McMaster Is Out and John Bolton Is In as National Security Advisor

screencap of a Bloomberg video showing an image of John Bolton with the chyron: 'Bolton brings hawkish views on foreign policy to new role'
[Via "Inside Trump's Snap Decision to Oust McMaster"
by Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev.]

Every day, the Trump administration gets worse. There is no bottom to the depths of depravity and indecency. And if there were ever a moment at which you may have fleetingly thought, It can't get worse than this, well, here is the decision to disprove that desperate thought: Donald Trump has ousted National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and replaced him with John Bolton.

(Note that the position of National Security Advisor does not require a confirmation hearing.)

If you aren't familiar with John Bolton, lucky you. To put it as succinctly as possible: He is our worst fucking nightmare — a sinister warmonger for whom the ubiquitous description of "hawkish" hardly does justice to his role in literally creating war.

If you're wondering if Bolton may have mellowed out in the interceding years, the answer is a resolute no. From last month:

Let us be very clear: Trump selected Bolton because he is a violent warmonger.

In 2015, Bolton penned an op-ed for the New York Times bluntly headlined: "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran." His argument was equally blunt: "The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel's 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed."

It's a fairly typical example of Bolton's disposition: The United States should preemptively attack any state that is perceived as a threat, using whatever justification necessary.

Just last month, he penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal entitled "The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First," in which he argued: "It is perfectly legitimate for the United States to respond to the current 'necessity' posed by North Korea's nuclear weapons by striking first."

This was how Bolton operated during the Bush administration, when he was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and then ambassador to the United Nations; it's how he has operated as a Fox News talking head; it's how he will continue to operate as Trump's National Security Advisor, whispering in his ear like a bloodthirsty Wormtongue that there is no choice but to strike first.

This is particularly concerning ahead of Trump's promised meeting with Kim Jong Un: A summit which will reverse decades of established diplomatic protocol and would normally require months of planning, which will now happen instead with a decimated State Department, including key Korean vacancies; no official Secretary of State; and a brand new National Security Advisor who has publicly said he believes negotiations with North Korea are a waste of time.

Naturally, Bolton also sides with Trump on Russian interference: Bolton "has cast doubt on the evidence linking Russia to the Democratic National Committee hack, suggesting that the Obama administration was blaming the Kremlin for political purposes. In December 2016, when Bolton was being floated as the possible deputy secretary of state, the former diplomat suggested that the digital footprints left behind at the DNC may have been a 'false flag.'"

In Bolton, Trump has found an advisor who will tell him what he wants to hear; and, in Trump, Bolton has found a president who will take seriously his most wanton recommendations urging state violence.

It's a dreadful combination. And Trump's choice further indicates that he is going full authoritarian.

Without swift and serious intervention, which doesn't appear to be coming, we are doomed.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus