Let’s call Bolton what he is, a War Criminal with Terrorist Ties, not just “Hawkish”

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

John Bolton helped lie our country into an illegal war of aggression that killed several hundred thousand Iraqis, wounded over a million, and displaced 4 million from their homes, helped deliver Baghdad into the hands of Iran, and helped create ISIL, which blew up Paris. In a just world, Bolton would be on trial at the Hague for war crimes. Instead, he has been promoted into a position to do to Iran what he did to Iraq.

He is also in the back pocket of the MEK Iranian terrorist organization, which despite its violent and smelly past has proved so useful to those plotting the apocalyptic destruction of Iran that the Washington elite decided to take it off the list of terrorist organizations in 2012.

The acceptable political spectrum inside the Beltway in Washington DC is a marvel to behold. Bernie Sanders, a long-serving senator and public servant won 13.2 million popular votes to 16.8 million votes for Hillary Clinton (i.e. he was backed by 43% of one of the two major parties in the country). But Sanders was virtually blacked out from corporate television coverage during his impressive presidential bid, while Jeff Zucker turned CNN over to Trump every night at 7:30 pm throughout the summer and fall of 2016 and just let him talk, or whatever he does, for an hour without even a semblance of journalistic analysis. Supposedly left-leaning MSNBC did the same thing.

America’s corporations love the fascist side of the spectrum, which is obvious from the way they promoted Trump and Trumpism. Zucker also hired Cory Lewandowski, who was at the time contractually obligated to avoid criticizing Trump, as a CNN commentator. Fascism after all favors big corporations and vilifies and punishes workers and the poor. Under Mussolini, the Italian poor were plunged into much deeper poverty.

Television news also loves the maniacal side of the spectrum. You seldom see normal people as commentators on cable news, and much of the commentary is polarized and superficial and often simply incorrect on the facts of the matter. Sometimes it is even just a criminal conspiracy. During the Iraq War, the NYT revealed that the Pentagon successfully pressed on CNN a gaggle of former generals, many of them actively making money off of the Iraq War through contracting while they were promoting it on television. They presented an Alice in Wonderland view of the brutal US occupation of that country as a shining success. Tom Fenton, a career television journalist, once wrote a book suggesting that television news is so bad that it is actually a standing risk for US security, since an uninformed or misinformed public cannot play the democratic role of watchdog and is not being alerted to genuine threats. Maybe the maniacs draw eyeballs and increase advertising dollars. Maybe Wall Street doesn’t see people as maniacs as long as they advocate giving billionaires more money.

The fascination with the far right wing and with the maniacal dovetails in the person of Bolton, now Trump’s National Security Adviser. Jesus said that if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch. The ditch in this case could well be a ruinous war with Iran.

In a sane society, people like Bolton wouldn’t be allowed on television, much less put in charge of American security.

Bolton has assiduously tried to do the same thing he did to Iraq to Iran. Big corporations like wars. Wars mean you have to manufacture more shiny children-murdering weapons and bombs, the ultimate in planned obsolescence. No war, and the factories fall silent and the money-counting stops. People called “hawks” in Washington, a euphemism for “murderous maniacs,” often get supported one way or another by the arms industry. Sometimes it is direct and their bank accounts should be examined.

Iran has never had a nuclear weapons program, and as long as the nuclear deal holds, it has no opportunity to develop them. It has no heavy water reactor. It has a limited number of centrifuges. It destroyed its stockpile of uranium enriched to 19.5% for its medical reactor. It is being actively inspected. No country under active UN arms inspections has ever developed a bomb.

Bolton wants to bomb Iran so badly that he does not care about these facts. He wanted to bomb Iran himself if he could, sort of like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. If not he wanted to have the Israelis do it.

He has a list. He’d like to bomb nuclear-armed North Korea, too.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that keeps that clock showing how many minutes the world is away from a nuclear midnight can put it away. With Bolton’s appointment, it is past midnight.

Posted in Featured,Iran | 29 Responses | Print |

29 Responses

  1. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again. The denunciation of this murderous maniac needs to be shouted from the rooftops, we need to imitate the Latin Americans and come out on the streets and bang pots and pans to create a commotion of protest that can’t be ignored.

  2. If so far what the administration was doing was unorthodox and even bizarre, its recent moves are positively dangerous and threatening. Its sudden decision to start an economic war with China and to some extent with European allies has set stock markets plunging, with Dow Jones suffering its fifth-worst daily drop ever. The cozying up to the brash and unhinged Saudi prince and selling him hundreds of billions of weapons that he uses to kill thousands of innocent Yemenis and give rise to the worst case of cholera ever will also implicate the United States in Saudi war crimes. The impulsive announcement of an unprepared summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, which is most likely to fail because while Kim is prepared to suspend his nuclear program he will never agree to get rid of them, will result in the outcome most desired by the likes of John Bolton to carry out a military attack on that country with unimaginable consequences.

    However, the appointment of Mike Pompeo as the new secretary of state and of John Bolton as the new national security advisor is practically a declaration of war on Iran. This is the last thing that the world needs. Bolton has explicitly called for bombing Iran for at least the past ten years. He has said that the only way to stop an Iranian bomb is to bomb Iran. He has called for ending all visas for Iranians, shipping bunker-busting weapons to Israel, and supporting the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq which is rightly hated by the vast majority of Iranians.

    There are many problems with the Iranian government, but it is a government that has demonstrated that unlike Israel it was not trying to acquire nuclear weapons, that took part in detailed talks with all the major powers in the world and reached a landmark agreement limiting her peaceful nuclear program, and has been pursuing a policy of rapprochement with the rest of the world, including its headstrong neighbors. It is time to wake up and prevent another disastrous war under false pretenses before it is too late.

  3. “No country under active UN arms inspections has ever developed a bomb.”

    In away that is the bloodless equivalent of successfully bombing Iran’s nuclear capability. So if the reason all those “hawks” want to bomb Iran is to knock out that capability, they can sit back and relax, mission being accomplished by non-violent means.

    But the smarter hawks all know this. I doubt that Trump has the staying power or intellect to be in that group. They dislike this UN nonsense because it it is an obstacle to it their real objective, to add Iran to list of failed countries, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, and that horrible work in progress, Syria.

    The job for the hawks is made so much easier because the general public has little emotional involvement with whatever death and destruction our forces do because it is “over there”.

    On the other hand it is virtually a national emergency when several bombs go off in Austin, causing two fatalities. Maybe a little public empathy for the horrors caused by the tens of thousands of bombs dropped in the Middle East, with no promise of long term benefits, would slow the hawks down.

  4. You have given short shrift to how manifestly extreme and rabidly dangerous this guy is. It is not a matter of whether we should left speechless, yet again: in the case of Bolton we should be scared shitless.

    A pattern has emerged in all of Trump’s more consequential decisions, and especially his recent appointments. They are clearly calculated to set the US to fail, and fail disastrously, domestically and internationally, regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum.

    It is as though Trump, or whomever is making these decisions, is organizing things so very bad things will become inevitable. It is as though he is consciously setting the US for any number of (apparently) spontaneous disasters in the near and more distant future.

    We have seen no real, objective evidence, on Trump being controlled by a belligerent foreign power. But his actions are fully consistent with that being the case.

    • God dammit, I keep leaving all these matches and cans of gasoline around all my Reichstags to get these lazy Moslems and Blacks to do their thing. Now I’m gonna have to do it myself.

  5. Trump obviously feels that he has now aquired all the “knowledge” he needs about being President and realized that he was conned into taking at least semi-rational people into his top positions; people who actually had the nerve to think that they knew more than him and object to some of his wilder proposals. One after another these people are leaving or being fired.

    He is now surrounding himself with a group of like- minded aparatchiks who will encourage him in his manias and delusions. Pompeo and Bolton are truly dangerously deranged, like their new boss and all are drooling at the prospect of starting a war with Iran and North Korea to add to our existing debacles. The world has become immensely more unsafe.

    Time to work hard to create a Congressional brake or start looking for a safe haven. Let’s just hope the newly embolded idiot Trump doesn’t blow the whole thing up before November.

  6. Chickenhawks are despicable scum. Former weekend warrior John Bolton is a civilian like Trump who have never served in wartime yet want to substitute diplomacy for gory ultra-violence.

    Unlike Trump, Bolton is experienced in mass murder and maiming as a profession. Trump has “Bolton envy” and wants to learn the trade. Why?

    Donald J. Trump is a demented CRIMINAL threat to each and every person in our country INCLUDING his base. He lauds mass murderers such as Rodigo Duterte and chemical weapons dispenser Vladimir Putin as examples.

    There is little more dangerous than a fat, rich, STUPID megalomaniac with a taste for blood.

    Whose blood will it be?

  7. Haven’t we had a belly full of crazy old chicken hawks hell bent on killing off the best of our young people to fill the oligarchs lust for wealth?

  8. Even President Cheney wasn’t mad enough to appoint Bolton into any post with real power after the judicial coup in 2000. Horrifying to see that moustache standing next to Trump, it’s a repudiation of the anti-war platform he ran on, the sole (extremely thin) silver lining to his (s)election as President. Today is the day I now believe future historians will look back on as the point at which a new Middle Eastern war because inevitable; unless Trump surprises us and gets into a nuclear exchange with North Korea as well/first. We urgently need to introduce IQ/emotional stability “fitness for office” pre-election tests into our democracies to keep the ruthless and delusional character traits to a sane level among political leaders.

    • It was never really an anti-war platform. If you looked at his words on other subjects, you could see that he wasn’t against war per se. He wanted more and better wars for the outright purpose of world rule for profit instead of the more subtle legalism-bound hegemony of Anglo-American tradition. I don’t understand why anyone was fooled unless they just hated Hillary Clinton enough to edit Trump into their own deluded notion of a lesser evil.

  9. What better way to get to “a state of siege” than to tank the economy and blame the Chinese and Russians?

    Democracy can then be suspended before the next election and the “limited nuclear war” that was brainlessly conceived during the Reagan years can be initiated.

    At first it will be limited to Korea, just to see what reaction the Chinese have. Then The Israelis will be allowed to nuke Iran, thus precluding (they hope) a Russian retaliation. And do you think once the ball gets rolling that Pakistan will stay out of it? and India? Not to mention the battlefield nukes that the Russians and Chinese and Americans have at their disposal.

    We don’t need to wait for global warming to slowly suffocate us. The globe will be hotter than hell when Bolton and Co. get started.

    Where is the “Designated Survivor” scenario when we need it… with Bernie Sanders as the DS…

  10. One hopes that Iranians are ready and have plans to confront the US aggression. They have been smart to develop alliances in the Near East to provide them some maneuverability. They can’t threaten USA mainland but they can give a bloody nose to its representative, that is the ethno centric state of Israel.
    One wonders if US system of checks and balances really works, especially when it comes to foreign policy. It seems like that the President of the country can declare wars, impose tariffs and embargo, invade countries, tear up treaties, have the power to bring about nuclear holocaust, help make climate change even worse. I don’t think it is just Trump per se, it is the US system of government that needs to be examined and revised. If not, some president in future will screw things up badly.

    • The bloody nose to Israel will in fact be the excuse for the US to invade Iran. However, that doesn’t fix the logistical hurdles that have kept the US out so far. The only solution, if you dare call it that, is to proceed directly to nuclear first strike.

  11. I’d actually forgotten that Trump is the second stupidest person in America.

  12. It has long been the US view that military force should always be on the table to further it’s global goals. Bolton is simply less equivocal about it. Earlier occupants have felt it necessary to convince others of a moral or practical neccecity. The difference is the present incumbents feel no such need since, like Dominican Inquisitors, they are fueled by convictions they are ready to burn any nation that questions.

    • « Now, however, the furthest limits of [you name it] are thrown open. But there are no tribes beyond us, nothing indeed but waves and rocks, and the yet more terrible [E pluribus Unum], from whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace. « 
      …. sed nunc terminus Britanniae patet ; nulla iam ultra gens, nihil nisi fluctus ac saxa, et infestiores Romani, quorum superbiam frustra per obsequium ac modestiam effugias. (6) Raptores orbis, postquam cuncta uastantibus defuere terrae, mare scrutantur: si locuples hostis est, auari, si pauper, ambitiosi, quos non Oriens, non Occidens satiauerit: soli omnium opes atque inopiam pari adfectu concupiscunt. (7) Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.
      Tacitus Agricola XXX, 5-7 Adapted from Perseus

      nil novi sub sole…

  13. You’re so right. Bolton, Ledeen, the Gladio have been around since the Dulles boys and keep inching us toward being the rogue superpower, we so loathed in the USSR

    • We didn’t actually loathe the USSR for being a rogue superpower. Both sides knew the game. Look at how the US and USSR treated the Cuban and Nicaraguan Revolutions. It was as if the US WANTED those Marxist revolutions to turn into oppressive, incompetent Soviet satellites, and of course the Soviets were ready to do their part with inappropriate aid and advice. They formed a tag team to batter these regimes into submission to a formula that justified their own bipolarized world.

      Conclusion: both superpowers feared each other less than they feared the rise of genuinely independent radical regimes that spurned both ideologies in favor of pursuing their own third-world interests. And they were right. Because the real winner of the Cold War was China, once far more radical than the USSR, but too big for any outside power to force into a rigid model. If Ho and Castro and any number of smaller revolutionaries had possessed that same autonomy, who knows what direction they might have taken?

  14. The regime is harmless, a cabinet of babble heads none pays any attention to. Hillary and peace prize/ Oscar winners would have the world wrapped around their finger and doing much worst.

Comments are closed.