MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘John Bolton’

Why Not Cooperating Is One Of The Most Influential Things You Can Do

Posted by M. C. on March 21, 2022

Your ability to say “No!” may be your greatest power.

This is especially true when you are in a situation in which you are part of the minority. Your lack of cooperation can be far more easy to leverage than being cooperative and gently trying to sway opinion.

So I ask again — In your own life, how can you be as uncooperative with evil as possible?

By Allan Stevo

Democrat Congressman Jamie Raskin helped lead the impeachment movement against Trump. Accordingly, his wife, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a swamp-dweller, will not be getting a promotion that former Vice President Joe Biden recommended her for at the Federal Reserve Bank. A few other political issues also caused strife, but the decision came down to one man and it was not Biden.

The reason she will not get a promotion?

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia refused to support her nomination.

Manchin watched West Virginia switch to heavily Republican during his time in office. Manchin is now one of a handful of Democrat office holders in heavily Republican West Virginia, and the only Democrat federal office holder from that state out of the delegation of five.

To illustrate that further, Cook lists West Virginia’s three congressional district as R+22, R+20, and R+27. This is to say, the state is presently very pro-Republican. Some may bemoan that Manchin is in a difficult situation to be a Democrat.

I discourage such whining. It hides reality.

The truth is, Manchin is in a wonderful situation, as are the voters of West Virginia.

That is because, in response to a difficult situation, Manchin has chosen to rise to the occasion.

Manchin has become influential over the past year of the regime, like Republican Senator Rand Paul was during the Trump Administration. Rand Paul, who came to office in the midst of the Tea Party movement, was understood to not be a reliable party line voter, but to be principled and obstinate. Many Senators want to appear independent. Rand Paul really is independent.

Because Rand Paul behaves so independently and at the same time has some political clout, Trump was able to use Paul as the scapegoat to a horrible neo-con who sought to be Secretary of State.

John Bolton, in the book The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, recounts a strategy that legitimate President Trump used against him to leverage the well known, public, concerns of Rand Paul.

Bolton wanted to be Secretary of State in 2018 and asked Trump for the position. Trump allegedly told Bolton, “I’d love to have you over there,” if it wasn’t for that “son of a b**** Rand Paul.”

How awful.

How crass!

He said that about Rand Paul!?

See the rest here

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The Oligarchic Empire Is Actually Simple And Easy To Understand – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2021

Yeah, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about war. It will just confuse you, because it’s far too complicated to understand. These important matters should be left to men like John Bolton, who are consistently wrong about every foreign policy issue.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-oligarchic-empire-is-actually

Caitlin Johnstone

If you’re like me and spend entirely too much time on Political Twitter you may have recently observed a bunch of people saying you shouldn’t post your opinion about the Afghanistan situation unless you’re an expert who has studied the nation’s dynamics in depth. Like an empire invading a nation and murdering a bunch of people for decades is some super complicated and esoteric matter that you need a PhD to have an opinion about.

You see fairly simple abuses framed as highly complicated issues all the time by people who defend those abuses. War. Israeli apartheid. My abusive ex used to go around telling people what happened between us was more complicated than I was making it sound. 

Before he became Trump’s National Security Advisor in 2018 John Bolton faced a contentious interview on Fox News where he was criticized for his role in Bush’s invasion of Iraq, and he responded that “the point I think you need to understand is, life is complicated in the Middle East. When you say ‘the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a mistake,’ it’s simplistic.”

Bolton is now among the “experts” on Afghanistan doing mainstream media tours on CNN and NPR explaining to the public that the decision to end the 20-year military occupation was a mistake.https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/NPFc9YN7LIE?start=323&rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0&enablejsapi=0

Yeah, don’t you worry your pretty little heads about war. It will just confuse you, because it’s far too complicated to understand. These important matters should be left to men like John Bolton, who are consistently wrong about every foreign policy issue.

This carefully promoted idea serves only the powerful, and entirely too many people buy into it. You’ll even see dedicated leftists shying away from commentary on western imperialism in favor of domestic policy because they don’t feel confident talking about something they’ve been trained to believe is very difficult and complex.

Which is silly, because war is actually the easiest aspect of the oligarchic empire to understand. Murdering people with military explosives for power and profit is plainly wrong. You don’t need to be an Ivy League university graduate to understand this, and given the track record of Ivy League university graduates on this matter it’s probably better if you are not. A globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States orchestrates murder at mass scale to ensure perpetual domination of the planet. It really is that simple.

Now, you can spend the rest of your life studying the details of precisely how this is the case, but they’re just that: details about how this dynamic is taking place. You can learn all about the various ways the oligarchic empire advances its geostrategic agendas using wars, proxy conflicts, coups, sanctions, special ops, cold war brinkmanship and the so-called “war on terror”, but you will only be discovering further details about this simple overarching truth.Nathan Bernhardt @jonbernhardtthe politico reporters snapping off tweets about how “if you haven’t really studied afghanistan, please, you don’t have to tweet about it” are the exact same people who will sell you the next warAugust 17th 2021440 Retweets3,094 Likes

And the same is true of the other aspects of the status quo power structure: they’re meant to look complicated, but what you actually need to know about them to orient yourself in our world is fairly simple. 

The systems of capitalism are very complex by design, and a tremendous amount of thievery happens in those mysterious knowledge gaps on financial and economic matters where only the cleverest manipulators understand what’s going on. But the basics of our problem are quite simple: money rewards and uplifts sociopathy. The more willing you are to do whatever it takes to become wealthy, the wealthier you will be. Those who rise to the top are those who are sufficiently lacking in human empathy to step on whoever they need to step on to get ahead.

As a result we’ve had many generations of wealthy sociopaths using their fortunes and clout to influence governmental, media, financial and economic systems in a way that advantages them more and more with each passing year. This is why we are ruled by sociopaths who understand that money is power and power is relative, which means the less money everyone else has the more power they get to have over everyone else. They’ve been widening the wealth gap further and further over the years, a trend they seek to continue with the so-called “Great Reset” you’ve been hearing so much about lately.

You can spend the rest of your life learning to follow the money, studying the dynamics of currency, banking and economics, but what you’ll be learning is more and more details about the way the dynamic I just described is taking place. 

Sociopaths rise to the top, the most powerful of whom understand that things like money, governments and the lines drawn between nations are all collective narrative constructs which can be altered in whatever way benefits them and ignored whenever it’s convenient. For this reason controlling the stories the public tell themselves about what’s going on in their world is of paramount importance, which is why so much wealth gets poured into buying up media and media influence in the form of advertising, funding think tanks and NGOs, and buying up politicians with campaign contributions and corporate lobbying.Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozSociety Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix. Life in our society is like the movie The Matrix, except instead of AI keeping us asleep in an illusory world, it’s psychopathic oligarchs. And instead of code, it’s narrative. Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix.In the movie The Matrix, humans are imprisoned in a virtual world by a powerful artificial intelligence system in a dystopian future. What they take to be reality is actually a computer program that has been jacked into their brains to keep them in a comatose state. They live their whole lives in th…caitlinjohnstone.substack.comJuly 13th 2021184 Retweets466 Likes

These powerful sociopaths tend to form loose alliances with each other and with the heads of government agencies as often as possible since it’s always easier to move with power than against it. So what you get is an alliance of depraved oligarchs with no loyalty to any nation using powerful governments as tools to bomb, bully and plunder the rest of the world for their own power and profit, and using mass-scale media psyops to keep the public from rising up and stopping them.

And that’s it, really. So simple it can be summed up in a few paragraphs. Don’t let elitists use the illusion of complexity to cow you out of talking about what’s going on in your world. You can see what’s going on well enough to begin speaking out, and the more you learn the more detailed the picture will become. 

Speak. You are infinitely more qualified to comment on the way power is moving in the world than the people who’ve been consistently wrong about everything throughout their entire careers yet remain widely platformed by the oligarchic media. If John Bolton gets a voice, so do you.

____________________________

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US Criticized For Withdrawing Troops From Afghanistan While Just 50 Years From Victory

Posted by M. C. on April 16, 2021

https://babylonbee.com/news/us-criticized-for-withdrawing-troops-from-afghanistan-while-just-50-years-from-victory?fbclid=IwAR3i-mfewuw1vWDTQeGsMR6wKW-Y6PQ3M25UIS9V86oHItycsecEpxKTXkY

U.S.—The U.S. has been criticized for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan when the country is so close to victory, being just another 50 years away from declaring victory in the region.

Commentators, pundits, Democrats, and Republicans alike criticized the proposal to pull troops out in a few months, when if we just stay there for another few decades, victory is all but assured.

“Why are we leaving when victory is on the horizon, just a few decades away?” asked John Bolton. “We’re so close. You can’t give up right when you’re on the finish line, with a utopia in the Middle East being within our reach if we just stay there for another half-century.”

“It just doesn’t make any sense to leave now.”

At publishing time, the nation’s warmongers were relieved as they realized there’s basically zero chance we’re actually leaving Afghanistan this fall.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Unwelcome Return of the Real Purveyors of Violence

Posted by M. C. on January 18, 2021

Take returning Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, for example. More than anyone else she is the face of the US-led violent coup against a democratically-elected government in Ukraine in 2014. Nuland not only passed out snacks to the coup leaders, she was caught on a phone call actually plotting the coup right down to who would take power once the smoke cleared

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/18/the-unwelcome-return-of-the-real-purveyors-of-violence/?mc_cid=3bb95bc451

Written by Ron Paul

With the mainstream media still obsessing about the January 6th “violent coup attempt” at the US Capitol Building, the incoming Biden Administration looks to be chock full of actual purveyors of violent coups. Don’t look to the mainstream media to report on this, however. Some of the same politicians and bureaucrats denouncing the ridiculous farce at the Capitol as if it were the equivalent of 9/11 have been involved for decades in planning and executing real coups overseas. In their real coups, many thousands of civilians have died.

Take returning Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, for example. More than anyone else she is the face of the US-led violent coup against a democratically-elected government in Ukraine in 2014. Nuland not only passed out snacks to the coup leaders, she was caught on a phone call actually plotting the coup right down to who would take power once the smoke cleared.

Unlike the fake Capitol “coup,” this was a real overthrow. Unlike the buffalo horn-wearing joke who desecrated the “sacred” Senate chamber, the Ukraine coup had real armed insurrectionists with a real plan to overthrow the government. Eventually, with the help of incoming Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, they succeeded – after thousands of civilians were killed.

As we were unfortunately reminded during the last four years of the Trump Administration, the personnel is the policy. So while President Trump railed against the “stupid wars” and promised to bring the troops home, he hired people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to get the job done. They spent their time “clarifying” Trump’s call for ending wars to mean he wanted to actually continue the wars. It was a colossal failure.

So it’s hard to be optimistic about a Biden Administration with so many hyper-interventionist Obama retreads.

While the US Agency for International Development (USAID) likes to sell itself as the compassionate arm of the US foreign policy, in fact USAID is one of the main US “regime change” agencies. Biden has announced that a top “humanitarian interventionist” – Samantha Power – would head that Agency in his Administration.

Power, who served on President Obama’s National Security Council staff and as US Ambassador to the UN, argued passionately and successfully that a US attack on the Gaddafi government in Libya would result in a liberation of the people and the outbreak of democracy in the country. In reality, her justification was all based on lies and the US assault has left nothing but murder and mayhem. Gaddafi’s relatively peaceful, if authoritarian, government has been replaced by radical terrorists and even slave markets.

At the end of the day, the Bush Republicans – like Rep. Liz Cheney – will join hands with the Biden Democrats to reinstate “American leadership.” This of course means more US overt and covert wars overseas. The unholy alliance between Big Tech and the US government will happily assist the US State Department under Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State Nuland with the technology to foment more “regime change” operations wherever the Biden Administration sees fit. Finish destroying Syria and the secular Assad? Sure! Go back into Iraq? Why not? Afghanistan? That’s the good war! And Russia and China must be punished as well.

These are grave moments for we non-interventionists. But also we have a unique opportunity, informed by history, to denounce the warmongers and push for a peaceful and non-interventionist foreign policy.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN | The Grayzone

Posted by M. C. on October 7, 2020

As the OPCW’s first Director General, Bustani experienced first-hand the costs of challenging pro-war narratives. In 2002, he was personally threatened by John Bolton and ousted as OPCW chief after he facilitated inspections that stood in the way of the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/10/05/ex-opcw-chief-jose-bustani-reads-syria-testimony-that-us-uk-blocked-at-un/

Aaron Maté

At the UN Security Council, the US, UK, France and allies have blocked the testimony of Jose Bustani, the OPCW’s first Director General, on the chemical watchdog’s Syria cover-up scandal. The Grayzone has obtained Bustani’s prepared statement and is publishing it in full.

Jose Bustani was invited to brief the Security Council on the OPCW’s cover-up of an investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria in April 2018. The US, UK, and France bombed Syria after accusing the Syrian government of dropping toxic gas in Douma. OPCW inspectors later found evidence that undermined the official narrative, but were censored by their superiors under US pressure.

As the OPCW’s first Director General, Bustani experienced first-hand the costs of challenging pro-war narratives. In 2002, he was personally threatened by John Bolton and ousted as OPCW chief after he facilitated inspections that stood in the way of the Bush administration’s drive to invade Iraq.

In his comments, Bustani voices support for the OPCW inspectors and urges the current Director General, Fernando Arias, to let them air their suppressed evidence in a transparent manner.

“At great risk to themselves, [the inspectors] have dared to speak out against possible irregular behaviour in your Organisation, and it is without doubt in your, in the Organisation’s, and in the world’s interest that you hear them out,” Bustani says. “Regardless of whether or not there is substance to the concerns raised about the OPCW’s behaviour in the Douma investigation, hearing what your own inspectors have to say would be an important first step in mending the Organisation’s damaged reputation. The dissenting inspectors are not claiming to be right, but they do want to be given a fair hearing.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZgIDlgD_txM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

TRANSCRIPT

Mr Chairman, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, your excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

My name is José Bustani. I am honoured to have been invited to present a statement for this meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the Syrian chemical dossier and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. As the OPCW’s first Director General, a position I held from 1997 to 2002, I naturally retain a keen interest in the evolution and fortunes of the Organisation. I have been particularly interested in recent developments regarding the Organisation’s work in Syria.

For those of you who are not aware, I was removed from office following a US-orchestrated campaign in 2002 for, ironically, trying to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention. My removal was subsequently ruled to be illegal by the International Labour Organisation’s Administrative Tribunal, but despite this unpleasant experience the OPCW remains close to my heart. It is a special Organisation with an important mandate. I accepted the position of Director General precisely because the Chemical Weapons Convention was non-discriminatory. I took immense pride in the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of its inspectors and wider staff in implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. No State Party was to be considered above the rest and the hallmark of the Organisation’s work was the even-handedness with which all Member States were treated regardless of size, political might, or economic clout.

Although no longer at the helm by this time, I felt great joy when the OPCW was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 “for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons”. It was a mandate towards which I and countless other former staff members had worked tirelessly. In the nascent years of the OPCW, we faced a number of challenges, but we overcame them to earn the Organisation a well-deserved reputation for effectiveness and efficiency, not to mention autonomy, impartiality, and a refusal to be politicised. The ILO decision on my removal was an official and public reassertion of the importance of these principles.

More recently, the OPCW’s investigations of alleged uses of chemical weapons have no doubt created even greater challenges for the Organisation. It was precisely for this kind of eventuality that we had developed operating procedures, analytical methods, as well as extensive training programmes, in strict accordance with the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Allegations of the actual use of chemical weapons were a prospect for which we hoped our preparations would never be required. Unfortunately, they were, and today allegations of chemical weapons use are a sad reality.

It is against this backdrop that serious questions are now being raised over whether the independence, impartiality, and professionalism of some of the Organisation’s work is being severely compromised, possibly under pressure from some Member States. Of particular concern are the circumstances surrounding the OPCW’s investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria, on 7 April 2018. These concerns are emanating from the very heart of the Organisation, from the very scientists and engineers involved in the Douma investigation.

In October 2019 I was invited by the Courage Foundation, an international organisation that ‘supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record’, to participate in a panel along with a number of eminent international figures from the fields of international law, disarmament, military operations, medicine, and intelligence. The panel was convened to hear the concerns of an OPCW official over the conduct of the Organisation’s investigation into the Douma incident.

The expert provided compelling and documentary evidence of highly questionable, and potentially fraudulent conduct in the investigative process. In a joint public statement, the Panel was, and I quote, ‘unanimous in expressing [its] alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma’. The Panel further called on the OPCW, ‘to permit all inspectors who took part in the Douma investigation to come forward and report their differing observations in an appropriate forum of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, in fulfilment of the spirit of the Convention.’ 

I was personally so disturbed by the testimony and evidence presented to the Panel, that I was compelled to make a public statement. I quote: “I have always expected the OPCW to be a true paradigm of multilateralism. My hope is that the concerns expressed publicly by the Panel, in its joint consensus statement, will catalyse a process by which the Organisation can be resurrected to become the independent and non-discriminatory body it used to be.”

The call for greater transparency from the OPCW further intensified in November 2019 when an open letter of support for the Courage Foundation declaration was sent to Permanent Representatives to the OPCW to, ‘ask for [their] support in taking action at the forthcoming Conference of States Parties aimed at restoring the integrity of the OPCW and regaining public trust.’

The signatories of this petition included such eminent figures as Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor at MIT; Marcello Ferrada de Noli, Chair of the Swedish Doctors for Human Rights; Coleen Rowley, whistle-blower and a 2002 Time Magazine Person of the Year; Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary-General; and Film Director Oliver Stone, to mention a few.

Almost one year later, the OPCW has still not responded to these requests, nor to the ever-growing controversy surrounding the Douma investigation. Rather, it has hidden behind an impenetrable wall of silence and opacity, making any meaningful dialogue impossible. On the one occasion when it did address the inspectors’ concerns in public, it was only to accuse them of breaching confidentiality. Of course, Inspectors – and indeed all OPCW staff members – have responsibilities to respect confidentiality rules. But the OPCW has the primary responsibility – to faithfully ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Article VIII, para 1).

The work of the Organisation must be transparent, for without transparency there is no trust. And trust is what binds the OPCW together. If Member States do not have trust in the fairness and objectivity of the work of the OPCW, then its effectiveness as a global watchdog for chemical weapons is severely compromised.

And transparency and confidentiality are not mutually exclusive. But confidentiality cannot be invoked as a smoke screen for irregular behaviour. The Organisation needs to restore the public trust it once had and which no one denies is now waning. Which is why we are here today.

It would be inappropriate for me to advise on, or even to suggest how the OPCW should go about regaining public trust. Still, as someone who has experienced both rewarding and tumultuous times with the OPCW, I would like to make a personal plea to you, Mr Fernando Arias, as Director General of the OPCW. The inspectors are among the Organisation’s most valuable assets. As scientists and engineers, their specialist knowledge and inputs are essential for good decision making. Most importantly, their views are untainted by politics or national interests. They only rely on the science. The inspectors in the Douma investigation have a simple request – that they be given the opportunity to meet with you to express their concerns to you in person, in a manner that is both transparent and accountable.

This is surely the minimum that they can expect. At great risk to themselves, they have dared to speak out against possible irregular behaviour in your Organisation, and it is without doubt in your, in the Organisation’s, and in the world’s interest that you hear them out. The Convention itself showed great foresight in allowing inspectors to offer differing observations, even in investigations of alleged uses of chemical weapons (paras 62 and 66 of Part II, Ver. Annex). This right, is, and I quote, ‘a constitutive element supporting the independence and objectivity of inspections’. This language comes from Ralf Trapp and Walter Krutzsch’s “A commentary on Verification Practice under the CWC”, published by the OPCW itself during my time as DG.

Regardless of whether or not there is substance to the concerns raised about the OPCW’s behaviour in the Douma investigation, hearing what your own inspectors have to say would be an important first step in mending the Organisation’s damaged reputation. The dissenting inspectors are not claiming to be right, but they do want to be given a fair hearing. As one Director General to another, I respectfully request that you grant them this opportunity. If the OPCW is confident in the robustness of its scientific work on Douma and in the integrity of the investigation, then it has little to fear in hearing out its inspectors. If, however, the claims of evidence suppression, selective use of data, and exclusion of key investigators, among other allegations, are not unfounded, then it is even more imperative that the issue be dealt with openly and urgently.

This Organisation has already achieved greatness. If it has slipped, it nonetheless still has the opportunity to repair itself, and to grow to become even greater. The world needs a credible chemical weapons watchdog. We had one, and I am confident, Mr Arias, that you will see to it that we have one again.

Thank you.

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John Bolton – Traitor to Common Decency — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on July 2, 2020

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/06/29/john-bolton-traitor-to-common-decency/

 Tom Luongo

There are few men in modern American history more venal than Former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Calling Bolton a relic of the Cold War in his outlook on foreign policy is a kindness.

Bolton is a dangerous and pathetic creature whose entire life is an example of how incomplete men with a talent for violence can rise in a late-stage cesspit of political corruption.

He is simply someone who has never been in a fight in his life who lusts for the power to kill, main and destroy anyone who dares challenge him. A pathology he’s had the dubious distinction of being able to act out in the real world on more than one occasion.

This will, hopefully, be the last article I write about his cretin because once his last fifteen minutes of fame are used up attacking President Trump in slavish interview after interview supporting his book, Bolton will be finished in Washington D.C.

This book is his gold watch for being a lifelong soldier in the service of the American empire and the neoconservative/neoliberal dream of global conquest. $2 million, a handful of residuals and a final victory lap for a life spent in pursuit of the subjugation of those he considers sub-human.

President Trump’s recent tweet about Bolton is a masterful bit of brevity being the soul of wit.

And while Bolton spent the balance of his career in D.C. working nominally for Republicans, his lust for war served both parties equally well. That war lust was in service of the empire itself when Bolton was fired, and he turned against President Trump.

He was welcomed as a Hero of the Resistance by Democrats intent on impeaching the President after he was fired last year, one of the few good moments in Trump’s nearly four years at the helm of U.S. foreign policy. Given his involvement with Fiona Hill and Eric Chiaramella, the whistleblower whose testimony created the impeachment charges, Bolton really could be thought of as the architect of that process.

So, it’s no surprise that his book is welcomed as the gossip event of the summer by the media. But remember, this is a guy who refused to testify against Trump for Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff and that’s because he would have never stood up to cross-examination.

This is because, ultimately, John Bolton is a coward. And he’s the worst kind of coward. He’s the kind of man who deals underhandedly while hiding behind rhetoric in controlled environments to pursue his fever dreams of suppressing the Untermensch.

What we know now, thanks to Bolton’s unwillingness to keep his trap shut, is that things were as we suspected while he was in the White House. Every event that occurred was an excuse for Bolton to tell Trump to go to war. And every time Trump was led up to that trough to drink, he backed away causing Bolton’s mustache the worst case of sexual frustration.

Worse than that, Bolton sabotaged any hope of détente with Russia, North Korea and improving the situation in the Middle East. While he was right to hate Jared Kushner’s Deal of the Century for Israel/Palestine, he was instrumental in getting Trump to stay in Syria rather than turn over what’s left of its suppression to the people who actually want it to continue – Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In the end Bolton is really the best example I can come up with for the monolithic thinking that permeates D.C. Despite his best instincts, Trump took Bolton on because the potential talent pool is so thin.

Anyone with original ideas, such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, are more valuable in their current position rather than coming into an administration that is hamstrung by a permanent bureaucracy unwilling to change, or in open revolt.

There’s no profit for them to make the jump even if they wanted to.

This point has been in effect since before Trump took office when he wouldn’t stand behind his first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, who is still embroiled in the worst The Swamp can throw at a person.

Progressives, liberals and anti-imperalists I implore you to stop allying with this creature of The Swamp in his quest to do damage to a president you hate. Because by doing so you are strengthening the very people who are the architects of the empire you believe you are fighting against.

Because that’s who John Bolton wrote this book for.

He didn’t write it for you.

Bolton will ultimately be a foot note in the history books. A man whose only claim to fame was failing to allow a president to make some peace with North Korea and set the U.S. on a path to complete alienation with the rest of the world.

Because of the neoconservatives’ intense war lust, as embodied by Bolton, it pushed Trump, already an arch-mercantilist, even farther along the path of using economic pressure to force change on the world stage.

But, as I’ve been saying for years now, that is a strategy just as ruinous in the long run for the U.S. as Bolton’s cowardice urging use of a military — which he refused to serve in — to do his dirty work for him.

These are both expressions of an empire which refuses to accept that it is in decline. And it has invited the chaos now evident in cities all across the U.S. as our wealth has been squandered on endless wars for regime change overseas while building a regulatory police state at home.

That helped pushed the militarization of our local police, further putting them in conflict with a domestic population growing more desperate and reactionary on both sides of the political aisle.

Bolton’s projection of all the U.S.’s ills onto countries with no real ability to harm us physically ultimately was not only his undoing with Trump but the U.S.’s undoing as a leader of the post-WWII order.

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John Bolton’s Mission: Destroy Donald Trump’s Detente with North Korea | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on June 23, 2020

The only problem: North Korea isn’t some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It’s a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors.

The more accurate question, Mr. President, is “what did you expect from John Bolton,” whose only accomplishment on the North Korea portfolio was the slaying of the only nuclear agreement (the Clinton-era Agreed Framework) that managed to stick for more than a week?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/korea-watch/john-boltons-mission-destroy-donald-trumps-detente-north-korea-163211

by Daniel R. DePetris

Why is this such a shocker?

John Bolton, the former national security adviser who was ousted from his job last September (Bolton claims he resigned), has been on a tear over the last week. His memoir, “The Room Where it Happened,” documents a series of allegedly explosive encounters with President Donald Trump during Bolton’s 17-month tenure. By now, you have likely come across some of the more salacious excerpts from the book—including what Bolton himself likens to a campaign of systemic obstruction of justice on behalf of the dictators and authoritarians Trump appears to respect so much.

The media is jumping all over the story, covering Bolton’s book as if it was this century’s bombshell blockbuster. While the general public doesn’t have access to the volume yet, it’s safe to say that 90% of the pages are likely designed to make Bolton look as if he was the noble insurgent fighting his boss and trying to prevent the U.S. from being on the wrong side of history. And, knowing Bolton’s reputation, there are likely a few ham-fisted attempts to drag down his former colleagues in the process.

Normally, I wouldn’t touch a Bolton screed with a 10-foot pole. I didn’t read his last memoir (“Surrender is not an Option”) when it was published over a decade ago and I don’t plan on reading this one either. But scrolling through the excerpts, I couldn’t help but marvel at Bolton’s nerve. That Bolton had the audacity to pan Trump’s outreach to North Korean Kim Jong-un when he has a decades-long record of failure on the subject is beyond ironic (weeks before Bolton was appointed as national security adviser, he wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal arguing that bombing a nuclear-armed North Korea would be an act of self-defense). You almost have to admire his lack of self-perception.

In Bolton’s recounting, Trump’s slap-dash Singapore summit with Kim Jong-un was a “foolish mistake” that could have been catastrophic to Washington’s objective of denuclearizing the North. “Trump told…me he was prepared to sign a substance-free communique, have his press conference to declare victory and then get out of town,” Bolton wrote, implying that even the president himself doubted his diplomatic gamble with Kim would result in anything substantive. In Bolton’s mind, the entire summit was an exercise in showmanship and publicity—a way to persuade voters back in the United States that Trump was a bold, new leader willing to embrace the unconventional in order to strike a deal of historic magnitude.

Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton’s version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya’s Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington’s demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton’s record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids—smash your opponent to pieces and don’t think twice about it.

The only problem: North Korea isn’t some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It’s a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton’s obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang’s total surrender—an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction—the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert—even the word “Libya” is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, “Libya’s experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs.”

One can certainly take issue with Trump’s North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump’s strategy aside, Bolton’s alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser’s public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton’s comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn’t pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn’t forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that “Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, “what the hell were you thinking?”

The more accurate question, Mr. President, is “what did you expect from John Bolton,” whose only accomplishment on the North Korea portfolio was the slaying of the only nuclear agreement (the Clinton-era Agreed Framework) that managed to stick for more than a week?

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David Wurmser, Key Iraq War Architect, Advising Trump on Iran

Posted by M. C. on January 17, 2020

Like Pennywise the Dancing Clown, war people keep coming back

https://theintercept.com/2020/01/16/david-wurmser-iran-suleimani-iraq-war/

David Wurmser was a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration. Eventually, he got what he wanted, and it was a total disaster. Now, Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

An influential neoconservative in President George W. Bush’s White House who became a significant force behind the push for war with Iraq in 2003, Wurmser has recently been serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration, according to new reporting from Bloomberg News. In that capacity, Wurmser helped make the case for the recent drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

David Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

Wurmser wrote several memos to then-national security adviser John Bolton in May and June of 2019. In the documents, according to Bloomberg, Wurmser argued that aggressive action by the U.S. — such as the killing of Suleimani — would, in Wurmser’s words, “rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival.”

The significance of this is two-fold. First, while it was already clear that the neoconservative movement has powerfully influenced the Trump administration, Wurmser’s role on Iran is further evidence of the sway that neoconservatism still holds on the U.S. right — despite the catastrophic invasion of Iraq and Trump’s disavowal of the war. Second, it demonstrates that neoconservatives such as Wurmser still cherish a peculiar theory about Iranian society.

After Bush’s reelection in 2005, the hard-right faction of his administration turned its attention to Iran. These officials had always wanted regime change in the Islamic Republic, but now some of them believed that a full-scale invasion would not be necessary to bring this about. A 2005 article in the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh quoted a government consultant who described the perspective of these officials as being that a bombing campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities would spur a revolution led by “secular nationalists and reformers.” The consultant summarized their view: “The minute the aura of invincibility which the mullahs enjoy is shattered, and with it the ability to hoodwink the West, the Iranian regime will collapse.”

 

This theory, so popular among neoconservatives, has always been bizarre: Nations generally become more right-wing when under attack. For instance, after the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, Americans did not demand that Bush be impeached and Dennis Kucinich move into the Oval Office.

We should definitely consider the possibility that the neocons don’t know what they’re talking about. And yet, here we are, with those self-same neocons again helping shape our foreign policy in delusional and dangerous ways.

The continued self-confidence of neoconservatives like Wurmser is particularly odd given how all their beliefs were proven disastrously wrong in Iraq…

the rest here

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John Bolton Can’t Believe He Left White House Just Before War With Iran

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2020

More fun from Babylon Bee. Likely close to the truth.

https://babylonbee.com/news/john-bolton-cant-believe-he-quit-just-before-war-with-iran

WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to sources close to the former national security adviser, a teary-eyed John Bolton wept in great pain and anguish that he left the Trump administration just before the war with Iran broke out.

“Wait — what!?!” he had screamed as he saw that Trump had ordered a missile strike on Qasam Soleimani. “No… no… it can’t be true… it just can’t!”

“After all my years of service, we decide to go to war with Iran NOW!?!” Bolton flew into a rage, attempting to throw objects at the television. But not being strong enough to pick up the objects himself, and not wanting to get hurt, he ordered an aide to throw the objects on his behalf.

Finally, once the television was good and destroyed, Bolton moved on with the grieving process, going into bargaining (“God, I’ll devote my life to you if you just let me attack Iran”), depression (“What’s the point? World peace is inevitable”), and finally, acceptance.

“At least we’re still gonna have a war, even if I missed out on my chance to partake,” he said as an aide patted his back to comfort him.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The Real Bombshell of the Impeachment Hearings

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2019

Let that sink in for a moment: Vindman did not witness any crimes, he just didn’t think the elected President of the United States had any right to change US policy toward Ukraine or Russia!

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman immigrated from Ukraine,

Let that sink in…

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/november/25/the-real-bombshell-of-the-impeachment-hearings/

Written by Ron Paul

The most shocking thing about the House impeachment hearings to this point is not a “smoking gun” witness providing irrefutable evidence of quid pro quo. It’s not that President Trump may or may not have asked the Ukrainians to look into business deals between then-Vice President Biden’s son and a Ukrainian oligarch.

The most shocking thing to come out of the hearings thus far is confirmation that no matter who is elected President of the United States, the permanent government will not allow a change in our aggressive interventionist foreign policy, particularly when it comes to Russia.

Even more shocking is that neither Republicans nor Democrats are bothered in the slightest!

Take Lt. Colonel Vindman, who earned high praise in the mainstream media. He did not come forth with first-hand evidence that President Trump had committed any “high crimes” or “misdemeanors.” He brought a complaint against the President because he was worried that Trump was shifting US policy away from providing offensive weapons to the Ukrainian government!

He didn’t think the US president had the right to suspend aid to Ukraine because he supported providing aid to Ukraine.

According to his testimony, Vindman’s was concerned over “influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency.”

“Consensus views of the interagency” is another word for “deep state.”

Vindman continued, “While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.”

Let that sink in for a moment: Vindman did not witness any crimes, he just didn’t think the elected President of the United States had any right to change US policy toward Ukraine or Russia!

Likewise, his boss on the National Security Council Staff, Fiona Hill, sounded more like she had just stepped out of the 1950s with her heated Cold War rhetoric. Citing the controversial 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment” put together by then-CIA director John Brennan’s “hand-picked” analysts, she asserted that, “President Putin and the Russian security services aim to counter US foreign policy objectives in Europe, including in Ukraine.”

And who gets to decide US foreign policy objectives in Europe? Not the US President, according to government bureaucrat Fiona Hill. In fact, Hill told Congress that, “If the President, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that is more than worthy of your attention.”

Who was Fiona Hill’s boss? Former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who no doubt agreed that the president has no right to change US foreign policy. Bolton’s the one who “explained” that when Trump said US troops would come home it actually meant troops would stay put.

One by one, the parade of “witnesses” before House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff sang from the same songbook. As US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland put it, “in July and August 2019, we learned that the White House had also suspended security aid to Ukraine. I was adamantly opposed to any suspension of aid, as the Ukrainians needed those funds to fight against Russian aggression.”

Meanwhile, both Democrats and Republicans in large majority voted to continue spying on the rest of us by extending the unpatriotic Patriot Act. Authoritarianism is the real bipartisan philosophy in Washington.


Copyright © 2019 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

 

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