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Bolton and the Deepening Iran Obsession

John Bolton has added a new hard-line Iran hawk to the National Security Council. Curt Mills reports [1] on the hiring of Richard Goldberg from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD):

“Regime change has become a loaded political term,” Goldberg has said in congressional testimony, rejecting comparisons of Iran hawks to those who pushed the U.S. into war in Iraq, even though the two groups have heavy overlaps. “We need to look at more of a Cold War-era policy. What was the Reagan administration’s victory policy, rollback policy toward the Soviets? We definitely wanted behavioral change.”

Goldberg has been a leading opponent of the nuclear deal and a fanatical advocate for enforcing new sanctions on Iran and anyone that does business with them. Bringing Goldberg into the administration is a sign that the Iran obsession is getting worse, and by making [2] him the “Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction” Bolton is promoting the fiction that there are Iranian WMDs to be countered. The lie that Iran seeks such weapons has been at the heart of opposition to the JCPOA, and Bolton is happy to keep promoting that lie for as long as he can.

As Mills notes, he was doing just that during his recent visit to Israel when he said this: “We have little doubt that Iran’s leadership is still strategically committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons.” There is absolutely no evidence to support that assertion, but when it comes to making outlandish claims about other states’ pursuit of WMDs Bolton and other Iran hawks have never let lack proof of get in the way of telling tall tales. For his part, Bolton is committed to making things up about Iran to suit his regime change goals, and Goldberg will now be in the White House to help him do that.

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3 Comments To "Bolton and the Deepening Iran Obsession"

#1 Comment By Sid Finster On January 8, 2019 @ 12:46 pm

If Bolton is so odious (and he is every bit as bad as he is made out to be), that begs the question of who appointed Bolton?

For that matter, who is authorized under the laws of the land to fire Bolton at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all?

#2 Comment By Clyde Schechter On January 9, 2019 @ 12:01 am

These events follow immediately on Bolton’s “clarifications” of Trump’s intent to withdraw from Syria that effectively make it a nullity.

Even if one assumes that somehow Donald Trump was in a coma for the past 20 years and didn’t realize who he was taking on when he hired Bolton for NSA, the fact that Trump has not yet fired Bolton is very strong evidence that the Syria withdrawal was just another episode of Trump speaking out of impulse and not meaning it. His foreign policy is a dreary continuation of Clinton-Bush 2-Obama neoconservatism. Many Trump supporters seem desperate to believe that candidate Trump’s criticism of the Iraq war and adopting a slogan of “America First” are “the real Trump” and that Trump is a realist.

It is long past time to give up that fantasy and come to grips with a reality. Trump has run a neocon administration for two years now. The key foreign policy positions are all filled by neoconservatives and he gives them free rein to say and do as they please.

#3 Comment By rayray On January 10, 2019 @ 10:46 am

@ Clyde Schecter
I still believe, and it will likely be revealed at some point, that Trump pulled out of Syria merely as a middle finger to Mattis.

That accomplished, like with everything else, he could really care less about the actual policy either way.