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Will Bolton Replace McMaster?

Curt Mills reports [1] that John Bolton is considered a top prospect to replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor:

Who would replace McMaster? A leading candidate is John Bolton, the Fox News staple, former UN ambassador, veteran defense intellectual and avatar for Mustache Magazine. His influence in the White House hit a nadir in August—when he publicly complained that he couldn’t get a meeting with 45. But since then he’s mounted a vociferous internal comeback.

Bolton’s name has repeatedly been floated for top positions in the Trump administration, including National Security Advisor [2], but fortunately he has been passed over so far. He would be a terrible choice to replace McMaster, who has also proven to be dangerous and irresponsible in his own right on North Korea, but it could have the unintended effect of exposing Trump’s worst policies to closer scrutiny and criticism if Bolton is the one defending them.

Because of his military experience and rank, McMaster has been treated with a degree of deference and respect that would not be afforded to someone like Bolton, and that has allowed him to get away with making alarming and irresponsible statements without causing much of a backlash. Bolton is an ideologue and an incorrigible hard-liner, and if he were appointed that would put an end to the fantasy that Trump is being guided by “adults” that will restrain him. Trump’s foreign policy would become significantly worse if Bolton replaced McMaster, especially on everything related to Iran, but it would also be so much obviously worse that it could provoke stronger opposition to his policies.

In case one needed a reminder of just how awful Bolton is, he wrote another op-ed [3] calling for regime change in Iran earlier this month:

Iran’s opposition needs external support, material as well as rhetorical, to continue its momentum. It would be tragic not to torque up the economic pressure by reactivating all sanctions now under waiver, and adding more.

If that doesn’t sound so unreasonable to some of you, bear in mind that for Bolton [4] “Iran’s opposition” means [5] the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) [6] cult that virtually all Iranians detest. Nothing could be more bankrupt than a discredited Iraq war booster calling for regime change in yet another country while hitching himself to a group of disgraced exiles, but that is what Bolton is offering. If Trump were to replace McMaster with him, it is likely that we would end up with some version of a disastrous Iran policy focused on promoting regime change and empowering a deranged cult with no legitimacy. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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26 Comments (Open | Close)

26 Comments To "Will Bolton Replace McMaster?"

#1 Comment By PAX On January 29, 2018 @ 12:44 pm

It might do well for Trump to consider the wishes of the non-neocons in the U.S. Bolton types are the problem, not the solution.

#2 Comment By SDS On January 29, 2018 @ 1:03 pm

“Let’s hope that doesn’t happen”

Considering how many times we have said this in regards to Trump decisions; and it happened anyway….

-WE can probably consider it a fait accompli…

#3 Comment By b. On January 29, 2018 @ 1:35 pm

“If Trump were to replace McMaster with him, it is likely that we would end up with some version of a disastrous Iran policy focused on promoting regime change…”

As opposed to?

If Trump appointed Bolton, it would primarily be another wonderfully clarifying moment, watching the McCains, Grahams, Deans, Schumers
rally comfortably around a policy associated with Bolton, and the purveyors of published opinion to follow suit.

The problem is not Bolton, the problem are all those who think he is not really a problem.

#4 Comment By JEinCA On January 29, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

Those of us who voted for Trump largely voted against the hyper interventionist foreign policies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama that Hillary Clinton promised to continue. Now with the Neocon Gang that’s slithered it’s way back into the White House we have the worst that all of them had to offer on foreign policy assembled under one roof. Bolton would be the icing on the cake. I absolutely would have not voted for Trump had I known these Neocon SOBs would be back in a position of power. I’m downright furious. I’m beginning to hate Washington with a passion.

#5 Comment By Nnammor On January 29, 2018 @ 3:32 pm

JEinCA

“Now with the Neocon Gang that’s slithered it’s way back into the White House we have the worst that all of them had to offer on foreign policy assembled under one roof. ”

Slithered? You act as if they were sneaking in, they were invited, courted, and treated very well. They are Republicans. Republicans like war. They like the War on Terror. So either you are going to post-factually deny what everyone has been saying for a while was going to happen or you are just blind.

#6 Comment By Clyde Schechter On January 29, 2018 @ 4:58 pm

“Nothing could be more bankrupt than a discredited Iraq war booster calling for regime change in yet another country while hitching himself to a group of disgraced exiles…”

Bolton is the worst of the worst. Frankly, Mr. Larison, your descriptions of him are far too kind and generous.

#7 Comment By JEinCA On January 29, 2018 @ 5:47 pm

@Nnammor

Trump ran as a populist who promised a foreign policy based on American interests not neoconservative ideology.

#8 Comment By SteveM On January 29, 2018 @ 6:50 pm

Re: Clyde Schechter, “Bolton is the worst of the worst. Frankly, Mr. Larison, your descriptions of him are far too kind and generous.”

Agree with Clyde. Bolton only hitched himself up to disgraced exiles because he was/is a paid pimp for MEK.

Take away the money and the Bolton “hitch” goes away. I.e., Bolton don’t work for free…

#9 Comment By SF Bay On January 29, 2018 @ 7:01 pm

JEinCA, “Trump ran as a populist who promised a foreign policy based on American interests not neoconservative ideology.”

Why on earth would you believe this? He has lied about virtually everything. Did you not see that he is a narcissist and a pathological liar?

#10 Comment By rayray On January 29, 2018 @ 8:10 pm

@JEinCA
I’m not sure that Trump did any such thing. Trump gave many a speech where he would literally contradict himself on this matter in real time…sometimes in the same sentence. He said whatever he thought people wanted to hear, and in return they heard whatever they wanted to hear. I think the only thing he was consistent on was his visceral dislike for a non-white America.

Certain voters saw something in Trump. Something about his authoritarian populism said that he would be their sort of authoritarian populist irrespective of what he actually said or who he actually was.

There are a lot of examples in modern history of this sort of mistake.

#11 Comment By Dee On January 29, 2018 @ 8:22 pm

Who else at this point would want to sign on to team trump but the lobbyist lickspittles.. trump was so against the Iraq war that he wants its biggest fanboy to be his National Security Advisor? lol.

#12 Comment By Louis Lucky On January 29, 2018 @ 8:33 pm

SF Bay, “Why on earth would you believe this?”

Because I had to take a chance on getting away from the certainty of killing more thousands of black and brown people ala Bush and Obama if we went with the other war candidate.

#13 Comment By vertebrate On January 29, 2018 @ 10:09 pm

Bolton? At this point, Trump can hire Dracula as far as I’m concerned. He blew it. “America First”? Don’t make me laugh. Barely a year in and he’s already got the most Israel First foreign policy we’ve ever had, blowing more and more American blood and treasure on these Middle East parasites. I don’t care who runs against Trump in 2020, I’m never voting for him again.

#14 Comment By Realist On January 30, 2018 @ 3:59 am

“Will Bolton Replace McMaster?”

Trump has proven to be an idiot….so he probably will.

McMaster is disaster enough.

#15 Comment By Dave On January 30, 2018 @ 5:37 am

Seriously my fellow Americans the very name let alone the quite obnoxious face of John Bolton brings shivers down my spine!
He is the closest thing to a true zionist israeli-loving psychotic maniac that could ever exist.
Go research this hideous beast. Israel will surely get their war with Iran with this creature in power

#16 Comment By John Hawk On January 30, 2018 @ 5:40 am

LMAO…going from dumb to dumber!

#17 Comment By the lion On January 30, 2018 @ 6:10 am

History lesson here, it was John Bolton that convinced George W Bush, to throw out the agreement that the US had with North Korea the one that HAD the Plutonium making Nuclear Power reactor that President Clinton had closed and cold, in return the US was to provide alternative power arrangements. Bolton convinced Bush not to honor the agreement. More recently it was Bolton that got into Trumps ear in an attempt to throw out the Iranian deal. Bolton’s stupidity gave the North Koreans the fuel for their Nuclear weapons. It also sowed the mistrust that North Korea today does not trust ANYTHING the US says. Further reinforced by Bolton and his more recent attempts to throw out the agreement with Iran! John Bolton is a significantly dangerous man, The US congress was correct last time in refusing to confirm his appointment, when one considers that it was a Republican Senate that refused his nomination one has to seriously ask the question, WHY?

#18 Comment By Dieter Heymann On January 30, 2018 @ 9:23 am

@Nnammor& others. I welcome JEinCA in the ranks of rational and thinking, non-violent anti-war persons. It is not useful to treat such crossers with any arrogant “we told you so”. Please join me in welcoming them without a sneer.

#19 Comment By Fran Macadam On January 30, 2018 @ 10:08 am

This is the endgame of the Russiagate gambit. The only way to survive is to adopt the extreme agenda to prove you’re no threat to the Deep State.

#20 Comment By Moi On January 30, 2018 @ 10:20 am

Yup, we need another nut-job in high position.

#21 Comment By Daniel On January 30, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

I can not understand how it is possible that Trump both humiliated the W Legacy at the SC GOP debate when running for president AND is even considering hiring this evil fool!

I think the problem is that truly vile creatures like Bolton are beloved by Fox News, which makes Trump think the folks will like Bolton. In a just world, none of these neocons would be able to get a job as a fry cook given that they have been so wrong so often in the past.

#22 Comment By Realist On January 30, 2018 @ 5:33 pm

“Who would replace McMaster? A leading candidate is John Bolton, the Fox News staple, former UN ambassador, veteran defense intellectual and avatar for Mustache Magazine.”

To me Bolton is an evil Captain Kangaroo.

#23 Comment By blimbax On January 30, 2018 @ 7:20 pm

Could someone please explain something? How is it possible that someone who comes across, to me at least, as a complete wacko nut job (pardon the language) is still apparently taken seriously by some people? This is not a rhetorical question. What does someone have to do to actually be completely discredited?

I mean, do any standards exist any longer?

#24 Comment By Balderdash On January 30, 2018 @ 8:34 pm

Bolton’s a bigger ‘Prima Donna’ than Trump and he’s not as smart as Bannon. He sure as f*ck doesn’t like Iran, or Russia. I don’t think he’d last as long as Scaramoouche.

#25 Comment By to whom On January 31, 2018 @ 4:31 am

“Could someone please explain something? How is it possible that someone who comes across, to me at least, as a complete wacko nut job (pardon the language) is still apparently taken seriously by some people? “

To which of the scores of US politicians and pundits who fit that description do you refer? Bolton?

#26 Comment By TR On January 31, 2018 @ 9:43 am

Balderdash is the only contributor with a comforting word here. Two prima donnas will not be toleerated–let us hope.