Warmonger Trump’s impeachment, sacked warmonger Bolton’s revenge


This 9 April 2018 video about the USA says about itself:

John Bolton‘s hawkish credentials laid bare

Donald Trump’s new national security adviser has a reputation for his bellicose approach to international affairs and his fiery rhetoric. As he takes up his new position, here he is what John Bolton has had to say in the past about Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China and the UN.

An April 2018 Guardian article wrote that Trump and Bolton have ‘startlingly similar’ personalities. That may mean cooperation for some time. But such personalities, being warmongering, egomaniac, resentful and revengeful may also clash sooner or later.

That was then. And now …

By Barry Grey in the USA:

Testimony highlights key role of Bolton in impeachment inquiry against Trump

16 October 2019

In closed-door testimony Monday before the House Intelligence Committee, former national security adviser on Russian and European affairs Fiona Hill described the bitter opposition of departed National Security Adviser John Bolton to the efforts of Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to force Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into Trump’s potential opponent in the 2020 elections, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Hill is the first ex-White House aide to testify in the impeachment inquiry launched last month by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. She resigned her post on the National Security Council (NSC) shortly after a meeting last July 10, which she described as a tense confrontation between Bolton and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who, along with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Giuliani, was heading up the White House Ukraine operation.

According to multiple press reports, Hill testified that after the July 10 meeting, Bolton instructed her to raise their joint concerns over the shadow Ukraine diplomacy with the chief lawyer for the NSC. She said Bolton told her to tell the White House lawyer, “I [Bolton] am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

Hill also quoted Bolton as saying in a previous conversation, “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Bolton departed from the Trump administration under acrimonious circumstances (Trump said Bolton was fired, Bolton insisted he had resigned) on September 10. A ferocious war hawk who had called for military strikes against Iran and North Korea and pushed for US military intervention to overthrow the Maduro government in Venezuela, Bolton was known to have been at odds with Trump’s peace overtures in North Korea and Afghanistan and his decision to call off missile strikes against Iran earlier this year.

He also expressed the dismay within disaffected sections of the state with Trump’s personalist methods and disdain for established structures and procedures, as well as his erratic and unpredictable conduct of foreign policy.

Bolton’s angry response to Trump’s maneuvers with Ukraine were of a piece with his hard-line stance on foreign policy. He and others in the administration, including Hill and Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump removed as ambassador to Kiev last May and who testified in the impeachment inquiry on Friday, considered Trump’s suspension of military aid to Ukraine and refusal to grant President Volodymyr Zelensky a White House meeting to be a political gift to Russia and part of Trump’s supposed softness toward Vladimir Putin.

Just five days before Bolton left the White House, the Washington Post published an editorial laying out the allegations that are at the center of the impeachment inquiry announced three weeks later by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Post wrote:

Not only has Mr. Trump refused to grant the Ukrainian leader a White House visit, but also he has suspended the delivery of $250 million in US military aid to a country still fighting Russian aggression in its eastern provinces. Some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin… But we’re reliably told that the president has a second more venal agenda: He is attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 US presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.

The Trump administration, as explained in the Socialist Equality Party Political Committee statement “No to American fascism! Build a mass movement to force Trump out!”, is an urgent danger to the working class. His response to the impeachment inquiry has underscored his contempt for constitutional processes and rejection of any congressional restraints on his power.

His recent speeches in Minnesota and Louisiana were overt appeals to racism, anti-Semitism and political violence, and declarations of support for police repression and militarism. He is seeking to establish a dictatorial regime and has repeatedly indicated that he may refuse to leave office if defeated in the 2020 election, and might call off the election altogether and remain in power in defiance of the Constitution.

He has continued to defy Congress in the impeachment inquiry, ordering past and present administration officials to refuse to cooperate with the House investigation. On Tuesday, Giuliani announced that he would not comply with a congressional subpoena requiring him to turn over documents related to the Ukraine operation.

Trump continues to tweet statements denouncing his political opponents as traitors, and on Monday a gruesome meme was circulated on the internet depicting Trump shooting, stabbing and hacking to death political opponents and journalists in a bloody rampage. The video was shown last week at a conference of far-right supporters that featured appearances by Donald Trump Jr., former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

But Bolton’s role in the political warfare within the ruling class that has produced the impeachment inquiry underscores the fact that there is nothing democratic or progressive about the opposition to Trump by sections of the intelligence, military and national security establishment and corporate-financial oligarchy with which the Democratic Party is aligned.

The Democrats are conducting the impeachment inquiry in secret and focusing it entirely on the claim that Trump’s attempt to shake down the Ukrainian government for his personal political gain has damaged “national security”, i.e., the global strategic interests of US imperialism. They are doing everything they can to separate it from Trump’s real crimes against the social interests and democratic rights of the working class, with which they are in agreement. They want either to remove Trump or impose changes in his foreign policy by the methods of palace coup, without stirring up the broadly and deeply felt opposition to Trump among working people and youth.

The forces with which the Democrats are aligned include Bolton, who speaks for the most rabidly militaristic factions of the neo-conservative right wing.

The outrage within the ruling class over Trump’s withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria—denounced by both the Democrats and large sections of the Republican Party as a capitulation to Russia and Iran—has further inflamed the political warfare in Washington and fed into the impeachment crisis.

An editorial in the Tuesday print edition of the Wall Street Journal, the flagship Murdoch newspaper in the US, which has consistently defended Trump against the Democrats, carried the headline “Trump’s Syria Mess” and concluded with a warning to the White House:

Mr. Trump won’t like to hear it, but the Syrian mess is hurting him at home too. Republicans who have stood by him through the Russia fight and more are questioning his judgment as Commander in Chief in an increasingly dangerous world. With impeachment looming, he can’t afford to alienate more friends.

As long as the political crisis is limited to the divisions within the ruling class, there can be no democratic outcome. The victory of either faction will pose immense dangers to the working class. The struggle to remove Trump must be conducted as a mass movement in defense of democratic rights and the social interests of working class and in opposition to both big business parties and the capitalist system they defend.

As President delivers fascistic speech in Dallas. Democrats link Trump impeachment drive to dissent in military over Syria pullback: here.

BOLTON UP TO BAT As the impeachment probe pushes ever deeper into the White House, investigators want to hear from John Bolton, the hawkish former adviser who was openly troubled by President Donald Trump’s approach to Ukraine. He has since left the administration. Meanwhile, the House votes today on formalizing the impeachment inquiry, robbing the GOP of a major talking point. [AP]

In light of Thursday’s vote in the US House of Representatives to formalize the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, it is worth contrasting the events now unfolding in Washington to those that led to the resignation of Richard Nixon 45 years ago. In July 1974, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon. The direct cause of the impeachment proceeding was the Watergate scandal, in which Nixon directed a group of burglars known as the “White House Plumbers” to break into and wiretap the offices of the Democratic National Committee: here.

David Swanson says there are plenty of reasons for impeaching Trump, but the Democrats’ Ukrainegate case is weak and will not galvanize the nation or challenge the Senate to convict: here.

Yet neither the moderators of the Los Angeles event nor any of the candidates raised the fact that the House vote approving articles of impeachment against President Trump was bracketed by congressional votes in which the Democratic Party voted by wide margins to pass the White House’s key legislative priorities. These include a massive increase in military spending, a new North American trade pact (USMCA) directed particularly against China, and continued funding of Trump’s anti-immigrant border wall with Mexico: here.

The impeachment crisis and US war plans against Russia: here.

As Democrats promote anti-Russia hysteria. Trump steps up attacks on immigrants, democratic rights in midst of impeachment trial: here.

Democrats embrace war hawk Bolton in Trump impeachment trial: here.

United States warmonger Trump sacks warmonger Bolton


This 11 September 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

John Bolton has been fired! Ana Kasparian, Emma Vigeland, and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Trump fires Bolton as national security advisor

11 September 2019

President Trump fired his national security advisor John Bolton Monday morning in an action revealing the deepening crisis of the administration and bitter conflicts within official Washington after a series of foreign policy debacles.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter only minutes after the White House had announced an afternoon press conference for Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, where they were to discuss new financial sanctions on “terrorist” groups and their alleged supporters.

The suddenness of the decision and the acrimonious character of Trump’s tweets—as well as Bolton’s claim that he had resigned and not been fired—testify to the intensity of the internal disputes within the White House.

It is clear that longstanding differences between Trump and Bolton came to a head last week over a planned agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was to be ratified at a secret weekend meeting with Taliban representatives and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David.

Trump revealed plans for the meeting only after publicly canceling it, again via Twitter, on Saturday. While the president claimed the cancellation was provoked by a Taliban car bombing that killed a US soldier last Thursday, it is now clear that it was conflict in Washington, not Kabul, that led to the meeting being called off.

The Washington Post reported August 30 that Bolton was being excluded from administration councils on Afghanistan because of his opposition to any deal with the Taliban:

His opposition to the diplomatic effort in Afghanistan has irritated President Trump, these officials said, and led aides to leave the National Security Council out of sensitive discussions about the agreement…

Bolton’s isolation on Afghanistan became particularly apparent last month when the president’s top officials descended on Trump’s New Jersey golf resort to discuss the peace deal that would be presented to Afghan and Taliban officials in Kabul and Doha, Qatar, US officials said. In addition to the president, the August 16 meeting included Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper; Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Vice President Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; CIA Director Gina Haspel; and [chief US negotiator in Afghanistan Zalmay] Khalilzad. Bolton was not originally invited out of concern that his team would oppose the agenda and leak the details later, several officials said.

Media reports after the firing suggested that Bolton was believed to be the source of leaks to the press about the internal divisions over Afghanistan, and that he had particularly angered Trump by suggesting that Vice President Mike Pence was also opposed to the deal with the Taliban. At least one press report last week said Bolton and Secretary of State Pompeo were no longer talking.

Bolton is the Trump administration official most closely identified with a policy of combining military intervention, economic sanctions and diplomatic threats to achieve regime-change in a series of countries long targeted by Washington, including Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. He was one of the most vociferous warmongers in the administration of George W. Bush and remains an adamant defender of the US invasion and occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to numerous press reports, Bolton pushed hard for the policy of regime-change in Venezuela on which the Trump administration embarked in January, declaring the little-known Juan Guaido the legitimate president and seeking to instigate a military coup against President Nicolas Maduro. Eight months on, Maduro remains in power and Trump has reportedly lost faith in the effort, which has not brought the quick political victory that Bolton apparently promised.

Trump and Bolton also parted company over Iran policy, as Trump decided, only 10 minutes before the missiles were to be fired, not to launch strikes against Iran after Revolutionary Guard forces shot down an unmanned US drone over Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. Bolton was also reportedly opposed to Trump’s decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea on June 30, where Trump took a symbolic step across the border into North Korean territory.

The firing of Bolton is in no sense a turn by Trump away from the use of military force to achieve his foreign policy goals. It is only a month since Trump mused that he could win victory in Afghanistan in a matter of days if he were willing to kill 10 million people—an indication of the types of discussions being held in the White House.

The initial Democratic Party response to Bolton’s firing was focused largely on concerns that the evident disarray in the White House might do damage to the interests of American imperialism around the world. The instability of the Trump administration is reflected in its turnover, with three national security advisors, two secretaries of state, three secretaries of defense and acting chiefs in a half dozen top positions.

Bolton served only 17 months as national security advisor, following Gen. H. R. McMaster (13 months) and retired Gen. Michael Flynn (23 days). One press commentary calculated that, counting the acting national security advisors who stepped in for Flynn and now Bolton, Trump has had five national security advisors in less than three years, while presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama combined had seven national security advisors in 24 years.

The conflict between Trump and Bolton is not a struggle between “hawks” and “doves” within the administration. It is part of a conflict over imperialist strategy that has dominated Washington for the past three years.

Trump has tended to view the conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, which he inherited from Bush and Obama, as distractions from his central focus on the threat posed to American economic dominance by China. His policies of trade warfare and military provocation in the South China Sea, as well as his overtures to North Korea, are interrelated parts of his anti-China focus.

But the US foreign policy establishment as a whole, including its Democratic wing, views Afghanistan as a decisive test of American global leadership. Its loss, like that of Vietnam, would, in their view, have a shattering impact on the worldwide position of American imperialism.

The United States has been involved in Afghanistan for more than 40 years, since the Democratic administration of Jimmy Carter began mobilizing Islamic fundamentalist guerillas who later gave rise to both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. President Obama called Afghanistan the “good war”—as opposed to Iraq—and escalated the conflict by deploying more than 100,000 American troops.

Trump proceeds on a transactional basis, feeling he can “do a deal” with the Taliban, Kim Jong-un, even the Iranian theocracy, with the right mixture of carrots and sticks. The Democrats, like Bolton, oppose a deal that would in effect turn over Kabul to the Taliban in exchange for a promise of “good behavior”.

Substantial sections of the foreign policy establishment believe such a policy undermines the central strategic aim animating American foreign policy for decades: domination of the Eurasian landmass. This underlies the Democratic Party’s demand to escalate the conflict with Russia and its commitment to war in Afghanistan. Regardless of what the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates say, they have no intention of pulling out of Afghanistan. In this, the Democrats are closer to Bolton’s foreign policy than they are to Trump’s.

Since Trump entered the White House, and even before, the opposition of the Democratic Party has been focused on his desire to pull back in the Middle East, particularly Syria, in order to refocus US efforts on China. Trump sought agreement with Russia on this course, and the Democrats fomented the bogus anti-Russian campaign, including the Mueller investigation, to brand any retreat from confrontation with Russia as treason. The question of reaching a settlement with the Taliban in Afghanistan has brought the conflicts over the direction of US foreign policy to a head.

The author also recommends:

Trump breaks off talks on end to US war in Afghanistan
[9 September 2019]

BOLTON’S SUCCESSOR: ISLAMOPHOBIC TIES After Trump abruptly fired John Bolton on Tuesday, Charles Kupperman was selected to be the acting national security adviser. Hours later, a leading Muslim civil rights group called on Kupperman to resign over his longstanding ties to an incendiary Islamophobic think tank. [HuffPost]

United States warmonger Bolton, buh bye again!


This 10 September 2019 video is called John Bolton Fired.

So, after warmongering United States President George W Bush sacked warmonger Bolton in 2006, today warmongering United States President Donald Trump dumps Bolton again.

Buh bye! What should really happen now is the whole Trump administration following Bolton to the political dustbin.

However, I suspect that Trump will now make another warmonger Bolton‘s successor.

Trump’s Bolton cozies up to Brazilian fascist Bolsonaro


This 11 october 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

“How Fascism Works”: Jason Stanley On Trump, Bolsonaro and the Rise of Fascism Across the Globe

In his new book “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them”, Yale professor Jason Stanley warns about the dangers of normalizing fascist politics, writing, “What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been.” We speak with Jason Stanley in New York.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Bolton visits Bolsonaro: a US meeting of the minds with Brazil’s fascistic president-elect

30 November 2018

Brazil’s fascistic president-elect, former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, hosted a meeting Thursday at his home in Barra de Tijuca, the wealthy beachside neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, with President Donald Trump’s right-wing national security adviser John Bolton.

The hour-long discussion reportedly touched on Venezuela, Cuba, Chinese influence in Latin America and Bolsonaro’s proposal to ape Trump by moving Brazil’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Bolton staged the brief stop in Rio and breakfast meeting with Bolsonaro on his way to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where the main question posed is the US trade war against China.

Bolton gave no statement to the press following the meeting, but tweeted: “We enjoyed a broad and productive discussion with the president-elect of Brazil and his security team.”

Similarly, Bolsonaro, who takes office on January 1, used his Twitter account to describe the encounter as “a very productive and pleasant meeting with the National Security Adviser of the United States.”

Accompanying Bolsonaro in the meeting was a group of incoming cabinet members who are representative of the most right-wing and military-dominated government to take office since the end of the two-decade-long US-backed military dictatorship in 1985.

These included his future defense minister Fernando Acevedo e Silva and head of the Institutional Security Cabinet Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, who are both retired generals. Also present was his foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, who has described climate change as a plot by “cultural Marxists” to undermine Western economies and boost China, and declared that his mission will be to liberate Brazil from anti-Christian “globalists”.

Bolton’s visit follows his bellicose speech earlier this month in Miami in which he laid out an agenda of regime change against the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. He labeled them a “troika of tyranny,” an obvious mimicking of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil” theme, rolled out in advance of the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the same speech, Bolton described Bolsonaro—who has praised the country’s former US-backed military dictatorship and threatened opponents with jail or exile—as a “likeminded leader” and his election as one of the “positive signs for the future of the region.”

Last Tuesday, Bolton echoed this theme, declaring that Bolsonaro’s election presented a “historic opportunity for Brazil and the United States to work together in a number of areas, such as economy, security and others.”

Bolsonaro indicated his alignment with Washington against Venezuela. “Venezuela is a longstanding question, we have to find solutions,” he said following the meeting with Bolton. “Measures need to be taken.” Until now, Brazil has not followed Washington’s example in imposing sanctions against Caracas.

Similarly, the incoming Brazilian president has staked out a hard line against Cuba, forcing the exit of some 8,300 Cuban doctors. They were working in remote and poor areas of Brazil under a program known as “Mais Médicos” (More Doctors), initiated under the former Workers Party (PT) government of impeached President Dilma Rousseff. Bolsonaro has threatened to cut off diplomatic relations with Havana.

No doubt, for the Trump administration, the most attractive feature of the incoming far-right Brazilian president is his anti-China stance, which he promoted during the election campaign, repeating the slogan that China was “not buying in Brazil, but buying Brazil.” Bolsonaro also staged a trip to Taiwan last February, a provocative affront to Beijing.

For Washington, the principal strategic question in Latin America is countering the growth of Chinese trade and investment, which is challenging its hegemony in a region that US imperialism long regarded as its “own backyard.”

Anti-Chinese campaign demagogy is cheap, but shifting Brazil’s economic relations is a more complicated matter.

China has supplanted the US as Brazil’s number one trading partner. Between 2003 and June of this year, Chinese firms have poured almost $US54 billion in investments into around 100 projects in Brazil, according to figures from Brazil’s planning ministry.

Bolsonaro’s incoming vice president, another former general, Hamilton Mourão, recently described Bolsonaro’s anti-Chinese statements as “campaign rhetoric”. Mourão cautioned that, while Brasilia would seek closer relations with Washington, “we can’t neglect the other great actors on the international arena, we can’t neglect the relationship with China.”

Brazil has been a direct beneficiary of the escalating trade war with China, with its export of agricultural products, principally soybeans, increasing dramatically as a result of rising US-China tariffs.

Similar pragmatic profit interests arise in relation to Bolsonaro’s pledge to shift the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, an imitation of Trump with the same domestic political aim: currying favor with a powerful evangelical Christian political bloc.

After Egypt canceled a scheduled diplomatic meeting in apparent response to the proposal, Bolsonaro declared that the move had not yet been decided. The Arab countries together constitute the second largest buyer of Brazilian animal protein exports, which amount to some $13.5 billion.

[There was] a cry of outrage over media reports that the ex-army captain greeted Bolton with a military salute, which [Bolsonaro opponents] charged was a humiliating gesture of Brazilian subservience to US imperialism. … Guilherme Boulos of the Homeless Workers Movement (MTST) described the gesture as “shameful, an unacceptable subservience”, while demanding to know what happened of Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan: “Brazil above all.”

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive advocates of wars and regime-change interventions, is expected to travel to Australia on the eve of the federal election that is expected to take place in May: here.

Trump brings Iraq war ‘mastermind’ Bolton back


John Bolton cartoon

By Eric London in the USA:

Trump appoints John Bolton as National Security Adviser, replacing McMaster

23 March 2017

Donald Trump announced yesterday that the former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, will replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser effective April 9.

Trump announced the decision via tweet exactly one week after White House officials leaked McMaster’s likely removal to the Washington Post.

Bolton’s appointment brings one of the chief architects and advocates of the Iraq War back into the White House, where he last served under the Bush administration from 2005 to 2006. Bolton’s blatant role in lying to the public, first about the justifications for launching the war and then, as UN ambassador, about the conduct of the war itself, made him one of the most hated figures of the Bush administration.

Having gotten his start politically as a lawyer for the tobacco industry and a political protégé of the arch-reactionary senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, an opponent of racial integration and rabid anti-communist, Bolton received a series of plum positions in the Justice and State Departments as well as the Agency for International Development.

Through his belligerent speeches before the UN, Bolton came to epitomize the Iraq war and its criminality. As opposition to the war grew, the Bush administration could not even secure a full Senate vote to confirm Bolton when Bush re-nominated him in November 2006. Bolton was forced into the outer circles of power, relegated to a position at the American Enterprise Institute and as a talking head on Fox News.

His political resurrection is a further sign that the Trump administration is assembling a cabinet even more right-wing and militaristic than before the recent reshuffling. In recent weeks, Trump nominated CIA Director Michael Pompeo, a far-right stooge of the Koch brothers, to replace outgoing former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump’s nominee to take Pompeo’s place is Gina Haspel, who ran a US black site torture center in Thailand under the Bush administration.

Bolton recently advocated for war with North Korea in a February 28, 2018 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “The legal case for striking North Korea.” Bolton reiterated the doctrine of pre-emptive war—outlawed by the Nuremberg trials of the surviving leadership of Hitler’s Third Reich—that the Bush administration used to justify the illegal launching of the War in Iraq:

“Pre-emption opponents argue that action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an ‘imminent threat.’ They are wrong. The threat is imminent, and the case against pre-emption rests on the misinterpretation of a standard that derives from prenuclear, pre-ballistic-missile times. Given the gaps in U.S. intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the very last minute.”

President Trump recently announced one-on-one meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for May. Trump has dismissed figures like McMaster and Tillerson, both of whom raised opposition to the proposed meeting.

Bolton is also a longtime advocate of pre-emptive war against Iran.

In 2015, Bolton advocated launching a war against Iran. In a March 26 New York Times op-ed titled, “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran”, Bolton wrote that “even absent palpable proof”, war was justified because “time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.” In January 2018, Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the P5+1 deal between the United States along with the other major powers and Iran is “a massive strategic blunder,” a position shared by Secretary of State nominee Pompeo.

In 2017, Bolton advocated ending the “One China” policy that acknowledges China as the sovereign over Taiwan. Bolton took the position that the US should establish military bases on Taiwan, a position that would likely result in a military confrontation between two nuclear-armed powers.

Bolton took a leading role in the Bush administration’s efforts to justify the war of aggression against Iraq based on the lie that Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction”. As Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in 2002, he was responsible for promoting forged evidence that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium (“yellowcake”) from Niger. Like the rest of the Bush administration’s pretexts for the war in Iraq, this was a bold-faced lie.

Bolton will not only have the ear of President Trump, he will run the National Security Council, which coordinates the policies of the intelligence agencies, the different branches of the armed forces and the State Department. As Vox News wrote, “He will present the president with strategic assessments of high-level officials like the secretaries of defense and state, offer his own thinking, and then communicate Trump’s ultimate decision to the agencies and work to ensure it’s implemented.”

Bolton’s reemergence within the inner circle of American imperialist decision-making exposes the role played by the Democratic Party since the run-up to the Iraq War, launched 15 years ago this week. At each stage in the preparation, launching, and expansion of the war, the Democratic Party sought to divert mass opposition to war behind its own electoral campaigns, including that of John Kerry in 2004, the 2006 midterm elections, the Barack Obama campaign in 2008, and those of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries and general election of 2016.

Despite the fact that the Democratic Party controlled the presidency from 2009 to 2017, not a single leading figure responsible for war crimes, including the CIA officials responsible for torture, have been punished or even fired.

Instead, Obama escalated imperialist war around the world. Just this week, the Democratic Party voted for a $1.3 trillion federal budget which includes massive increases in military spending. As a result of the imperialist character of both parties, a detestable figure like John Bolton is able to return to the Oval Office.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TRUMP’S NEW PICK FOR NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton is replacing H.R. McMaster. Take a look at his hawkish career, support for the Iraq War and record on Asia. And this Trump tweet on former Bush officials has not aged well. [HuffPost]

Parts of Twitter were none-too-pleased with the Bolton news.

Bolton’s appointment: Another warning of new US wars: here.

The Democratic Party and the confirmation of Mike Pompeo: here.

Bush regime relic Bolton wants war on Iran


John Bolton cartoon

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

John Bolton’s call for war on Iran

27 March 2015

The New York Times Thursday published a prominent opinion piece entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

This video from the USA is about (failed) Unites States Republican presidential election candidate John McCain singing ‘Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran‘.

The author was John R. Bolton, a former State Department official and, for a brief period, US ambassador to the United Nations, under the administration of George W. Bush. He became an influential figure in the administration after serving as a lawyer in the Bush campaign’s successful operation to steal the 2000 election by stopping the vote count in Florida.

Bolton, it must be said, has been calling for an immediate military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities—by either Israel or the US, or both—for at least the last seven years. On each occasion, he has warned darkly that unless his prescription for intensive bombing followed by “regime change” was adopted within days, the world would face the threat of an Iranian nuclear attack.

Thursday’s column was no different. “President Obama’s approach on Iran has brought a bad situation to the brink of catastrophe,” Bolton writes. He is referring to the attempt by Washington, together with the other member nations of the UN Security Council plus Germany, to negotiate restrictions on a nuclear program that Iran insists is strictly for civilian purposes in return for easing punishing economic sanctions.

“Even absent palpable proof, like a nuclear test, Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear weapons has long been evident,” according to Bolton. Despite the lack of “palpable proof,” Bolton insists that Iran’s unwillingness to “negotiate away its nuclear program” and the inability of sanctions to “block its building of a broad and deep weapons infrastructure” constitute an “inescapable conclusion.”

Bolton, who has made an entire career of suppressing “inconvenient truths,” allows that he would prefer an all-out US bombing campaign, but would accept a US-backed attack by Israel.

“The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary,” he writes. He adds that this military onslaught must be combined with US efforts “aimed at regime change in Tehran.”

What is involved here is an open appeal for the launching of a war of criminal aggression and incitement of mass murder. The unbridled militarism expressed in Bolton’s column would not be out of place in the writings of Hitler’s foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, the first to hang at Nuremberg after his conviction on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in organizing the Nazi regime’s wars of aggression.

The question arises, why has he been given a forum in the editorial pages of the New York Times, the supposed newspaper of record and erstwhile voice of American liberalism?

The obvious answer is that any differences the Times editorial board—or for that matter the Obama administration—have with Bolton over Iran are of an entirely tactical character. All of them stand by the principle that US imperialism has the unique right to carry out unprovoked “preemptive” war anywhere on the planet where it perceives a potential challenge to its interests.

Not so long ago, Bolton, who personifies this arrogant and criminal policy, and the Times were on the same page politically and on essentially the very same lines he presents in his latest column on Iran.

In 2002, Bolton was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and a point man in the Bush administration’s campaign to prepare a war of aggression against Iraq based upon the lies that Saddam Hussein was developing “weapons of mass destruction” and preparing to hand them over to Al Qaeda.

Bolton, described by one of his former colleagues at the State Department as “the quintessential kiss up, kick down kind of guy,” had been an advocate of aggression against Iraq at least since 1998, when he joined other right-wingers in signing an “Open letter to the president” demanding such a war.

In the run-up to war, he played a central role in manufacturing phony evidence of the existence of Iraqi WMD. This included the promotion of the crude forgeries indicating that Iraq was seeking to procure yellowcake (concentrated uranium) from Niger.

During this same period, the Times provided invaluable assistance to this propaganda campaign. Its senior correspondent Judith Miller was working in alliance with administration officials and right-wing think tanks to confirm and embellish upon the lies about WMD. Thomas Friedman, the paper’s chief foreign affairs columnist, was churning out column after column justifying what he readily acknowledged was a “war of choice” against Iraq, justifying it in the name of democracy, human rights and oil.

As the reputed newspaper “of record,” the Times set the tone for the rest of the corporate media, which together worked to overcome popular opposition to a war in the Middle East.

The results are well known. The war claimed the lives of over a million Iraqis, devastated an entire society and threw the whole region into chaos. In the process, some 4,500 US troops lost their lives, tens of thousands more were maimed and wounded and some $2 trillion was expended. A dozen years later, the Obama administration has launched a new war in Iraq, supposedly to halt the advance of ISIS, a force that it effectively backed in the war for regime change in Syria.

No one has ever been held accountable for these war crimes; not Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton and others who conspired to drag the American people into a war of aggression based upon lies. And not the editors of the Times who produced the propaganda that facilitated their conspiracy.

On the other hand, those who oppose war—from Private Chelsea Manning, who exposed war crimes in Iraq, to Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was sickened by the atrocities carried out against the people of Afghanistan—are submitted to a media lynching and then given the full measure of “military justice.”

In publishing Bolton’s column, the Times is making sure that it burns no bridges to the most right-wing and sociopathic layers of the American ruling establishment. While it may differ with them now over an imminent bombing of Iran, future US wars—including against Russia or China, where the propaganda mills of the Times are grinding once again—will undoubtedly bring them back into sync.

USA, bye bye John Bolton


John Bolton cartoon

From CBC in Canada:

Bush reluctantly accepts UN ambassador’s resignation

Monday, December 4, 2006 | 11:06 AM ET

The Associated Press

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is stepping down.

Unable to win American Senate confirmation, John Bolton will resign once his temporary appointment expires within a few weeks, the White House said Monday.

Bolton‘s nomination has languished in the Senate foreign relations committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans.

Bye bye Bolton.

Good riddance to bad warmongering rubbish.

Like with Donald Rumsfeld (see also here).

Now Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rice, the whole gang, have to go.

Bolton update here.

August 2009 update: Washington’s ambassador to the UN said that the United States had paid the price for “stiff-arming” the international community and declared that ithas embarked on a new era of global engagement: here.

George W Bush’s UN ambassador John Bolton was wheeled out by Sky News at the weekend to issue dark threats about the future of the “special relationship” if Britain ever scrapped its nuclear weapons.