Former US Ambassador John Bolton Tapped As National Security Adviser

27 March, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during CPAC 2018

"Just spoke to @POTUS and Gen. H.R. McMaster - contrary to reports they have a good working relationship and there are no changes at the NSC", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted a week ago. A broad right-left coalition of the type that denied Bolton the United Nations ambassadorship is mobilizing to discredit, delegitimize, and ultimately, make Bolton such an embarrassment that Donald Trump will decide he's more of a liability than an asset and decide to dump his third national security advisor in his first year and a half in office. Nevertheless, the anti-Iraq position of at least some portion of the Trump base is a political fact worth considering in figuring out how to respond to Trump's choice of Bolton. With over a year to get his sea legs, Trump is feeling his oats and remaking the administration more in his image by surrounding himself with like-minded hawks. He has advocated for pre-emptive military strikes against North Korea and military strikes on Iran. Bolton was unwilling to support this compromise, and the White House finally agreed to keep him "out of the loop", as one source put it to my then-Newsweek colleague John Barry at the time. Bolton, they claim, is a unsafe warmonger unfit for the office. Bolton can work to leverage Trump's affinity for Bolton's "America First" worldview to reinforce the president's militarist instincts in daily meetings while seeking to sideline opposing viewpoints.

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country's Supreme National Security Council, as saying that for an "apparent superpower it is a matter of shame that its national security adviser receives wages from a terrorist group". "I think [bringing on] John Bolton has been the worst mistake he's made".

South Korean officials are making a show of their eagerness to get along with him but privately have misgivings.

The record Bolton will bring into the West Wing with him is already well known. This wasn't true, and the State Department's lead bioweapons analyst at the time would not sign off on the claim. Bolton is an ideologue of rare pedigree even for a George W. Bush vintage neoconservative. Gatestone is a virulently Islamophobic organization that peddles fake stories about Muslim immigrants in Europe fueling a "migrant rape crisis" in stories with headlines like "Refugees or an Occupation Army?". His replacement, John Bolton was announced immediately. As a supporter of tariffs, Bolton is also opposed to the decades-long journey of a rising China that seeks to hold geopolitical dominance over the Eastern Hemisphere.

Bolton was an official Bush-era diplomat, who was offered up as an ambassador pick during a recess appointment in 2005.

Bolton in his Wall Street Journal article said "North Korea's propaganda effort" at the Olympics was intended "to divert attention from its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs" and predicted the next "U.S. action against the Kim regime.... may be a very rough thing".

To describe John Bolton as a "hawk" or "hard-liner" is to praise him with faint damnation. "And that's going to be a real opportunity for the president and for John Bolton". "Bolton, he said, has to have his views aligned with those of President Trump, and we will be providing honest cooperation".

Not only will he influence U.S. policy in Syria and Iraq, but more immediately and more worryingly, his appointment signals a much tougher USA stance against Iran and North Korea. That no doubt delighted the president, even as he prepares to meet Kim Jong Un in an unprecedented summit - a meeting for which Bolton will lead the US preparations.

While Tillerson insisted throughout his tenure that all diplomatic avenues be exhausted with North Korea, Pompeo has spoken of decapitating that country's leadership and offering the president "a range of options" if he decides to choose a more forceful approach.


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