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The Push to Get Rid of Bolton

Henry Olsen is very worried [1] that other people in the administration might be out to get Bolton:

Whatever the motive, conservatives who favor more robust U.S. involvement abroad should sit up and take notice. One of their strongest allies within the administration is under attack. Whether Bolton’s influence wanes or even whether he remains is crucially important for anyone who worries that the president’s impulses that deviate from past American foreign policy will weaken American security.

There have been a number of unflattering reports about Bolton in the last few weeks, but for the most part those stories are just proof that Bolton has no diplomatic skills and does a terrible job of managing the administration’s policy process. If Bolton had done a better job of coordinating Syria policy, the administration’s Syria policy wouldn’t be the confused mess that it is. If he hadn’t made such a hash of things with the Turkish government, there would have been no snub by Erdogan for anyone to report. There may be quite a bit of hostile leaking against Bolton, but that is itself a testament to how many other people in the administration loathe him.

The National Security Advisor has had a reputation of being an abrasive and obnoxious colleague for a long time, and his attempts to push his aggressive foreign policy agenda have made him even more enemies. If Bolton is “under attack” from within the administration, it is because he has behaved with the same recklessness and incompetence that characterize his preferred policies overseas. He should be attacked, and with any luck he will be defeated and driven from office. Unfortunately, we have been seeing the opposite happen over the last few weeks: more Bolton allies are joining the administration in important positions and at least one major rival has exited.

Bolton’s influence in the administration is an important indication of what U.S. foreign policy will look like in the months and years to come, and the longer he remains National Security Advisor the worse it will be for U.S. interests.

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9 Comments To "The Push to Get Rid of Bolton"

#1 Comment By Sid Finster On January 14, 2019 @ 6:15 pm

O cry me a river!

If he is in fact removed, Bolton should be grateful that he is not delivered over to something resembling a Nuremberg-style tribunal, and with a similar bravura ending.

#2 Comment By Oleg Gark On January 14, 2019 @ 8:08 pm

Bolton turned his disagreeable personality into a lucrative career as a jerk for hire. If he fell into a wood chipper, no one would feel sorry.

#3 Comment By Dave On January 14, 2019 @ 9:43 pm

The sooner that psychopath is gone the better.

By the way, just when did the National Security Advisor become a sort of globe-hopping public diplomat and spokesman for policy? My memory is bad but I think when I was young in the ’80s the actual existence of the NSA itself wasn’t publicly acknowledged, or at least not broadcast.

#4 Comment By Capitol Staff On January 14, 2019 @ 9:46 pm

“Unfortunately, we have been seeing the opposite happen over the last few weeks: more Bolton allies are joining the administration in important positions and at least one major rival has exited.”

Yes. Bolton is white-anting Trump’s national security apparatus, which is now infested by “experts” who push Israel’s agenda of dragging us into a war with Iran.

Anyone brought in during Bolton’s tenure or on his recommendation should be removed for that reason.

#5 Comment By Buy The Dip On January 15, 2019 @ 10:22 am

“The Push to Get Rid of Bolton”

I pray there is such a push, and that it succeeds. Bolton is bad news.

Olsen’s conclusion is a priceless bit of namby-pamby reasoning:

Whether Bolton’s influence wanes or even whether he remains is crucially important for anyone who worries that the president’s impulses that deviate from past American foreign policy will weaken American security.

Foreign policy is clearly not his strong suit, but does Olsen even know what he’s saying here? Hasn’t he figured out yet that our “past foreign policy” has been a seventeen year long flaming disaster? And that it’s about bloody time we “deviated” from it?

#6 Comment By Barry Klein On January 15, 2019 @ 10:41 pm

Bolton and other members of the interventionist school are being confronted by two groups with views that show realist thinking at work …

1. the four year old Foreign Policy Alliance (foreignpolicyalliance.org) which has found a way to make foreign policy a local issue, and

2. the newly launched Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition, founded by David Vine, author of Base Nation, which advocates shutting down most of America’s foreign bases (www.overseasbases.net)

Both have national support and people in agreement with either can sign up electronically by visiting the respective websites.

#7 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 15, 2019 @ 11:07 pm

“If he fell into a wood chipper, no one would feel sorry.”

I say, replace him with Steve Bannon.

Much as I oppose Bolton’s policies, I am repulsed at anyone suffering the above fate. Retirement would be entirely adequate.

#8 Comment By Adam Eisner, Jewish-AMERICAN On January 16, 2019 @ 12:55 am

“It is very good! It will be good for Israel!” Benjamin Nutandyahoo on the 9/11 attacks

“America is something that you can easily maneuver and move in the right direction. And even if they say something, so then they say something – so what?” Benjamin Netanyahu

“Once we squeeze all we can out of the United States, it can dry up and blow away.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 2002

“We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.”
– Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“The regime in Iran is a very rational regime.”
– Meir Dagan, Former Israeli Mossad Chief

“I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.”
– Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Israeli Chief of Staff

“I don’t think the Iranians, even if they got the bomb, (would) drop it in the neighborhood. They fully understand what might follow. They are radical but not totally crazy. They have a quite sophisticated decision-making process, and they understand reality.”
– Ehud Barak, Israeli Defense Minister

“Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”
– Leon Panetta, US Defense Secretary

“[Israeli leadership] presents a false view to the public on the Iranian bomb, as though acting against Iran would prevent a nuclear bomb. But attacking Iran will encourage them to develop a bomb all the faster.”
– Yuval Diskin, Former Head of Israeli Domestic Intelligence (Shin Bet)

“After you’ve dropped those bombs on those hardened facilities, what happens next? […] eventually I’m putting boots on the ground somewhere. And like I tell my friends, if you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.” – Gen. Anthony Zinni, former CENTCOM Commander

“Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel? It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed.” – Jacques Chirac, former French President

“The Israelis are treacherous, petty, deceitful – they don’t treat us like allies”
– Henry Kissinger

“Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio.

#9 Comment By Purple Mountains On January 16, 2019 @ 11:56 am

@Adam Eisner, Jewish AMERICAN – yes, yes, yes, and yes again, but in Washington DC nobody’s listening. Especially on the GOP side of the aisle.

Stay strong.