Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 23, 2018

John Bolton - The Man With A Hammer Is Looking For Nails

President Trump congratulated Vladimir Putin to his reelection as president of the Russian Federation. It was a matter of simply courtesy to do so. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (aka the National Security Advisor), three star general McMaster, had advised him to not congratulate Putin. (McMaster now claims differently.) That was bad advice. But it became even worse when McMaster, or someone in his shop, promptly leaked this to the press. The usual Republican nutters like John McCain grumbled and Trump was furious.

Trump decided to fire McMaster the very next day. He had it coming. Both the White House Chief of Staff Kelly as well as the Secretary of Defense Mattis wanted McMaster out. Unfortunately for them Trump chose a replacement that they did not want and will find difficult to live with.


John Bolton is not a neo-conservative. He does not dream of 'spreading democracy' or 'nation building'. He is a 'smash, burn and leave' libertarian hawk. He is also an exceptionally avid bureaucrat who knows how to get the things he wants done. That quality is what makes him truly dangerous. Bolton is known for sweet-talking to his superiors, being ruthless against competitors and for kicking down on everyone below him.

Soon Netanyahoo will have the cabinet in place in DC he always dreamed of. A hawkish Pompeo at State, a real torturer as head of the CIA and now Bolton are already sufficient to protect Israel's further expansion. Kelly and, only later on Mattis will likely be the next to get fired. That will eliminate the last people with access to Trump who have some marginal sanity on war and peace issues. Trump will be completely isolated and easy to manipulate.

Bolton has a hammer and he will find lots of nails. Like Hillary Clinton he will want to fight with Iran, North Korea, Russia, China and others in no particular order. He will want to destroy Syria. He is cozy with the Kurds and the Iranian terror cult MEK. He addressed (vid) their congress eight years in a row and made lots of money for saying things like this:

"[B]efore 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran.”

Bolton has little concern for U.S. allies except, maybe, for Israel.

His first priority will be to prevent the announced summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un. He will want more sanctions on North Korea and may argue for a 'preventive' strike against it. He does not care that such a strike will certainly kill tens of thousands of Koreans in the north and south and several thousand U.S. soldiers and civilians.

New sanctions on North Korea are problematic as Trump has just put additional tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. imports of Chinese goods. (The Chinese response is smart: Tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods from states that Trump won.) Why should China and Russia (and South Korea) help the U.S. to strangulate North Korea when they themselves are under fire? To prevent a U.S. strike that may come anyway the very next day?

The Europeans who were part of the nuclear agreement with Iran have to answer a similar question. Why offer Trump a 'compromise' over the JCPOA when the chances are now high that he will destroy it anyway?

What will Bolton do on Syria? Will he try to find a new agreement with Erdogan and drag Turkey away from endorsing Russia's polices in Syria? If he manages to do so, Syria's north will become a shared Turkish-U.S. entity and will be lost for a long time. New attacks on the Syrian government, from the north, south and east, where the U.S. re-trains ISIS into a new 'moderate rebel' army, would then open the next phase of the war.

So far the mean time of survival for Trump appointees is some six to eight months. Let us hope that John Bolton's appointment will - in the end - lower that average.

Posted by b on March 23, 2018 at 15:50 UTC | Permalink

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Trump wants war with Iran. The reasons ar unknon to me, but the intention is very, very clear. The choices of Pompeio and Bolton confirm this.

If Trump gets this war, the short and medium term effects on world trade, and the oil trade in particular, will be absolutely devastating.

Iran will close the strait of Hormuz. The oil shipments will stop. Saudi Arabia may burn, Israel may get attacked. The US homeland may get attacked.

When the oil shipments stop, fuel shortages will occur, supermarkets will get empty, food prices will rocket.

God help us all.

Posted by: HnH | Mar 23 2018 16:05 utc | 1

Bomb Iran, is what Bolton advocated several years ago, this article 'The untold story of John Bolton's campaign for war with Iran' indicates he has not changed his mind

Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 23 2018 16:10 utc | 2

These appointments are weird. Ultimately Trump doesn't seem to have an appetite for large-scale war. What does seem like a dangerous possibility is if Bolton can et al can provoke a situation that traps Trump in his responses, maybe with a tight timeframe to respond and leads to a conflict starting that way. Fortunately the media in the US has had it's credibility with just about everyone, including anti-Trump people, shredded and I don't think they'll be able to prepare people for a war like they did before the 2016 election, people are finally awake or have a sense of agency.

Ultimately it doesn't seem like Trump's election has changed much in terms of foreign policy among prospective successors. So it seems like eventually they will get their war with Iran during Trump's term or afterwards. It's utterly incredible how implacable the neo-cons are despite constant exposure over the last 15-20 years and with at least one President being elected on the basis of disgust with them. (Obama, could maybe include Trump too)

Posted by: Altai | Mar 23 2018 16:13 utc | 3

Kim Jong-un has no good reason for a "summit" with Trump. Indeed, there is no reason for him or his country to have anything to do with the USA or its catamites.

The best path for Korea is for North and South to plan reunification, as early as possible. They might as well retain the North's nuclear weapons, just in case anyone cuts up rough. If the Americans try to interfere, the nuclear weapons are there. Any American attempt to escalate, right on China's and Russia's front door, would meet with an extremely frigid response from them.

We must always remember that there was never any "North" or "South" Korea until President Truman's bureaucrats conjured them up out of thin air - apparently with the aid of a school atlas - to avoid the hideous tragedy of the whole of Korea "going communist". South Korea is an occupied nation, and should take immediate steps to kick the American occupiers out. By force if necessary.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Mar 23 2018 16:36 utc | 4

Optimism on Bolton as relatively harmless in yesterday's thread is given an interesting perspective by this piece (from today), adding to b's pessimism above:

It seems the apparently contradictory move by Trump to appoint Bolton after getting rid of McMaster, who had a similar view to Bolton (North Korea had to be attacked because it is too late for diplomacy, their rocket programs too advanced), could be part of a scheme for a "big victory" effort by Trump who is, according to this view, amidst an artful deal-making moment of allowing faux-optimism re South-North Korean negotiations.

Bolton calls this "diplomatic shock and awe":

Bolton said Trump had short-circuited North Korea’s plan of obtaining the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon and then stretching out negotiations for months that could distract the American government before making an official announcement about achieving the capability. Bolton envisioned the meeting between Trump and Kim as an opportunity to deliver a threat of military action:

“I think this session between the two leaders could well be a fairly brief session where Trump says, ‘Tell me you have begun total denuclearization, because we’re not going to have protracted negotiations, you can tell me right now or we’ll start thinking of something else.’ ”

Trump, who only a few weeks back condemned (again) the Iraq War as disastrous, may be thinking Bolton is just the man to nail down a quivering retreat of the North Koreans into denuclearizing or else, now that they've had a nice taste of how sweet it could be in talking with Moon and the South.

If Mattis will be out at some point along with Kelly, thus destroying the tempering influence of these generals, who hated Iraq as much as Vietnam, the next question is how Trump's apparent judgment on Iraq as disastrous will play out with a Bolton crowd (Bolton one of the first signatories of PNAC in 1998) on what to do when the North Koreans say fuck you loudly and clearly.

This analysis also points out how disturbed Asia is over this appointment, and indicates that despite his views McMaster had been working with South Korea on the problem, and now has been jerked. This sounds like what happened in Iraq also, jerking out people who were building relationships and replacing them with hardnose "bring 'em on" thinking from the brilliant leadership in that war.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 23 2018 16:38 utc | 5

Trump has surrounded himself with real men who want to go to Tehran. Syria, not so much anymore. Besides, Ukraine 3.0 will be great until the Russians show up. The CIA's Dark Prince is already there.

Posted by: Fec | Mar 23 2018 16:38 utc | 6

thanks b... this bolton character seems like a bad dream that keeps on popping up... not sure what to make of it, or that anyone has him figured out either... he is a bit like trump in that regard..

@4 tom welsh.. i agree with your view and conclusion... getting korea to agree and kicking the usa out of it all would be a very positive move..

@5 sid.. not sure about the conclusions in that american conservative article.. trump continues to confuse, or has been removed from power.. i can't tell which is which..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2018 16:46 utc | 7

I understand that Syrian situation can drive people insane but unfortunately it was and is interpreted wrongly as a preparation to nuke war, it is not. It is same old same old thing, it is just more exposed by internet.

US military is in shambles what they showed in Iraq and Syria last year is all they got, nothing more but a capability of a chicken hawk and D.C. is run by chicken hawks whose business is intimidation not war about which they have no idea and they know that US military can only take on shoeless peasants with dilapitated AK 47 and call it even like in Afghanistan which was utter deafeat no one even here want to talk about.

Like Roman Empire before US emporium is an empty shell, and its myth is maintained by US INSTALLED ELITES to control their own populations.

Recent military posturing on all sides of a global country club dinner table is just nothing but bail out of MIC and its wall street backers .

Open your even globalzatIon has been accomplished and global oligarchy live in harmony while concocting massive Orwellian propaganda of great enemies that must be defeated at all cost, cost of your freedom and your purse.

Face it b, Bolton is just a impotent loud barking dog to scare ordinary people for his temporary owner , a flaccid clown of global oligarchy.

Show must go on. 160 years after collapse of Roman Empire Roman circuses and theater continued like Nothing happened.

We are watching such a circus.

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 23 2018 16:54 utc | 8

@7 James:

I see this confusing sentence--

"Bolton said Trump had short-circuited North Korea’s plan of obtaining the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon and then stretching out negotiations for months that could distract the American government before making an official announcement about achieving the capability."

--as, Bolton believes the North Koreans are playing around with negotiations only to delay toward capability, that Trump knows this, and all of it's a game toward resurrection of the hostilities.

This attitude suggests a foregone conclusion that the Trump-Kim meeting will fail, which could set up the next step at (from Bolton): "You see, it's hopeless, we just have to attack and take out this country, as we did with Iraq and are trying to do with Syria."

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 23 2018 17:03 utc | 9

Israel has the Epstein tapes which show Trump having sex with underage girls, Saudi Arabia has billions of dollars to bribe Trump with arms deals, both of these immoral nations want Iran eliminated as an threat to their agendas. Israel and Saudi Arabia demand that Trump try and neutralize Iran before Trump is removed from office which will happen before his first term is up if this nation has any sense of self preservation. Trump is replacing those opposed to a war against Iran with those who support it. Trump is seriously compromised by foreign agendas.

Posted by: Charles Misfeldt | Mar 23 2018 17:08 utc | 10

My two cents:

1. Iran nuclear deal is dead, EU poodles will fall in line (but not entirely) with sanctions against Iran. I'm curious how Iran will respond, IMHO will restart all centrifuges and raise enrichment level? I still think its unlikely Iran would go for the nukes as ultimate deterrent.

2. US will be more involved in Syria. We can most definitely expect more false flag CW attacks and "retaliation" missiles. The big question mark if Russia will live up to its promise to retaliate on launch sites or US planes.

3. There will be no overt war against Iran, Pompeo/Bolton or not, US simply cannot win it. Covert - most definitely. More sabotage, assassinations, sanctions, etc.

It will be hard to do Libya 3.0 as well, but USrael might try anyway. Arm kurds and baluchis radicals, activate MEK network, it wont be anywhere as bad as in Syria, but some damage would be done. Thats the most what they can do.

Posted by: Harry | Mar 23 2018 17:09 utc | 11

Bolton is a fruitcake. Imo Trump only hired him to expose his nuttiness and fire him. When he does, the World will breathe a sigh of relief and Trump's popularity will improve.
Bolton's Achilles Heel is that he doesn't do low-profile and talks too much.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 23 2018 17:19 utc | 12

@9 sid.. thanks.. i get that... i am more inclined to view bolton like @8 kalen.. it really does seem that way to me and if so, suggests trump is still in control and happy to have these bozos talk the talk, while knowing they are not able to walk the walk.. trump would throw a real monkey wrench in the spanner if he was to engage in the talks and come away with a positive resolution.. it would be a a nightmare for the military industrial complex and neo cons.. i still think he is capable of this...

@11 harry.. i hope you are wrong, but it is completely conceivable and tends to be the usa/israels pattern when confronted with a loss..

Posted by: james | Mar 23 2018 17:25 utc | 13

@ 12 When you're powerless, give the opposition what they want and hope they choke on it. Trump is being underestimated. Dunford, Mattis, Pompeo and Kelly lined up
behind Trump against Tillerson and the White Helmets in Ghouta.

Posted by: Fec | Mar 23 2018 17:28 utc | 14

Let's not forget about Venezuela. Story from McClatchy's D.C. bureau says Bolton considers Venezuela low-hanging fruit ripe for the plucking.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 23 2018 17:48 utc | 15

"libertarian hawk" is an oxymoron, kind of like saying "a peace-loving bomb-thrower".

Posted by: DonFromWyoming | Mar 23 2018 18:12 utc | 17

"Trump will be completely isolated and easy to manipulate."
This is nonsense. And you know it B. But you still fancy your idea about a non-interventionistic Trump, and now, by the time this belief is definitely shattered, you try a reasoning dangerously near to 'wenn das der Führer wüsste'.

Posted by: Pnyx | Mar 23 2018 18:21 utc | 18

thanks to b for this excellent link and extensive discussion of Mattis:

This discussion suggests why Mattis has been successful with a naïve blowhard president, including the following interesting comment:

John Bolton’s arrival in April as the president's new national security adviser will give Mattis a more ardent and skillful adversary at the National Security Council. Mattis outranked McMaster in military terms and always considered him his junior, even though Mattis is retired. He likely won’t view Bolton that way, and Bolton prizes his ability to corral the bureaucracy for his purposes.

We're looking at an upcoming contest Mattis vs. Bolton on such matters as wars with Iran, North Korea, and whoever.

Glad to see all the optimism here on how harmless Bolton is but would like a little more substance versus the automatic dismissals.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 23 2018 18:35 utc | 19

I don't see the financial thread in all of this and I seriously believe that is #1 on Trumps mind. He would love for his legacy to be the POTUS that turned around the global economic collapse and opened the door big business everywhere.

That is his history wrt foreign relations and he could care less for the "blow shit up" mentality. Not saying that he can't be talked into it, just saying he would prefer the headline "Trump opens up the world for more US business". I honestly think that he believes that a trade war (business by other means) leads to US becoming a Mfg powerhouse again. Those around him might convince him that blowing shit up will have the same outcome.

Banking/finance learned a long time ago that you are better off keeping your customers around to continue borrowing than imprisoning or kill them off. The world is a market place and Trump wants to "make deals-not war" as long as America gets the better part of the deal.

Only other thing that makes since is what CM @ 10 proposes, that Trump is compromised.

Posted by: Jef | Mar 23 2018 18:39 utc | 20

Kalen @8 you must have followed the Bolton divorce case.
Iran doesn't need nuclear weapons it just needs a treaty with Russia and China. It might be of assistance to the dimwitted in Washington if the treaty specifically stated that Iran is under a nuclear umbrella.
We ought to acknowledge that, as the camarilla of generals surrounding Trump turns into a junta of bullshitters and blowhards, the dictatorship in DC has never been anything more than an alliance between billionaires, bullshitters and the American Gestapo.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 23 2018 18:39 utc | 21

Bolton's presence will accelerate Europe's move away from the U.S. This is probably inevitable now.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 23 2018 18:41 utc | 22

@20 Trump may be all about deals but he's having a terrible effect on the stock markets. If a trade war with China wasn't bad enough now they have Bolton to worry about.

Posted by: dh | Mar 23 2018 19:02 utc | 23

What you mean about Bolt-man is he'll be safe in his office, while YOUR father, mother, son, uncle, brother, sister or other family member dies for HIS idea of how the world should be. "We will fight fight "till the last drop of.....your blood!" The "inside the Beltway" gangsters sicken me.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Mar 23 2018 19:17 utc | 24

Bolton is not a libertarian, libertarians believe in the “non-aggression principle” -

Please correct this.

Posted by: TJ | Mar 23 2018 19:19 utc | 25

@ 10 Charles,
In New-York Trump's been known as The FRONT GOY even before the Atlantic city heist. Without Kompromat tapes they can bury him six million different ways before sunday...

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 23 2018 19:20 utc | 26

Pat lang SST was horrified by the prospect of Bolton nomination: Not Bolton! not him !

Yesterday Alastair Crooke published on Strategi Culture:

A day before Bolton got the job, still a very interesting read as usual, up to the end, because Nothing can go wrigth in DC those days, in fact nothing can be done.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Mar 23 2018 19:37 utc | 27

The Trump meeting with KJU, if it comes off, will give an indication of where Trump is headed. Much showtime shock and awe and hyperbole leading up to his suddenly agreeing to the meeting which caught all the US political animals on both sides of the fence by surprise.
Haley constantly yapping like an annoying little dog has achieved what? Haley seems be just another prop in the shock and awe show.
At the same time, Trump could miscalculate and stumble into major war, or he may be actually planning a war. Always room for both pessimism and optimism with Trump, depending on the day.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 23 2018 19:51 utc | 28

I rather agree with Kalen. Trump is genuinely a blowhard - loud mouth and little action.

Bolton is an unpleasant warmonger, though he didn't get much through before. He was never confirmed by the Senate as ambassador to the UN. Since then he's had various sidelined positions as thinktank fellow.

My impression of Trump is that he is too lazy to get the US into a major war. A major war would be a lot of work, and, whatever the advice from the help, I don't think he'd go for it. Especially he wouldn't like months or years in a nuclear bunker. He couldn't dandle young thighs at Mar-a-Lago. That would be a major argument.

An important issue with Trump is that he is unable to keep staff. He must be running out of potential candidates. That's why Bolton.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 23 2018 20:02 utc | 29

re: "libertarian hawk" is an oxymoron . .Bolton is not a libertarian

Libertarianism (from Latin: libertas, meaning "freedom") is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. There are various interpretations of what libertarianism means to various people, such as the freedom to do as one pleases.
Bolton is a libertarian in a national sense. His liberty is national liberty. He is anti-globalist and unilateralist, believing that the country's values should never be superseded by international agreements and treaties. This thinking coincides with Trump's position declared during the campaign. “We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism,” Trump said in his defining foreign policy speech as a candidate in the spring of 2016. “The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down.”
Following from this concept of national libertarianism, Bolton goes further to the ready and unilateral use of armed force to advance foreign policy, without bilateral or multilateral agreement. He's a hawk, but that's not unusual for Americans in government.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 23 2018 20:24 utc | 30

The planet isn't going to survive much longer with Americans and the Tribe infesting it. Fumigation is in order. Pack the Americans and the antisemite semites into an ICBM and send them flying into the heart of the sun. A solution as good as any other.

Posted by: Lester | Mar 23 2018 20:37 utc | 31

@ 27 and 20: thanks Charles re link to the Alastair Crooke article which reflects Jef's earlier comment: that is, Trump would likely say: me for war? hell no I'm a peace lover but I'll drive the good bargain including war threat as needed in my "art of making a deal"(hence tools to this end such as Pompeo and Bolton). Crooke makes a good point that Tillerson was too much a conventional diplomat; Trump likes tough, unpredictable guys like Mattis to model himself after.

But all this is in the fundamentals of the same megalomaniacal type thinking that drove/drives PNAC and smart-ass know-it-all-ism of the Iraq Invasion and continuation of this mindset (see Bremer) after "mission accomplished."

This mind-set at base is the problem. I call it megalomania, others might call it hubris on steroids, or daydreams of the psychopath. For me it's difficult to pull Trump out of this mindset, because he's essentially the same. At the same time HIS version of it clashes with State Department Egomania--possibly toward doing some good at times (as with changing the course of US action in Syria last year; as with low-key response to the Skripal nonsense at this time) but nonetheless presenting the possibility of a new set of tripwires a la invasion of Iraq 2003, in terms of North Korea-Iraq.

It seems apparent at this time that Trump is clueless that for North Korea to denuclearize that would mean a quid pro quo of US forces leaving South Korea--which will never be acceptable to the neocons or Trump.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 23 2018 20:39 utc | 32

I wonder if there are people in the military thinking about resigning before WW3? There is isn't even a believable narrative put forward in bombing Damascus nor Tehran except for murder, destruction and conquest, there is literally zero self defensive aspect. I wonder how special forces troops in Syria who are about to attack the Syrian army and Syrian people on the side if HTS, Al Qaeda, IS, Nouri al Zinki, FSA feel about their mission; many must know they are basically committing treason.

Posted by: Jason | Mar 23 2018 21:18 utc | 33

"Murder, destruction and conquest". That's as American as apple pie. Why would Americans be committing treason doing the Tribe's work?

Posted by: Lester | Mar 23 2018 21:31 utc | 34

Bolton may or may not be a blowhard but the malignant idiocy that billows forth from his mouth is frightening in its combination of willful ignorance and unrestrained rage. He is the new National Insecurity Advisor--that would be his more accurate title.

Posted by: worldblee | Mar 23 2018 21:39 utc | 35

How long will he last. There cannot be many rooms in the Whitehouse big enough to hold the ego of Trump and the ego of Bolton at the same time.

Posted by: Blessed Economist | Mar 23 2018 21:43 utc | 36

From Off Guardian:
" of today, it appears that long battle for Jobar and its neighboring suburbs is finally over after an agreement was put in place with the primary militant groups there.

"According to a military report from Damascus, the Syrian Army and Faylaq Al-Rahman have agreed to peace terms in four East Ghouta suburbs, with the latter agreeing to leave to Idlib.

"Based on the agreement, Faylaq Al-Rahman will surrender all of their weapons, except for their small arms; they will release all Syrian Army prisoners from their jails; they will inform the government of all explosives they placed around the suburbs of Zamalka, Jobar, ‘Ayn Tarma, and Arbin; and agree to exit these suburbs on Saturday.

"The militants are now scheduled to leave these four East Ghouta suburbs by noon tomorrow..."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 23 2018 21:43 utc | 37

Bhadrakumar writes bigger ' war in Syria is imminent ' .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 23 2018 21:46 utc | 38

It is evident that US policy in Syria is failing. The original plan was to divide Syria into weak independent cantons, much as the French wanted in the 1920s. The French didn't succeed. It would be surprising of the US did.

The only parts which remain, are the jihadis in Idlib, and the Kurds in Jazira. Two elements which are opposed to one another.

Supposing that the US wants to revive the war in Syria, as the Neocons do, what are they going to do? Decapitation of the regime in Damascus was a way of getting the Jihadis into power (you have to wonder about US support for jihadis). Unfortunately, the Russians put troops into Damascus a few weeks ago to prevent that. Otherwise it's a bit of a nothing. The Kurds can stay in Jazira, Nobody's going to stop them.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 23 2018 22:16 utc | 39

Great analysis - as usual. The thing missing is that this guy is a rabid zionist and the White House is now a governorate of the AN orthodox American province of Israel.

Posted by: Du | Mar 23 2018 22:39 utc | 40

What Trump values are efficient flunkies who will take their orders and do as they are told, quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of fuss.

Bolton is none of those things: he is a blow-hard, and however efficient he might be a getting things done he does so in the manner of a bellicose bully.

The last thing Trump wants is having a mini-Trump as an underling, because that will mean a flunky will be stealing all his attention.

Bolton will not last six months. Not even close.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 23 2018 23:17 utc | 41

@YR 41
What Trump values are efficient flunkies. . .
Are Mattis and Sessions efficient flunkies? I don't think so.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 23 2018 23:40 utc | 42

Bolton !
Goddammit !
Thats like bringing Cheney back. Or opening the crypt...

Posted by: rm | Mar 23 2018 23:53 utc | 43

I think what Trump is looking for is people that will try to make his policies (as per the election campaign) come about, without working towards other agendas.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 23 2018 23:56 utc | 44

My guess is that Bolton will be instructed to concentrate his energies on bringing down the Bolivarian government.
This is the sort of war, employing Colombian based terrorists, that appeals to Trump and not coincidentally because Venezuela's proven reserves of oil are a prize for which the Koch brothers will pay well.
No Muslims involved, lots of loot, strategically located in the US backyard. It is the sort of manageable war that would appeal to Trump. And one that would make his family rich for decades of squandering and stupidity to come.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 24 2018 0:01 utc | 45

@aa 38
Even Bhadrakumar can be wrong sometimes, although I can't recall any other examples.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:06 utc | 46

Re: Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 23, 2018 7:17:01 PM | 41

jup, that's what's I'm thinking. A nice fire.

fwiw: no show any on ruskie/uk bollocks.

Posted by: foo | Mar 24 2018 0:11 utc | 47

@41 Here is a strange theory: How do you neutralise incompetent or controversial but influential mid-level officers or managers? You bump them up first, then you fire them. Tillerson got the job at state but couldnt clean shop? Out. Pompeo at CIA couldnt do the same? Moved to State for a last chance to get it done. Comey is out for obvious reasons and McCabe is bumped up until proven incapable at cleaning house and gets fired. Preibus cant control leaks? Fired, Kelly is in. See the pattern? Bolton gets picked to replace McMaster after Flynn wasnt up to snuff, taking him also in the limelight but once he gets fired, he too like the others loses influence and credibility. I mean who hires a ex-cabinet level person who gets fired after 6 months in office? I know its a long shot but if McCain gets a WH job soon maybe were on to something.. ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 24 2018 0:13 utc | 48

@ bevin 45
Years ago I was involved with MAC-V, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, and a fellow (Hispanic) trooper joked that the V would soon stand for an effort in Venezuela. So your idea has been around for awhile ((sorry to say).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:18 utc | 49

McCain has terminal cancer.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 24 2018 0:18 utc | 50

from Asia Times
Bolton appointment lets Trump negotiate from position of strength
'This is a brilliant move straight out of The Art of The Deal – Bolton will scare [North Korea] to death'

US President Donald Trump’s surprise appointment of hardliner John Bolton as National Security Adviser on Thursday may have particular impact North Korea policy as Bolton has taken, arguably, a harder line against the state than any other Washington figure in recent years.
Having served in the George W. Bush administration that famously dubbed North Korea part of the “Axis of Evil,” Bolton is a formidable briefer, with expert knowledge of the country’s atomic programs. Last month, he published a column arguing the case for a first-strike against North Korea. . .here

Scare Kim Jong-un? We'll see.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:27 utc | 51

I predict Bolton will last 4 months and then be fired. Set the timer. The useful thing about setting the groove of firing everyone at will is that no one has time to tell you not to.

Trump's mind has a quality of either elasticity or plasticity, I'm not sure yet. It looks plastic but it shows some rebound at times - but if it's elastic then it's VERY elastic. His actions are "of a type developed by witless thralls" but this doesn't mean he has created them, or that he's witless.

It doesn't matter what the US convinces itself it's going to do. The moment it steps outside its bubble it will hit the real, mean street. It can't go against Iran except to lose. It certainly can't go against those larger guys, Russia and China.

Fortunately, a certain street savvy is at work in this world, whereby Russia slices its increments of escalation exceeding fine, and very lawful. Meanwhile any attack on Iran by the US will have to leave plenty of room for posturing and preening and grab-ass before getting down to it - by which point, the Pentagon's evaluations will report to the White House and the neocons that any move is unwinnable, and also the people would never stand for that kind of damage to America.

The US will back down. The neocons will preen and pout and blame the military animals. The caravan will move on.

But, Dear Lord, the noise we will have to suffer through while all this is going on!

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 24 2018 0:28 utc | 52

@ 50
McCain may be terminal, but not dead.
news report:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is asking President Trump's pick to lead the CIA about her role in an enhanced interrogation program.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:31 utc | 53

A possible attack on North Korea and/or Iran keeps coming up, and I must keep reminding that either one would result in major damage to the US because of nearby US bases and communities. We're not talking Iraq and Afghanistan, both US losses with minor damage to Americans, we're talking Disaster with a capital D.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:36 utc | 54

Trump thrives on chaos, inconsistency and publicity.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 0:51 utc | 55

@ AA 38, Can you link the Bhadrakumar article ?

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 24 2018 0:54 utc | 56

The key is Russia. Mr Bolt-On may not have ever seen such a capable adversary. Mr Bolt-On might get served this time around. He's obviously used to being able to push his weight around with no consequences. Hopefully, he has been put in place to show Trump how it is NOT done.

Attacks on Iran should end Israel and Saudi Arabia once and for all and purge the Middle East of a US presence for many decades. Hopefully.

I see the UN recently not recognizing Israel's take over of the Golan and I see that many in the Golan see themselves as Syrian.

The sooner the US is put in place the better for the whole world.

Posted by: imoverit | Mar 24 2018 1:36 utc | 57

@AL 56
Bhadrakumar is mandatory reading at Indian Punchline (scroll down)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 1:42 utc | 58

I laugh at this nutter being appointed.It will not matter much. The US is very much alone right now, it shore up for how the Chinese will react to tarifs. The EU has already told Trump, so the EU was exempt.
Most of the non-aligned world is slowly getting on war footing, probably anticipating the death throes of the Evil empire and its offspring the apartheid state of Israel (They do not like black jews, you know those REAL Jews from Ethiopea) Israel = scum state.
So we just wait for the next miscalculation of the Evil Empire, will it be Iran ? I Doubt it? The Iranians will not budge an inch and they have been preparing since 1979 (It would instantly galvanize all Iranians into resistance) and they are backed by Russia- China + most of the non aligned world (and a split EU).
It could be Syria. The outcome there is looking increasingly bad for the Darth Trump and his liver eaters, I wonder if the clueless Kurds are feeling the heat turning on.
Erdogans mercenaries were not that incompetent after all, what will he do now at the cross roads?

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 24 2018 2:00 utc | 59

BTW forgot to add that I always wonder why those who call out for war are those, who have never served, never been shot and are too old to come in harms way.
I t would be a good time to have these idjitts in a FFP or forward trench, in daily enemy contact, I wonder how long they could avoid getting killed, where their bravado would go, how much courage they dumped in their combat trousers.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 24 2018 2:09 utc | 60

@ Grieved who wrote about Trump
His actions are "of a type developed by witless thralls" but this doesn't mean he has created them, or that he's witless.


The only thing printable that I can write about Bolton is that he gives a bad name to facial hair.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 24 2018 2:13 utc | 61

fyi, it's war coming to a theater near you

The Untold Story of John Bolton’s Campaign for War With Iran, by Gareth Porter

....More than anyone else inside or outside the Trump administration, Bolton has already influenced Trump to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Bolton parlayed his connection with the primary financier behind both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump himself—the militantly Zionist casino magnate Sheldon Adelson—to get Trump’s ear last October, just as the president was preparing to announce his policy on the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). He spoke with Trump by phone from Las Vegas after meeting with Adelson.

It was Bolton who persuaded Trump to commit to specific language pledging to pull out of the JCPOA if Congress and America’s European allies did not go along with demands for major changes that were clearly calculated to ensure the deal would fall apart.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 24 2018 2:31 utc | 62

When the US boosted their presence Al Tanf I suggested the reason was to provide an electronic fog to cover for an Israeli attack on Iran. Jordan would not allow Israeli jets to overfly them for fear of consequences. That leaves the Syrian border as the corridor for an Israeli attack (probably on their nuclear power plant.) with Bolton in place it seems as though most of the pieces are set to put the an in motion. The only thing that remains is a media blitz. We should expect to see some increasing MSM talk about the Iranian nuclear projects as preparation and backdrop for the attack.

Posted by: les7 | Mar 24 2018 3:04 utc | 63

With Bolton as NSA, are we seeing a Richard Nixon madman theory redux? I can't wait until Cleavon Little (Blazing Saddles) joins Trumps cabinet. Or maybe he just did.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 24 2018 3:07 utc | 64

#63. An attack on the Iranian nuclear power plant. Would that be the one the Russians are helping build? The one where it is likely Russian technicians are present? Those carrying out this attack need to look up the meaning of unintended consequence. Russia might go beyond a complaint at the UNSC on that one.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 24 2018 3:17 utc | 65

The advantage of having Israel launch the attack is that the US can 'defend' them and limit Iran's ability to respond. In addition it brings the Iranian nuclear issue front and centre for the world press, allows the US to pressure the Europeans to back away from JCPOA (if only by 'informal' sanctions) and (based on Israeli media mis-information) allows the US to challenge the UN to snap-back sanctions on Iran.

I agree with comments above - the US will not directly attack Iran. There is however a great advantage to having Israel do it and then provide backup.

Bolton is the key link to see it all done

Posted by: les7 | Mar 24 2018 3:22 utc | 66

Don Bacon @ 54, 55

The problem with your rational approach and concern for US casualties is, obviously, that we're dealing with seriously deranged people here. When Trump, Bolton, Adelson, and Netanyahu put their four propaganda-addled minds and blood-lusting/inferiority-complex-fueled emotions together ... the challenge may be "How can we attack Iran, inflict ostensibly serious damage, not lose any of our own 'guys', and receive only a very limited response?"

Perhaps a large but not too large conventional attack by US/Israel on 'industry and facilities directly related to Iran nuclear weapons development'? Just something to throw to the big-pockets Israel First crowd in the U.S. and Yahu's domestic base.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 24 2018 3:24 utc | 67

Greived 52
Pompeo is on the record to bomb Iran with 2000 sorties

Bolton would be on with this idea.
I expect Trump go ahead with a military bombing of nuclear reactor sites and Government/military sites as envisage by Pompeo. They dare not try for a full invasion as they will most likely lose. What will be Iran's reaction be?
What could Iran do?
They might get Hezbollah to initiate contact with Israel.
Try to sink US navy assets where ever they are.
Spread the campaign to Afghanistan.
Attack Saudi Arabia with missiles.
However if the US peruses this course I believe it will be a brief attack lassting 2/3 weeks, whereby a brokered peace to stop US action. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: col from oz | Mar 24 2018 3:27 utc | 68

Tweet softly and nominate a big mouth.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2018 3:55 utc | 69

I’m being polite by using “mouth”. I should’ve used dick’ (to rhyme with Teddy’s “big stick”).

History rhymes.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 24 2018 4:11 utc | 70

The arseholes who really pull the strings will do what they're gonna do no matter what two dimensional cartoon character they push onto the stage. All this week what we've really been discussing is perception, how the UK slimeballs are spinning Yulia Skripal's failed attempt at family annihilation, how a bunch of pretend old etonian wideboys (Check out Nix's bio; if he'd actually done full the eton indoctrination with the works and only got a 3rd in Art History from Manchester U, he'd hafta rate about a 55 on the whitefella designed, promoted and peddled IQ scale which would put him lower functioning than wally wombat & his wacky wack-offs. Since he didn't indicate any inability to walk & talk simultaneously, it is fair to conclude he only enjoyed a brief stint at elite prep inc) have been rumbled in flagrante at a ham fisted attempt to control all amerikans - every last one. The school boy hubris required to imagine that was even possible, says it all.
Nevertheless there is a big cover up happening, including softly softly by the BBC and most media but not because of CA (even though the parent corporation, SCL is run by one of the sleazy Battenburgs Mountbattens*, a direct descendant of the ex--Empress of India, Queen Victoria), what they are actually concerned about is the possibility of all encompassing regulation which would screw up all the other data miners, warehousers and aggregators.

So lil' rexie just didn't have the aura of close to the edge bastardry and McMasters came across as a man who may think before he acts. Yep of course the real decisions are made by types who always consider before moving but that isn't the issue, the issue is whether non-elites and alternative elites can be convinced of something else via perception management.
Who knows, even the 1337-ist of the elites are still humans (yeah yeah, barely) and could have convinced themselves that Kim Jong-un, or even Prez Putin will buy into the crazy-arsed amerikan on the loose nonsense meme. Stupid I know, but the 1337 suffers from the same problem as all capitalist structures, that is, in a dog eat dog world where individual arseholery trumps expertise, players always end up in a position whose skill set demands exceed their abilities.

Given that the calls are gonna be the same regardless of the marionette in the spotlight, news that Pompeo & Bolton are the next two up to bat, the only thing we can do is grab a bigg ass box of popcorn and watch the inevitable train wreck. The mugs who are gonna support amerika's 'new' 'improved' aggressive style imperialism love the idea of someone scary and cruel like Pompeo 'pulling the strings', of course the actual decisions he spouts on Fox or wherever will have been made further up the hierarchy but the mugs don't know/cannot accept that.

The most entertaining part of all this is how Pompeo and especially 'tash Bolton are gonna sell the obvious climb-downs from their previously expressed looney toons nonsense positions on some quite delicate issues.

Every time a pol (and have no doubt that both these creeps are pols, the protestations to the contrary) gets a promotion/wins their first moves are dedicated to resiling themsellves from the extreme calls they trumpeted pre-'winning'. The accepted doctrine appears to be, do it early and move on, that way many of the mugs will quikly have forgotten the tosh you spouted to win the gig.

No reason tho that those of us who loathe the likes of Pompeo and Bolton personally professionally or any other side such creepoids may possess, cannot have a ton of fun reminding mugs amerikans exactly how they have once again been sodomised by a pair of the most stupid looking, empty-headed, publicity seeking waannabe's that DC as vomited out its halitosis reeking, ravaged maw, in a long time.

* the englander branch of the Battenberg family, which has a history of many generations of aiding and abetting the Hapsburg scum-suckers outta Austria, changed it's name to 'Mountbatten' back in 1915 when englander anti-german feeling was being cranked up by england's never set foot out of the gutter press.
that englanders fell for such a transparent ploy should not surprise anyone familiar with englander bourgeoisie culture & the alacrity with which the Skirpal tosh has been gobbled up.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 24 2018 8:20 utc | 71

I see the UN recently not recognizing Israel's take over of the Golan and I see that many in the Golan see themselves as Syrian.

They are Syrian.
Golan is Syria.
It is illegally occupied by Israel.
End of.....

Posted by: Emily | Mar 24 2018 9:02 utc | 72

Miracle do happens....

"Following a 70-year ban, Saudi Arabia allowed an Israel-bound Indian commercial jet to fly over its airspace, prompting cries of discrimination by El Al, Israel’s national airline....

Posted by: OJS | Mar 24 2018 10:03 utc | 73

@psychohistorian (#61)....Your Bolton facial hair comment reminds me of the 'Mr.Potato head' kit, very popular back in the day. Along this line, there is surely money to be realized in mass producing a Bolton 'bobble-head' likeness.

Posted by: peter | Mar 24 2018 11:31 utc | 74

Don't forget that Bolton was the one who immediately blamed the Hariri assassination on Syria. By responding quickly to withdraw Syrian troops from Lebanon, Assad pulled the rug out under what was possibly a false flag operation to justify declaring war on Syria at the time.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 24 2018 12:09 utc | 75

Whatever Bolton may call himself, let me remind everyone that center-right libertarians are who run America's anti-war movement these days, because the nominal left have been practically useless on that front. Sanctions, travel bans and military threats are rather at odds with the goals of peace and prosperity.

Posted by: Jonathan Lester | Mar 24 2018 12:53 utc | 76

@ f 67
"How can we attack Iran, inflict ostensibly serious damage, not lose any of our own 'guys', and receive only a very limited response?"
Do you mean limited to sinking one aircraft carrier in the Gulf, easy like a duck on a pond, with 5,000 hands lost? Or seriously rocketing one of the long-targeted nearby US Gulf bases which house a total of 40,000 troops plus civilians? Plus there's Hezbollah with tens of thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities.
Iran has been at war before with US-proxy Iraq, and lost many people to conventional and chemical warfare. It didn't quit. The current US form of warfare is designed not to lose anybody. Five military deaths is a big deal. Iran wouldn't operate on that scale, and the US generals (should) know it. (Korea is similar.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 13:08 utc | 77

Just a gentle "hawky" reminder that by this time in Obama's presidency he had sent 70,000 troops to that mountainous, illiterate tribal refuge in the other side of the planet, a place that means absolutely nothing to US national security, Afghanistan.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 24 2018 13:35 utc | 78

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 24, 2018 8:09:45 AM | 75

Don't forget that Bolton was the one who immediately blamed the Hariri assassination on Syria.

Immediately assigning blame is one of the signs of a false-flag operation. If Mossad killed Hariri, Bolton would know about it. He would also know if Mossad whacked the Skripals.

The political dividing line in America may not be Left vs. Right or Democrats vs. Republicans or anti-war vs. pro-war but Russiagate believers vs. realist who know it is all a false-flag.

Thierry Meyssan believes that Rex Tillerson fell for the Skripal hoax and that is why Trump fired him. I said something similar here on MoA right after Tillerson was fired. Bolton and Pompeo know all about these false-flag provocations and may not be willing to go to war on false premises.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 24 2018 15:37 utc | 79

With so many possibilities to go by I keep thinking of Bush ll on 9/11 reading to children a tale of goats. And the look in his eyes, like a deer in the headlight, when informed of a plane crashing into the first tower. The same expression will appear on Trymp’s face when the shit hits the fan the next time around. He has surrounded himself with traitors and treasonous conspirators just as GW did. And just like GW, he’ll play along as if responding to a crisis that was enacted by those closest to him.

Posted by: LJ Smith | Mar 24 2018 17:58 utc | 80

Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
by PAUL DE ROOIJ, Mar 23 2018

Posted by: ninel | Mar 24 2018 18:14 utc | 81

The more I think about it the more convinced I am that the real danger from Bolton is that, in Trumpian fashion, he will return to those good old days when the Cold War was ending and the US went hog wild in Central America.
Like a bruised and beaten bully who's just had his come-uppance in the pub who, returning home, angry and impotent beats up the wife and kids and threatens the neighbours, Uncle Sam is returning, his tail between his legs, from the middle east to his home turf.
Look out Cuba! Look out Venezuela!
The Contras are back in business. Ecuador-sorry Julian- looks about to crumble. Honduras, Paraguay, Haiti, Brazil and Argentina have all been rescued from their own people. Things are beginning to look like the 80s again except that this time there are hardly any 'communists' left to kill. Military dictatorships are back, death squads are bigger than ever.
And, best of all, from the Bolton/Trump viewpoint, the dangers of running into Russian or Chinese backed resistance is negligible, the money to be made is infinite. One Continent from north pole to south, run by a mafia based in Washington.
Its what Making America Great Again means-a return to the Monroe Doctrine and letting up on the mad dream of global hegemony. There's plenty of poor suckers for everyone to exploit a billion or so.
There's only one caveat-Israel. Israel undoubtedly wants a war with Iran, just as it wants to smash up Syria (or get the US to do it for them) but I just can't see the many local interested parties allowing it. Perhaps moving the Embassy to Jerusalem and getting the Guatemalans, Hondurans and Solomon Islanders to do the same, is all that they are going to get from Trump- a gesture without meaning. A con from the grifter himself.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 24 2018 18:28 utc | 82

@71 debs.. nice post.. thanks.. sums it up well!

@82 bevin... good point about the usa and latin america..

the ongoing question for the usa is always 'what would israel want us to do'? sad, but true...

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2018 18:56 utc | 83

Good take on Bolton b. He is, in fact, a giant war-mongering ass-wipe, with absolutely no regard for human life.

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2018 20:07 utc | 84

re bevin 82

It is better to say 'Netanyahu' rather than 'Israel'. It is still unclear how far the military support him in his crusade against Iran.

I can't see that the Israeli military will have changed their view that it is too dangerous to attack Iran, even if it's the US that does it, for all the bragging about the supposed success of Iron Dome.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 24 2018 20:16 utc | 85

I can just imagine Trump being willing to pass the rest of his days in a nuclear bunker, rather than fondling a few young thighs in the bar at Mar-a-Lago, simply because war-nutter Bolton has convinced him of the evil of Russia, or Iran, or whatever. He's there this weekend, just to avoid the demonstrations in Washington.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 24 2018 20:30 utc | 86

Bolton is no libertarian. He is evil. He should be arrested, not appointed.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Mar 24 2018 21:54 utc | 87

@76 - While it is true that the "left" qua liberals are essentially useless with regards to anti-war organizing, one must be fair and recognize that there are still many true leftists who are leading the anti-war movement and reaching out to other activists in other areas to build a coalition against Empire. They even had a big conference in january about closing US foreign bases and US imperialism more broadly.

The entire conference is uploaded here.

This same broad coalition is also planning a national day of action on the same day as Trump's military parade, as well as regional actions in April: No Foreign Bases

Posted by: George Lane | Mar 24 2018 22:08 utc | 88

There is nothing to be 'proven' about America, for it is all known. Nothing has been left to doubt. There is no need to argue or debate anything. The verdicts are all in. Except for the obtuse and the willfully ignorant– who instead of the blood spoor and the evil trail– see 'cotton candy and lollipops.'

The 'truth' of the truth cannot be changed. As it continues unabated in the bright light and horror of the American day–a static and unchanged monolith of unrepentant barbarity.

For the petty fascist, patriot and apologist for what is unconscionable Bolton is a welcome sight.

For the liberal, humanitarian imperialist he's an unacceptable boor who speaks too crudely and exposes the intentions of the ruling junta too readily- intentions that those very same well-manicured and well spoken liberal war mongers embrace just as ardently as conservative troglodytes like Bolton.

It's important to point out the bi-partisan reality of the Imperial Slaughterhouse each time a cretin like Bolton comes to the fore so as to understand the real horror of the 'Death's Head' that is America. Too often when such a hard right, odious creature such as Bolton comes into the US political limelight it is forgotten that while a more extreme version of US imperial policy may be directly in front of us the very same objectives are supported by the liberal wing of the capitalist slaughterhouse. Too often when such zombies rise from the Beltway slime the citizenry looks for help from the supposed Betltway "opposition" only to find they too are zombies looking for blood. As this happens the cycle repeats and conditions worsen with each spin.

Posted by: Allen | Mar 24 2018 22:27 utc | 89

@ bevin 82

This really is farsighted from you and I am very grateful. With all the focus on the ME, Russia, China and North Korea, we have neglected what could well be an option under consideration, namely a retrenchment of the US with the subsequent subjugation yet again of all of Latin America. A major financial crash, which some of us have been expecting for years, could well make this the only option. However, the difference this time is that the Latin Americans can expect to receive weapons that can blow Uncle Sam’s ships out of the water and his planes out of the sky...

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 24 2018 22:52 utc | 90

@82 - bevin: This recent article speaks to your comment: The US Can’t Revive the Monroe Doctrine or Expel China from Latin America, but it Can Inflict Pain on Venezuela & the Region.

I don't think we will see a return to the brutal intervention in Latin America of the past. Not only because, even with Western media monopoly control, the blowback from the "international community" of such actions would be too great, but also that the ideology of neoliberal capitalism has lost enough consent in Latin America that the US will not be able to brutally re-assert its hegemony without great resistence. The protests against Macri's reinstatement of neoliberalism attest to this, as does center-left reformer AMLO (who the hegemon is already trying to blame on Russia as per the Washington Post) leading the polls in México, despite México traditionally being one of the most subservient Latin American states along with Colombia and Peru.

You are abolsutely right however that Bolton presents a huge threat to the region, and he is only adding to the openly bellicose rhetoric against Venezuela, as we saw a couple months ago with Marco Rubio openly calling for a military coup. The US has even threatened leading opposition candidate Henri Falcón with sanction because he does not want to boycott the upcoming presidential elections in May, even though a Datanalisis poll has him higher than Maduro. The reason is because the US does not want the opposition to win democratically, where they will have to recognize the legitimacy of the elections and where Chavistas will still hold some power in the government - no, the US wants regime change, they want to dismantle everything that the Bolivarian Revolution has built since it represents the greatest threat to US hegemony in the region. This obsession with Venezuela is made clear in the State Department cables that are available to the public thanks to WikiLeaks and Chelsea Manning: see chapters 17 and 18 in The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire, published by Verso.

Posted by: George Lane | Mar 24 2018 23:07 utc | 91

(Trump) has surrounded himself with traitors and treasonous conspirators just as GW did. And just like GW, he’ll play along as if responding to a crisis that was enacted by those closest to him.
Posted by: LJ Smith | Mar 24, 2018 1:58:12 PM | 80

"has surrounded himself" is much truer of Trump than of the idle, disengaged and vacuous GW Bush. Letterman's Late Show had a nightly segment called Great Moments In Presidential Speeches in which JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you..." was contrasted with each day's moment of GW looking like a lost man-child/cretin.

Trump always looks focused and engaged in what's happening, even when he's not the centre of attention. Engagement and personal responsibility are as much about self-respect as they are about leadership. Trump clearly embraces that perspective. GW lacked the wit to comprehend, or care about, it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 25 2018 2:15 utc | 92

@ 91 said:"Trump always looks focused and engaged in what's happening, even when he's not the centre of attention.

Seriously? Guess perception is like beauty, in the eye of the beholder..

Posted by: ben | Mar 25 2018 3:22 utc | 93

I was worried about Bolton but this nomination made me realize he's been "too much", fake.

Red herring. I'm sure Trump knows what's he's been doing. All according to the plan. It's ok.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 25 2018 3:26 utc | 94

Speaking of manipulating the public with a "catastrophic and catalyzing event like a New Pearl harbor," a few months ago, our Orange Fuhrer said:

“I would love to be able to bring back our country into a great form of unity,” Trump said. “Without a major event where people pull together, that’s hard to do. But I would like to do it without that major event because usually that major event is not a good thing.”

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 24, 2018 7:29:56 PM | 146

I brought your post over here because that's an interesting observation juxtaposing the excerpt from Wolfowitz's West Point speech in June 2001, merely 3 months before 9/11 with Trump's comment.

...and John Bolton turns up now like a bad omen.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 25 2018 4:25 utc | 95

Bolton and Pompeo know all about these false-flag provocations and may not be willing to go to war on false premises.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 24, 2018 11:37:39 AM | 79

Wanna bet?

Now that Iraq is contained. Here is the new axis of evil: Iran/North Korea/Russia. Bush picked off the easy one. Now is when things will get real crazy and dark with this axis of evil Trump just set up: Pompeo at State, Bolton NSA and Haspell at CIA.

Trump lies most of the time. So false flag would be right in his wheelhouse.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 25 2018 4:52 utc | 96

Bolton and Pompeo know all about these false-flag provocations and may not be willing to go to war on false premises.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 24, 2018 11:37:39 AM | 79

Wanna bet?

Now that Iraq is contained. Here is the new axis of evil: Iran/North Korea/Russia. Bush picked off the easy one. Now is when things will get real crazy and dark with this axis of evil Trump just set up: Pompeo at State, Bolton NSA and Haspell at CIA.

Trump lies most of the time. So false flag would be right in his wheelhouse.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 25 2018 4:52 utc | 97

@ Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 24, 2018 11:26:55 PM | 93

There is some logic in that position, albeit a weak hypothesis.

One perspective sees Trump as the 'grinder' and every 'hire' simple the next 'fire!'.

However, any 'method' to his madness has to be seen within the larger context of a crumbling debauched system of post-democratic US government.

A bloodsucking infestation metaphor (for 1,000 words worth) ==> dog paw

For the plebeians it is a charade of 'one man, one vote" -- for the criminal elites (post Willie Clinton & Co) it is one dollar, one vote: and, as the old saying goes, "QE without limits, is the new economy, stupid!"

Posted by: imo | Mar 25 2018 5:02 utc | 98

Slowly but surely the truth emerges... DC Lawmaker Claims ‘Rothschilds Control the Federal Government’ & the World Bank

Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) made some rather shocking statements recently about who he thinks is controlling the banks and government alike the Rothschilds.

“There’s this whole concept with the Rothschilds — control the World Bank, as we all know — infusing dollars into major cities,” said White, according to video footage released after the official meeting which took place earlier this month. “They really pretty much control the federal government, and now they have this concept called resilient cities in which they are using their money and influence into local cities.”

According to the video, no one challenged the councilmen and his statements were accepted at face value. It was essentially a non-story until the Washington Post got ahold of it and ran a story calling his remarks “anti-semitic.”...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 25 2018 5:03 utc | 99

Slowly but surely the truth emerges... DC Lawmaker Claims ‘Rothschilds Control the Federal Government’ & the World Bank

Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) made some rather shocking statements recently about who he thinks is controlling the banks and government alike the Rothschilds.

“There’s this whole concept with the Rothschilds — control the World Bank, as we all know — infusing dollars into major cities,” said White, according to video footage released after the official meeting which took place earlier this month. “They really pretty much control the federal government, and now they have this concept called resilient cities in which they are using their money and influence into local cities.”

According to the video, no one challenged the councilmen and his statements were accepted at face value. It was essentially a non-story until the Washington Post got ahold of it and ran a story calling his remarks “anti-semitic.”...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 25 2018 5:03 utc | 100

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