards Washington, D.C, crashing into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
So, of course, once it was discovered that these weapons did not exist, Mr. Bolton did the appropriate thing, telling the nation how wrong it was for us to “go it alone” invading Iraq, right? Wrong. In fact, in May of 2015, Mr. Bolton maintained his position that it was a good thing we invaded Iraq, stating:
“I still think the decision to overthrow Saddam was correct.”
To be clear: The weapons did not exist, Mr. Bolton had advocated hawkishly to invade the nation, even writing with other conservatives to then President Bill Clinton, admonishing him to invade Iraq to overthrow then President Saddam Hussein. Perhaps Mr. Bolton knew something the rest of us didn’t? It turns out he did which leads me to my second must need to know point about Bolton.
Second, Mr. Bolton is a conspiracy theorist. A staunch supporter of another conspiracy theorist, Laurie Mylorie, Mr. Bolton actually cooked the intelligence reports regarding Iraq. In fact, he was downright specific telling then President Bush, that ” Iraq had obtained aluminum tubes and uranium for its supposed nuclear weapons program,” and also argued that our role in the invasion would “be minimal,” despite our lacking a well-established coalition of force. In other words, Mr. Bolton lied to not only the Bush administration, but also to the American people.
Mylorie, of course made quite a persuasive argument for the invasion, especially receiving an endorsement of sorts by none other than Paul Wolfowitz, the number two person in the Defense Department during the Bush administration. Wolfowitz advanced the argument Mylorie makes that Hussein was in fact, behind the 9/11 attacks and wrote the following as an endorsement of her book; Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War Against America.
“If so, what would that tell us about the extent of Saddam Hussein’s ambitions? How would it change our view of Iraq’s continuing efforts to retrain weapons of mass destruction and to acquire new ones? How would it affect our judgments…and the need for a fundamentally new policy? These are questions that urgently need to be answered.”
Now, you may be finding yourself asking, “What do Wolfowitz and Mylorie have to do with John Bolton,” and quite honestly I would not blame you one bit. It does sound confusing, but it really isn’t you see? Because these are the people Mr. John Bolton is friends with. He believes in their worldview.
Finally, Mr. Bolton has one mechanism for solving all of the problems in the world: military action. In fact, he has already used his Fox Presidential Advising role to tell the world that the solution to North Korea, Syria, and Iran is to bomb each of the countries. And when you have that kind of worldview, diplomacy is no more, folks.
Hopefully, you have detected a level of snark throughout this piece. War is not funny! It is no joking matter. And yet, this is who Donald J. Trump just chose to be over all foreign policy while advising him.
One reason, folks: War is a great distraction.
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!