The Pathology of John Bolton

John Bolton has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he’s made his move. But this time he may have gone too far, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

I knew John Bolton and interacted with him on a nearly daily basis with my colleagues in the press corps at United Nations headquarters in New York when Bolton was the United States ambassador there from August 2005 to December 2006.

Most diplomats, officials, and journalists were shocked that Bolton (evading confirmation with a recess appointment) had actually become the U.S. representative, given his long, public disdain for the UN. But that turned out to be the point. It’s been the strategy of Republican administrations to appoint the fiercest critic to head an agency or institution in order to weaken it, perhaps even fatally.

Bolton’s most infamous quote about the UN followed him into the building. In 1994 he had said: “The Secretariat building in New York has 38 stories. If it lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”

But a more telling comment in that same 1994 conference was when he said that no matter what the UN decides the U.S. will do whatever it wants:

Bolton sees such frank admissions as signs of strength, not alarm.

He is a humorless man, who at the UN at least, seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room. He once gave a lecture in 2006 at the U.S. mission to UN correspondents, replete with a chalk board, on how nuclear enrichment worked. His aim, of course, was to convince us that Iran was close to a bomb, even though a 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate being prepared at the time said Tehran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

I thought I’d challenge him one day at the press stakeout outside the Security Council chamber, where Bolton often stopped to lecture journalists on what they should write. “If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?’ I asked him.

“That’s an interesting question,” he told me, “but for another time and another place.” It was a time and a place, of course, that never came.

More Than an Ideology

Bolton possesses an abiding self-righteousness rooted in what seems a sincere belief in the myth of American greatness, mixed with deep personal failings hidden from public view.

He seemed perpetually angry and it wasn’t clear whether it was over some personal or diplomatic feud. He seems to take personally nations standing up to America, binding his sense of personal power with that of the United States.

It is more than an ideology. It’s fanaticism. Bolton believes America is exceptional and indispensible and superior to all other nations and isn’t afraid to say so. He’d have been better off perhaps in the McKinley administration, before the days of PR-sugarcoating of imperial aggression. He’s not your typical passive-aggressive government official. He’s aggressive-aggressive.

And now Bolton is ordering 120,000 troops to get ready and an aircraft carrier to steam towards Iran.

Bolton’s all too willing to make his bullying personal on behalf of the state. He implicitly threatened the children of José Bustani, who Vice President Dick Cheney wanted out of his job as head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons because Bustani had gotten Iraq to agree to join the chemical weapons protocol, thereby making it harder for the U.S. to invade Iraq.

After Bolton’s failed 2005 confirmation hearings, Tony Blinken, the then staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The New Yorker‘s Dexter Filkins:

“We saw a pattern of Mr. Bolton trying to manipulate intelligence to justify his views. If it had happened once, maybe. But it came up multiple times, and always it was the same underlying issue: he would stake out a position, and then, if the intelligence didn’t support it, he would try to exaggerate the intelligence and marginalize the officials who had produced it.”

Bolton is no fan of democracy if things don’t go his way. He is a vociferous instigator of the so-far failed U.S. coup in Venezuela and of course Bolton organized the “Brooks Brothers riot” that disrupted the recounting of votes in Florida in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

What is alarming about the above video is not so much that he justifies lying, but the example he gives: lying to cover up military plans like the invasion of Normandy. This is a common ruling class tactic in the U.S. to portray disobedient leaders ripe for overthrow as Hitler. Saddam was Hitler, Milosevic was Hitler, Noriega was Hitler and Hillary Clinton called Putin Hitler. It is a false revival of U.S. glory from World War II to paint foreign adventures as moral crusades, rather than naked aggression in pursuit of profits and power.

Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of American power. He is unique only in the purity of this pathology.

Regime Change for Iran 

The U.S. national security adviser has been saying for years he wants the Iranian government overthrown, and now he’s made his move. But this time John Bolton may have flown too high.

He was chosen for his post by a president with limited understanding of international affairs—if real estate is not involved—and one who loves to be sucked up to. Trump is Bolton’s perfect cover.

But hubris may have finally bested Bolton. He had never before maneuvered himself into such a position of power, though he’d left a trail of chaos at lower levels of government. Sitting opposite the Resolute desk on a daily basis has presented a chance to implement his plans.

At the top of that agenda has been Bolton’s stated aim for years: to bomb and topple the Iranian government.

Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14it was he who “ordered” a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf. These were to be deployed “if Iran attacked American forces or accelerated its work on nuclear weapons.”

Two months after Bolton was appointed national security adviser, in June 2018, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the six-nation deal that has seen Tehran curtail its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for relaxation of U.S. and international sanctions.

At the time of Bolton’s appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman, who had been undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, as had Bolton, predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it “would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran.”

In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said on May 5 (May 6 in Tehran) that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment. On the same day, Bolton announced the carrier strike group was headed to the Gulf.

Bolton Faces Resistance

If this were a normally functioning White House, in which imperial moves are normally made, a president would order military action, and not a national security adviser. “I don’t think Trump is smart enough to realize what Bolton and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo are doing to him,” former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel told RT’s Afshin Rattansi this week. “They have manipulated him. When you get the national security adviser who claims that he ordered an aircraft carrier flotilla to go into the Persian Gulf, we’ve never seen that. In the days of Henry Kissinger, who really brought sway, he never ordered this, and if it was ordered it was done behind closed doors.”

Bolton claimed he acted on intelligence that Iran was poised to attack U.S. interests close to Iran.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia, lacking the military firepower of the United States, have long tried to get the U.S. to fight its wars, and one no more important than against its common enemy. An editorial on May 16 in the Saudi English-language news outlet, Arab News, called for a U.S. “surgical strike” on Iran. But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton’s “intelligence” about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war.

The intelligence alleged Iran was fitting missiles on fishing boats in the Gulf. Imagine a government targeted by the most powerful military force in history wanting to defend itself in its own waters.

Bolton also said Iran was threatening Western interests in Iraq, which led eventually to non-essential U.S. diplomatic staff leaving Baghdad and Erbil.

It is the typical provocation of a bully: threaten someone with a cruise missile and the moment they pick up a knife in self-defense you attack, conveniently leaving the initial threat out of the story. It then becomes: “Iran picked up a knife. We have to blow them away with cruise missiles.”

But this time the bully is being challenged. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, resisted the U.S. on Iran when she met Pompeo in Brussels on May 13.

“It’s always better to talk, rather than not to, and especially when tensions arise… Mike Pompeo heard that very clearly today from us,” said Mogherini. “We are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant attitude to take – the most responsible attitude to take – is and we believe should be, that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on the military side.”

The New York Times that day reported: “Privately, several European officials described Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo as pushing an unsuspecting Mr. Trump through a series of steps that could put the United States on a course to war before the president realizes it.”

Ghika: No new threat from Iran. (YouTube)

British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika then said on May 14: “There has been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria.” Ghika was rebuked by U.S. Central Command, whose spokesman said, “Recent comments from OIR’s Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region.”

A day later it was Trump himself, however, who was said to be resisting Bolton. On May 15 The Washington Post reported:

“President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders.”

The Times reported the next day:

“President Trump has told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, according to several administration officials, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying American pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Tehran must not escalate into open conflict.”

Then it was the Democrats who stood up to Bolton. On Tuesday Pompeo and Shanahan briefed senators and representatives behind closed doors on Capitol Hill regarding the administration’s case for confronting Iran.

“Are they (Iran) reacting to us, or are we doing these things in reaction to them? That is a major question I have, that I still have,” Sen. Angus King told reporters after the briefing. “What we view as defensive, they view as provocative. Or vice versa.”

Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego told reporters after the briefing: “I believe there is a certain level of escalation of both sides that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The feedback loop tells us they’re escalating for war, but they could just be escalating because we’re escalating.”

Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said “it seems like it’s quite possible that Iran was behind” the attacks.

Bolton was conspicuously absent from the closed-door briefing.

It’s Up to Trump

Trump has pinballed all over the place on Iran. He called the Times and Post stories about him resisting Bolton “fake news.”

“The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” Trump tweeted on May 17.

Then he threatened what could be construed as genocide against Iran. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” he tweeted on Sunday. 

But also last Sunday he told Fox News that the “military-industrial complex” is real and “they do like war” and they “went nuts” when he said he wanted to withdraw troops from Syria. Trump said he didn’t want war with Iran, here possibly reflecting Israel’s views.

On Monday he implied that the crisis has been drummed up to get Iran to negotiate.

“The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report….”

John Bolton must be stopped before he gets his war. It is beyond troubling  that the man we have to count on to do it is Donald Trump.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

134 comments for “The Pathology of John Bolton

  1. Rowena
    May 27, 2019 at 20:44

    IF Bolton was NOT PAID by Wall Street, the military complex and the aggressive Jews in Israel and the US, his big mouth wouldn’t be heard. Ladies and gentlemen, it IS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

    READ General Smedley Butler’s understandings. He will set you straight.
    End of discussion.

  2. May 26, 2019 at 19:27

    Or as Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is US.”
    As in the lies that created the Vietnam war and the waste of 58,000 American soldiers and thousand of Vietnamese.
    Or the lie that Iran is our enemy when we funded and encouraged Saddam to attack them and destroyed their attempt to have a secular government.
    Or the lie of the WMD’s and the 9/11 attack which was funded by Saudi Arabia, and run by Saudis and NOT Iraq.
    Or the lies of Afghanistan which was economically and culturally better off when it was controlled by the Russians. The Russian mob now controls Afghanistan so that the 90% of the world’s heroin can be distributed by Russia under the protection of OUR CIA.
    “We have met the enemy and he is US.”

  3. John Hawk
    May 26, 2019 at 16:56

    Joe, nice piece of work covering the psycho-pathology of America’s leading nazi! To correct one of your statements: Trump DID NOT appoint him National Security Adviser, but Adelson and Mercer did. Trump is a brain-dead, blackmailed puppet who fancies himself as POTUS. It can’t get any more delusional than this. Everybody I know who is following the Washington Beltway histrionics of Trump et al know full-well that a certain intelligence agency of a small Middle East domiciled country have THE definitive dossier on Trump and have been building it for the last five decades. After all, deception is their game and they use it liberally, like feeding their agenda to Bolton as ‘intelligence’ info of the highest order. The Bolton-Pompeo-Pence presidency is destined to go down in history as one of infamy and treason. Trump?…dead-man walking, more than likely by a stroke-heart attack when he’s popping out one of his idiotic and manic tweets!

  4. Zhu
    May 26, 2019 at 03:20

    If Bolton were struck by lightning tomorrow morning, would anything change much? I doubt it. We Americans are as warlike as the ancient Assyrian. We’ve been slaughtering Indians, Koreans, SE Asians, Central Americans, and nor Middle Eastern people for a looong time. It is flattering to blame this individual or th t country, but no. We, as a community, are all responsible to some degree. Even me, on the far side of the world.

    • the Rebbe
      May 26, 2019 at 13:02

      Please do not be so critical of the US of A**holes.

  5. Alex
    May 25, 2019 at 21:50

    Bolton’s choosing destroyed IRAN but staying friends with Saudi Arabia it’s so contradicting, and so obvious that he is influenced to behave this way is because Israelies influence. Saudy Kingdom using Bolton to get IRAN so Saudy will be only country promote Extreme version of Wahhabi Islam which is didn’t existed In Islam’s history. So Bolton’s obsession with destruction of Iran is ignorance as its best. September 11th suspects were most of them Saudy nationals, yet nobody wanted to talk about it, because there is irony that,George W Bush was and probably still doing business with Saudy. So how can you explain that to American people? No you can not.
    Perhaps collectively hypnotism !

    • OlyaPola
      May 26, 2019 at 02:58

      ” So how can you explain that to American people?”

      Given that useful fools are useful, why would you want to?

      ” No you can not.”

      An illustration of the benefits of dumbing down do not accrue solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, facilitating the minimising of blowback during implementation of strategies based on “How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback”, given that many believe that critical mass is a function of linear notions of 50% +1 and above; a further conflation of quantity with quality to which the opponents are prone.

    • Tiu
      May 28, 2019 at 03:10

      There could be other explanations.

    • OlyaPola
      May 29, 2019 at 11:47

      “There could be other explanations.”

      There are many other components in explanation but this does not negate “that many believe that critical mass is a function of linear notions of 50% +1 and above” since such is another of many other components in explanation.

      That many including Mr. Bolton are reliant on belief is another of many other components in explanation, hence the
      first two sentences in the comment:

      ” So how can you explain that to American people?”

      Given that useful fools are useful, why would you want to? ”

      The likely reflex response tending towards a derivative of :

      “Because we believe that would be a “rational” practice to adopt” likely in emulation of
      ” many (who) believe that critical mass is a function of linear notions of 50% +1 and above” and reflex projection that their beliefs and practices derived therefrom are held by others who share or don’t share their purpose, and communicate them with “different” register, Mr. Bolton and his associates using the register of “threats”, others using a more moderate register of pedagogy.

      these are other of many other components in explanation, and illustration that those reliant on belief such as Mr. Bolton are engaged in reacting to holograms fashioned from their own beliefs, sometimes represented as “like dogs chasing their own tails”, and why for some Mr. Bolton has been and continues to be a useful fool.

      Thank you for your aid in illustrating some of the components in the petri-dish of the opponents’ “culture”.

  6. William
    May 25, 2019 at 19:06

    John Bolton is a psychopath, He should be dismissed immediately, but I think that he should be institutionalized. Put him in a strait jacket and keep him in a padded cell. He poses a threat to millions of people.

  7. Eddie S
    May 25, 2019 at 11:26

    Yeah Joe, it wasn’t just you and other reporters who were stunned by Bolton’s recess appt to the UN by W —- many of us were staggered by the jaw-dropping inappropriateness of it, IF it was assessed from a pro-peace perspective. But, as you accurately mentioned, the Republicans had long-ago (I recall first hearing about it during Nixon’s reign, with Earl Butz) used that gambit to effectively sabotage regulatory agencies & depts. Rather than try to dissolve an agency that most people want, they can neutralize it by appointing some hack or lobbyist for the entity being regulated so that nothing meaningful gets done, AND it has the ‘beneficial’ effect of discrediting the agency involved, and government in general, which is what many libertarian-inclined Republicans like.

    Good article about a reprehensible politician.

  8. renfro
    May 25, 2019 at 11:18

    ”But The New York Times reported on the same day that though Israel was behind Bolton’s “intelligence” about an Iranian threat, Israel does not want the U.S. to attack Iran causing a full-scale war. ”
    ________________________________

    Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran ……Well that is BS!
    Israel and its Fifth Column in the US have agitated for the US to attack Iran for years…….we’ve all seen and heard it….and now they want to try to wipe our memories of their war mongering with their typical hasbara in the NYT and Netanyahu claiming ….’oh we have nothing to do with it.”

    Bolton is a psychopath but he is Sheldon Adelson’s errand boy….who Bolton met with in Las Vegas the week before Trump appointed him and Adelson is the Orange carnival barker’s 100 million dollar donor.

    Seriously, how stupid do they think we are?
    If we attack Iran it will be for the Zionist and Saudis and we all know it.

    • OlyaPola
      May 30, 2019 at 09:50

      “Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran ……Well that is BS!”

      Being immersed in false homogenous aggregates such as “The United States of America” or “Israel” is to engage in self-delusion.

      If resort to belief is set aside and scientific methods of analysis are implemented with rigour, there are many datastreams to negate such beliefs/hypotheses such as “”Israel doesnt want the US to attack Iran ……Well that is BS!”

      Some of the representatives of both “The United States of America” and “Israel”, and some who live in and/ or are citizens of these temporary constructs, perceived and/or presently perceive to some degree some adverse consequences that may arise, and consequently some have never wanted, and some who previously wanted, Us to attack Iran, have modulated their definition of acceptable means of attack, or decided that they no longer want Us to attack Iran.

      Some who are citizens of Iran and some who are not citizens of Iran already understand that Us is presently attacking Iran using various methods, and some would welcome Us to attack Iran using and/or increasing the scope and velocity of other methods of attacking Iran, not all of whom have the same purpose – the world being complex; not consisting of good guys in white hats or bad guys in black hats, even having some with no hats at all.

      As an added complication some seek to misrepresent that they have no hats at all since “proving” a negative tends to be an arduous task to encourage some to resort to bridging doubt by belief to attain certainty – Mr. Bolton and his associates tend to resort to this practice to deflect perceived challenge.

      Concurrently some with no hats encourage the creation of vessels and perceived voids that Mr. Bolton and his associates tend to attempt to fill largely as a function of imbibing the contents of the petri-dish of the opponents’ “culture”.

      Thank you for your illustration of some of the components in the petri-dish of the opponents “culture” – a component in rendering Mr. Bolton and others useful fools – and a component of an explanation for present song and dance routines.

  9. Luther Bliss
    May 25, 2019 at 10:57

    Trump’s incoherent mixture of neoconservative & isolationism almost make him a Bush!

    Remember it wasn’t until Bush JR’s second term that he asked his father, “What’s A Neocon?” to which Pappy Bush replied, “Israel.”

    I assume Trump knows what a ‘neocon’ but is so indebted to Israel and intoxicated by Islamophobic rhetoric that he cannot free himself from his addiction to surrounding himself with more neo-cons.

    The progression from Flynn to McMaster to Bolton was just selecting between neocon flavors for his National Security Advisers. What a joke of a nation!

  10. Art Thomas
    May 25, 2019 at 10:42

    To the editor:

    Can you tell me why you deleted my comment.

    • Art Thomas
      May 25, 2019 at 10:44

      I see it’s back up now.

  11. Mark
    May 25, 2019 at 02:30

    I appreciate the article, but it doesn’t mention Israel, which is the fountainhead of the agenda to take out Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Bolton stands out for his extremity among extremists, but he’s a means rather than the end. The agenda is something into which he bought, passionately by all indications, but which a paucity of other people created strictly to advance their own, tiny, exclusive clan, not for the benefit of the United States.

    • Hank
      May 25, 2019 at 09:43

      To think that this administration campaigned on a promise to restrict future wasteful and needless interventions and then hired this dinosaur of a warmonger makes my blood curl! Everyone with half a brain knows what Bolton’s agenda is yet here he is leading the USA into a war at the behest of a foreign nation led by a felon and terrorist! The American people who want peace and their tax dollars invested into improving the USA have once again been stabbed in the back by a conniving administration. Will this cycle of non-democracy ever end? Until it does, future administrations will continue on just like previous ones- kowtowing to special interests, in particular the military/industrial mafia and the apartheid criminal state of Israel! All this massive business of holding “elections” in the USA, all the talk about “Russian collusion” and the REAL collusion is right there in front of us all- the US administration has once again COLLUDED to go back on a campaign promise and once again open the money trough for the military/industrialist pigs!

    • Mark
      May 26, 2019 at 05:31

      I get the idea, but it’s necessary to look ‘behind’ back-stabbing, conniving, colluding administrations, and Bolton, and the military/industrial complex, and to bring Israel and some barely known U.S. history, at least back to World War I, explicitly to the fore for public scrutiny. That’s a monumental task, to say the least, owing to American attention spans and the contrary interests of the powers that be.

  12. Taras77
    May 24, 2019 at 20:24

    Bolton has his own well funded PAC, from which he is free to “contribute” (bribe) sychophant congress individuals.

    What a situation for the fix for war.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/05/interests-pushing-for-hard-line-against-iran/

    “Overall, 28 sitting senators have received sizable contributions from John Bolton PAC during the election cycle, as have nine representatives on the House defense, foreign affairs, and homeland security subcommittees.”

  13. ricardo2000
    May 24, 2019 at 17:29

    By far the most productive, and most verifiable, way to eliminate weapons is at a negotiating table.
    The easiest way to start a war is with ignorant blather.

  14. O Society
    May 24, 2019 at 16:09

    Don’t forget who told Donald Trump to hire John Bolton. It was Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes.

    They like Bolton because he is “incapable of empathy and good on Israel.”

    Trump initially declined on Bolton because “he doesn’t like Bolton’s moustache.”

    Kool Aid drinkers and idiots. We’re being lead by a cult of morons who worship the bombs, money, and a white separatist state.

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html?gtm=bottom

    • SPQR70AD
      May 25, 2019 at 08:16

      we are led by those who want a white separate stae??? are you insane?? I wish it was true. our leaders want to genocide whites. are you so blind and stupid you do not see 250K non whites released every month? 100 million non whites brought here since 1970??

    • ML
      May 25, 2019 at 14:05

      I think you will find SPQR70, that the vast majority of those who comment here at CN do not share your retrograde beliefs. You might find your comments more well-received at sites which have a dearth of critical thinkers.

    • old geezer
      May 26, 2019 at 12:55

      ml doesn’t differing opinions.

      does he like diversity ?

      keep commenting from time to time. i do. it is fascinating to see the replies. some are thoughtful. but when sensitive buttons get pushed the synaptically dis organized are quite the spectacle.

  15. Truth First
    May 24, 2019 at 11:40

    They don’t call him, ‘Bonkers’ Bolton for nothin’.

  16. May 24, 2019 at 10:59

    Again I contend that John Bolton should be hung by that hideous mustache until dead…

  17. Pedro Masculino Ghirotti
    May 24, 2019 at 10:53

    Nice piece Joe, but you just forgot to mention who Bolton actually works for, the Israelis.

    • Zhu
      May 25, 2019 at 01:13

      We Americans are responsible for what we do, not the scapegoat du jour.

    • anon
      May 25, 2019 at 06:20

      Troll alert. The zionist “Zhu” always attacks those who identify zionist influence, and never has evidence or argument, even in response.

    • Mark
      May 26, 2019 at 05:54

      Israel is no scapegoat. It ‘makes’ scapegoats.

  18. Robert Mayer
    May 24, 2019 at 00:17

    Thanx Joe 4 giving us benefit from your own experience w/ this psycho. Got as far as (red underlined) “organized Brooks bros. demo”
    Hadda Go (2ndX 2 appear in CN Comments last re: Venz.):

    So what its in our own hemisphere
    JQ Public got nothin’to fear
    We shot off in Nevada
    Radiation don’t matta
    Steal our buds oil onna Gold Platta!

    If the foo shits…

  19. CitizenOne
    May 23, 2019 at 23:42

    John Bolton is a True Believer. The True Believer mindset is manifest in terrorist acts. True Believers have signed onto the ideology that dictates that True Believers must act in any way to oppose their perceived enemy. War is not a last option for the True Believer. Terrorist attacks are not beyond the possible actions of the True Believer. The True Believer has one goal which is to defeat the perceived enemy at all costs and which will use all means to do so including violent attacks on innocent persons.

    Terrorists are usually members of organizations that have a True Believer mentality and can rationalize unspeakable acts of terror in order to wipe out innocents if that will further their cause.

    What is the advantage of enlisting True Believers and how do they further the causes of their affiliated organizations? That is the same question that we ask about terrorist organizations that imagine and create violent acts in order to fulfill the plans of the terrorist organization.

    What is the motivation of a terrorist to strap on an explosive vest and wander into a crowd of innocent people and detonate their explosives? Why are they willing to commit suicide in order to kill a whole bunch of people that they have no quarrel with?

    The answer is that they are True Believers in their cause and will do anything to advance the agenda of their affiliated organizations including murder.

    The problem we face today is the ideological domination of opposing forces which will absolutely send Kamikaze’s to their death in order to win.

    It works both ways. The US is determined to wipe out opposition to its interests even if that means that warships will rain down explosives on anyone they remotely suspect is an enemy of the ideology of the West. We are willing to go to war with our perceived enemies even if it means that millions of innocents will be killed in the process of defeating our ideologically opposed enemies.

    On the other side the ideological goals of the countries we attack is also aligned to commit mass atrocities and use of illegal weapons in order to win their bid to destroy the United States or its allies notably Israel.

    There are True Believers on each side that are willing to inflict mass casualties on the other in order to preserve their ideology.

    Iran is surely guilty of vowing the destruction of Israel and the US is also guilty of vowing the destruction of Iran. Each ideology depends on True Believers to take the stakes to the ultimate goal of annihilation of the enemy.

    We have a choice in this. We can decide whether or not the differences in ideology are worth war.

    The big issue we face is whether or not we trust those opposed to our policies and actions will try diplomacy despite historical diplomatic failures on both sides leading to the clash of ideologies and ending in a military solution. I say “we trust” because we are also on the line to trust the opposition with plenty of history which has shown that diplomacy doesn’t work.

    The even bigger issue is the geopolitical strategy of nations which seek to control huge natural resources like oil. This issue is at the top of every national agenda of oil states and is the reason we quarrel with oil rich nations that seek to place ideological political restrictions on the free flow of oil or depend on the money provided by the sale of the resources to advance an agenda which is opposed to the West. It is the reason that Iran seeks to dominate the politics of the region and intervene when we try to interfere with their economic output with sanctions based on ideological differences that end in official US sanctions which are the economic equivalent of warfare on Iran.

    We see economic sanctions on Iran as the least violent way of dissuading them from carrying out their anti western agenda especially their anti Israel agenda which includes lots of funding for the True Believers (terrorists) who are willing to die for the “Cause” to destroy Israel.

    The Iranians see sanctions as a an unwarranted threat to their economy and are even more determined to fund groups that try to defeat the Western policies that include support for Israel they see as an illegal foreign power occupying Muslim lands.

    It is no surprise that the tensions in the Middle East have resulted in the rise of the True Believers on both sides based equally on economic and ideological differences. Each side is steeped in the belief that the survival of their culture and their economy is at stake. There can be little doubt that these differences amount to a potential powder keg.

    Layered on top of the clash is the historical realization that compromise and diplomacy have failed in the past and that the failure of diplomacy has resulted in war. Neville Chamberlain’s efforts to secure “peace within our time” by capitulating to German demands are seared on everyone who has a responsibility to prevent war. It was a huge mistake to believe that Hitler would abide by a piece of paper. Huge mistake is an understatement for the millions who lost their lives.

    We need to use historical facts to guide future actions. Prevention of war via diplomacy has been thoroughly debunked by historical facts such as WWII. The belief of Western nations and their content that promises of aggressors promising peace would be honored has a historical and factual basis proving that the peaceful approach and the trust in aggressors to abide with peace plans leads to World War, death, destruction etc. WWII was certainly a formative event for the West which has since forged its disdain for diplomacy based on the history of world war.

    Enter Donald Trump, President of the United States of America. A tragically flawed man who is just as tragically flawed as all of the rest of us as the leader of our nation. We are so tragically flawed in so many ways we cannot count them all. We wanted a president who was first and foremost a businessman. We wanted a populist president as we always do but we got a rich and privileged president who has done his level best to support the rich which is not exactly a populist notion by filling the swamp rather than draining it. We have a president that calls all the news “fake” but who also spends his time in conversations with the right wing media never assuming that right wing views of the news of the day might just be the real fake news. Fake news to him is talk from the left.

    Where does all this end up? It is anybody’s guess.

    • old geezer
      May 26, 2019 at 13:08

      an accurate, concise review.

      i doubt the iranians will test a nuke until after djt is out of office. after that … you might wake up one morning and everything you knew before becomes quite obsolete.

      my guess is israel has stealth cruise missiles with h bombs. it would be very foolish of them to not have them. those descendants of egyptian slaves are anything but foolish.

    • Sam
      May 27, 2019 at 00:33

      @ CitizenOne: Thank you for your long comment. I agree with much of what you wrote, but would like to know why you claimed, “Iran is surely guilty of vowing the destruction of Israel …” . According to what I’ve read, Iran has not initiated hostilities with any nation for over a century – a clear, peaceful contrast to the rogue states of Israel & the U.S. Are you referring to the long-ago-debunked claim that Iran claimed to ‘wipe Israel off the map’?
      (See https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/14/post155 ? “So there we have it. Starting with Juan Cole, and going via the New York Times’ experts through MEMRI to the BBC’s monitors, the consensus is that Ahmadinejad did not talk about any maps. He was, as I insisted in my original piece, offering a vague wish for the future.

      “A very last point. The fact that he compared his desired option – the elimination of “the regime occupying Jerusalem” – with the fall of the Shah’s regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel. …”)

      Or perhaps you’re referring to Revolutionary Guard deputy leader Hossein Salami’s warning that if Israel starts an aggressive war against Iran, it ‘will end with {Israel’s} elimination from the global political map’? IMHO, warning an extremely aggressive, self-obsessed, Apartheid-practicing rogue state against trying to attack your nation is wise ;-) .

      I look forward to your response. Thanks very much.

    • Sam F
      May 27, 2019 at 06:12

      Sam: please use an identifier initial as I do, to prevent confusion.
      I have asked you twice before; perhaps not the same person.
      It is unfair to expect others to make the clarification, and easy to prevent.

    • CitizenOne
      May 28, 2019 at 00:35

      Sam. You said “According to what I’ve read, Iran has not initiated hostilities with any nation for over a century”. I’ll admit that the USA has done that many times including the overthrow of the Iranian Government. “Initiating Hostilities” is not just limited to overt military actions by a national government but also covert military action. Covert military actions are the support of forces other than national forces to secure a military victory via proxy war. This is done all the time by the United States and Iran. The US does this and Iran does this too. It is in fact a way for nations to claim that they are not committing overt hostilities while still accomplishing their goals just as effectively as overt military actions. We would be dishonest to claim that covert military actions were not a way to initiate hostilities with another nation. The history of the western covert actions in deposing the elected president of Iran were certainly responsible for initiating hostilities that led to the overthrow of the government in Iran and the covert actions of Iran supporting foreign groups is just as surely responsible for initiating hostilities against its enemies.

      Hiding hands in foreign affairs with covert actions is an old tactic that is based in plausible deniability. The very reason for covert actions has the attraction of muddying the waters and insulating aggressor nations that can claim plausible deniability of their hand in creating military conflicts that benefit them. We cannot let this plausible deniability cloud the reality that both the US and Iran have used covert actions in order to gain their aims.

      Covert actions are a prelude to war. When nations engage in covert actions then overt actions are a mere stepping stone away. When covert actions fail then overt actions are the next thing that happens.

      The trick is to end covert military operations and begin to face the reality that overt military actions are the next step.

      This might sound like peace talks. It is not to be believed unless real peace is on the table. That takes both sides to put down their rhetoric and also their covert actions and seek real peace.

      In order for that to happen as is shown in history the fight over resources needs to reach some agreement and trade needs to overcome hostility. We are far away from that.

  20. May 23, 2019 at 21:15

    Neoconservative war pigs riding the bomb and the belligerence of Empire

    http://opensociet.org/2019/05/23/the-belligerence-of-empire/

  21. mike k
    May 23, 2019 at 18:55

    How is it that crazies like Bolton can end up high in our government hierarchy? It is because the whole damned government is crazy through and through

    • Joe
      May 23, 2019 at 20:48

      His Dad probably made a huge donation to Yale just like Bush’s Dad. That’s what happens when the system is gamed.

    • Art Thomas
      May 25, 2019 at 09:22

      Yes, in my opinion. The state stripped of patriotic rhetoric and other obfuscations that keep us devoted to it is nothing more than a criminal gang that hides behind the law.

      Some basic examples. 1. The law: taxation, the crime: theft. 2. The law: monetary credit expansion, i.e. debt financing, the crime: counterfeiting, i.e. creating money out of thin air. 3. The invasion of countries not a threat to the invading state. Etc. etc.

  22. Tiu
    May 23, 2019 at 18:30

    If the US “political establishment” was working for America’s benefit, things would look very different.
    They are instead working on the “globalist” agenda, which will, if successful, destroy all nations as we know them today and what remains will be ruled over by a bunch of sociopaths who are the same group that has inflicted John Bolton on the world.
    Bolton’s a tool, a bit like a hammer, to get their project done. The Democrats have equivalent tools e.g. H R Clinton.

  23. Mark Thomason
    May 23, 2019 at 18:04

    The problem is if he hasn’t gone too far. If he gets his war.

  24. Vonu
    May 23, 2019 at 16:53

    John Bolton should get to ride the missile in the remake of Dr. Strangelove.

    • evelync
      May 23, 2019 at 19:53

      hah hah hah

      I loved that movie :)

      and yes Bolton is a perfect caricature of Slim Pickens AKA Dr Strangelove.

      I also refer to him as Yosemite Sam……

      one difference for our current real life war monger is that the movie character was simply insane and didn’t justify his craziness with explanations.

      Bolton, OTOH, blames “national Security” and “the national interests” of this country….say what????

      if we look at the horrific human costs and the enormous financial costs of the wars that were fought for U.S. “national interests” one would want to ask, once the rubble had cleared, what “interests” were actually served and whose “security” did they actually improve?
      The answers always take us back to Eisenhower’s MIC and Ray McGovern’s MICIMATT (maybe I got a couple of these letters wrong?).
      Whoever profited from the mayhem don’t represent either our “national interest’ or our “national security” IMO and yet those two phrases are used to shut down any discussion or criticism in the lead up….

      whew…

    • Mork D
      May 25, 2019 at 01:20

      Strictly about the movie – Slim Pickens plays the ranking officer on the B-52 (I think?) which is actually dropping the bomb. Dr Strangelove is a totally different character, one of a few played by Peter Sellers in that movie, and is a (mostly!) wheelchair-bound German scientist.

    • May 26, 2019 at 19:17

      And the wheelchair bound psychopathic scientist of Dr. Strangelove was inspired by Kubrick meeting Henry Kissinger at a cocktail party and recognizing that Kissinger was the most evil person on this planet because he looked and sounded so responsible and rational.
      Now that Saddam, bin Laden, Pol Pot, Stalin, and Hitler are dead, Kissinger holds the record of the person still alive who has needlessly killed more people, both Americans and non-Americans, than any other person on this planet.
      Hillary’s idea of destabilizing Libya and creating a political vacuum there was from her training when working for Kissinger.

  25. Abe
    May 23, 2019 at 16:51

    The Pathology:

    John Bolton
    Senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    Chairman of Gatestone Institute (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    Former board member of Project for the New American Century (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    Former Adviser to Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/john-bolton/

    Richard Goldberg – Aide to John Bolton at NSC (2019 – )
    Former Senior Adviser at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/richard-goldberg/

    Frederick Fleitz – Bolton’s Former Chief of Staff at NSC (2018)
    CEO of Center for Security Policy ( (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
    https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/frederick-fleitz/

    • Abe
      May 23, 2019 at 19:32

      The Pathology, Part Duh:

      Mike Pompeo
      Christian Zionist: “We will continue to fight these battles, it is a never ending struggle… until the Rapture.”
      Associate of Center for Security Policy (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
      Sponsor of ACT! for America (pro-Israel Lobby organization)
      https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/mike-pompeo/

    • Sam
      May 27, 2019 at 00:38

      @ Abe: Thanks for the info!

  26. Litchfield
    May 23, 2019 at 16:42

    John Bolton is obviously a very sick puppy.
    This is patently obvious to any observer with the least desgree of psyhological sophistication and insight.
    If he lived on your block and made such statements about his neighbors, or a woman living nearby, he would be looking at restraining orders.
    He is an out-of-control abusive pig who belongs in an institution where a course of shock therapy might actually help him. I reckon any basic psychological test would find that he has a least borderline personality and at worst is actually insane and incapable of taking responsibility for the consequences of his action.
    Bolton has permanent termporary insanity.
    Letting this tortured, psychopathic individual run the military is itself an enormous crime, one of murderous negligence, one for which Trump truly should and could be impeached. Congress must take all possible steps to get this man out of the Executive Branch.

    Threaten Trump with impeachment if he doesn’t fire Bolton.
    His appointment of Bolton is reckless negligence and endangers this country.

    • Vonu
      May 23, 2019 at 16:55

      He wouldn’t live long enough to apply for a restraining order in my neighborhood.

    • James
      May 23, 2019 at 19:09

      I wonder how good American politicians of the past, if there were any, would react to the appointment of this psychopath as what he is now. Whom should be blamed for it? Donald Trump? The pro-Israeli lobbies? Or the American nation? A glance at the man’s face is enough to realize that he is deeply sick. To me, he doesn’t look like a human being at all! He looks like a monkey out of a stuffy room. Why don’t psychotherapists do anything about him? Shouldn’t he be hospitalized for the safety/security of the world population? By the way, I wonder where Netanyahu, the psychopath’s provoker, is. He has been very quiet for about a month or so. Maybe he is waiting for the war to ignite without getting himself directly involved in it. Let Americans and Iranians kill one another while he waits to pick up the fruit in the end.

    • Mork D
      May 25, 2019 at 01:27

      Where does the blame lie? Who hired him? Who’s the chief of the executive branch? Who’s a person who could actually fire him (as he’s so famous for doing on reality TV shows) instead of wringing his hands on friendly TV networks declaring he doesn’t want to actually go to war, but if he’s ‘forced’ to, he’ll erase Iran from the map?

    • Druid
      May 26, 2019 at 03:16

      He would have to get permission from Adelson and the Mercers first.

    • Mork D
      May 25, 2019 at 01:24

      You advocate murder of the mentally disturbed? You need to learn like Bolton that the most extreme and irreversible courses of action are best left until you’ve exhausted other options.

    • CitizenOne
      May 24, 2019 at 20:52

      Bolton and Pompeo are the only things keeping him from impeachment. As long as Trump satisfies the bloodthirsty war mongers and the insatiable appetite of the MIC and the Pro Israel lobby and the Oil Lobby or Koch Industries he cannot lose. So far Trump is bangin on all cylinders. I really think he knows what he needs to do to survive. All this impeachment talk is just fantasy by the left dreaming about getting him out of office “somehow”.

  27. bjd
    May 23, 2019 at 16:13

    That the mono-maniacal psychopath Bolton is a walking exhibit of the Dunning–Kruger effect is no surprise to me.
    It is extra frightening though.

    • CitizenOne
      May 24, 2019 at 21:09

      Don’t worry. Bolton will be under the control of the extremely stable genius and high priest and dear leader Mustafa Trump (victim of Illusory superiority) who controls all the thoughts his extreme good controllability factors derive for him. Once derived, his extreme excellent good super geniusability can handle any something that gets up and shows its ugly stupid ass head which he will outpunch the teeth and win win win.

  28. Realist
    May 23, 2019 at 16:00

    What was Bolton’s day job before he started mucking around in politics and foreign policy? Master waterboarder or testicular electrificator in extraordinary renditions for the CIA? He seems the sort to have spent much time at Abu Ghraib, and not just to take notes. Honestly, his major goals seem to be the eradication of entire cultures and societies, which will somehow redound to the magnificence of the United States of America. Clearly a sociopathic personality. A lot in common with Cheney.

    • CitizenOne
      May 24, 2019 at 21:16

      His Mustache used to extend all the way around his lips.
      Both his major upper lip and his lower or minor lip were lined on their outer fringes with a ring of hair but not covering his lips which when parted were ………

      We are sorry to interrupt this broadcast but it has been censored by the state.

    • Zhu
      May 25, 2019 at 01:33

      You can be sure that he’s never gotten his hands dirty.

  29. Jimmy G
    May 23, 2019 at 15:57

    Again the panic is stirred by….. The NYT! (The source of such good info regarding Russia gate) .
    The statement regarding Bolton “ ordering” anything is just one more example of the media and the intel bureaucrats trying to put the President in a jam politically . (Remember how a month ago we were invading Venezuela?)
    Bolton is doing nothing more than getting enough rope to hang himself, and the military intelligence service, congressional and media Trumpophobes are willing to stir this to the very edge, and we all know Congress could (if it could act in good Constitutional faith, rather than pretending to be the judicial branch) unite for the good of this country and Trump would be amenable to whatever they came up with. Trump is far less of a warmonger than any POTUS we’ve had in a very long time.

    • Realist
      May 23, 2019 at 16:18

      If Congress is the only branch of government with the constitutional power to declare a war, surely it has the power to FORBID the executive branch from fomenting such a war against their judgement.

      In fact, wasn’t the Boland Amendment such a legislative act passed with the intent of preventing the Reagan administration from pursuing military action in Central America, most notably Nicaragua and El Salvador?

      What’s to prevent the Congress, if it were so inclined (which I doubt it is) to instruct the president (especially if he seems trigger-happy) to refrain from initiating any unprovoked attacks upon Iran, Venezuela, North Korea… or any other country, for that matter?

    • Vonu
      May 23, 2019 at 16:56

      Ollie North worked for Reagan, didn’t he?

    • May 23, 2019 at 18:04

      Well said.

    • RnM
      May 25, 2019 at 17:27

      Trump is very aware that ‘Stache Bolton and Mike “Mumbles” Pompeo are significant threats to his re-election. Would not be surprised to see them removed before January.

    • CitizenOne
      May 25, 2019 at 21:02

      The NYT has indeed supported wars but it is not alone nor is this a recent trend. There is a very old trend of the commercial news establishments becoming war hawks and regurtitators of official propaganda whenever the USA wants to pick a fight. It goes back to the period after the establishment of the nation when expansionism set its roots down and what grew out of that is pretty much the same kind of nationalistic propaganda we see today.

      I agree with your statement that Trump is far less vulnerable based on his history but I am sure that the war planners are always concocting special information diets that are carefully prepared to appeal to the particular tastes of the leader of the day. Whatever Trumps opinion is he will be surrounded by the hand picked lunatics of the day who will entice and enjoin him to agree with plans for war based on their carefully prepared menu of propaganda specifically designed to be appealing to the palate of whoever is in charge.

      It is less certain that Trump’s long history of opposing military action will have real staying power as he is served up courses of a sumptuous meal prepared specially for his palate designed to engage him in support for military action all over the World.

      Trump is particularly susceptible to flattery and appeals to his greatness and his very stable genius. He wants to be the great leader and for that he needs a plan to deal with the geopolitical situation in many countries.

      Trump is a man who knows what to do too.

      He advised Germany that it was a puppet of Russia until he didn’t
      He advised Teresa May how to do Brexit the right way until he didn’t
      He announced to the World he had forged deep connections with North Korea until he didn’t
      He had high hopes for an alliance with Russia until he didn’t.
      He specified the right type of fire fighting to be used to fight the Notre Dame Cathedral fire until he didn’t
      He wanted to walk away from the fight in Syria until he didn’t
      He wanted to walk away from the war in Syria again until he didn’t
      He wanted to cut the military budget until he didn’t

      Ordinarily if we were in the middle of a democratic presidency the press would be raising the “flip flopper” argument every second of their available airtime.

      Democrats are the flip floppers but never a republican even when he is. It all depends on the way the flips and the flops land. If they land on conservative positions then a flop or a flip never occurred. With republicans, flip flopping is just a corrective action to realign the president on the correct course. If it is a democrat then their hypocrisy and flip flopping are broadcast 24/7 and are portrayed a fundamentally disqualifying events which demonstrate a fundamental lack of principles and weakness of character deserving of condemnation. When errant republicans flip flop over to the “correct” vision they are welcomed with open arms into the fold.

      Trump wants to be accepted so badly that the democrats hounding him are in fact herding him into the fold of the conservatives who will shelter him and support him at all costs and the media will never ever ever never call this flip flopping.

      In short, if a political candidate shifts to the left his integrity will be destroyed as his character will be portrayed as weak and built on shifting sands. He will be deemed not to be trusted like some loose cannon.

      On the other hand, if a political candidate shifts to the right he will be greeted as a prodigal son returning to the fold and will be welcomed with open arms.

      So I am not as sure as you that Trump’s background will be any indicator of his future ideas about how to succeed in the environment he is in where both democrats by their antagonism and republicans by their defense of him both push him over to the right.

      He may once have been far less of a war hawk but politicians on both sides of the aisle are pushing him further to the right every day.

  30. Abe
    May 23, 2019 at 15:44

    Bolton is the distillation of the pathology of the pro-Israel Lobby, which recruits American power diplomatically and militarily to “secure the realm” for Israel.

    Bolton may be unique only in the purity of this pathology, but the Trump’s administration is positively seething with creatures of the pro-Israel Lobby.

    The pro-Israel Lobby must be stopped before it gets its next war.

    It is indeed beyond troubling that the man we have to count on to do it is “1000 percent” Israel-firster Donald Trump.

    At a 2015 gala hosted by the Algemeiner Journal, Trump declared “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent.” His bid for the presidency was announced soon after. Trump’s whole “insurgent” campaign, his purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel’s commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, and refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital, were an elaborate propaganda scam engineered by the Israel Lobby from the very beginning.

    Trump’s efforts on behalf of Israel began immediately after the election, prior to his taking the oath of office.

    Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser on Middle East/Israel issues, gave his first on-the-record appearance at the Saban Forum at the Brookings Institution on 3 December 2017. Saban praised Kushner for attempting to derail a vote at the United Nations Security Council about Israeli settlements during the Obama administration.

    Kushner reportedly dispatched former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to make secret contact with the Russian ambassador in December 2016 in an effort to undermine or delay the resolution, which condemned Israel for settlement construction. Saban told Kushner that “this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much.” Kushner thanked the audience at Brookings, a leading pro-Israel Lobby think tank, “It’s really an honor to be able to talk about this topic with so many people who I respect so much, who have given so much to this issue.”

    During the keynote conversation, Kushner and Saban framed Middle East peace as a “real estate issue”. Kushner acknowledged that “We’ve solicited a lot of ideas from a lot of places.” Trump’s understanding of “regional dynamics” in the Middle East clearly manifests “a lot of ideas” from pro-Israel war hawks from the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution.

    It is clear that the pro-Israel Lobby pathology has thoroughly infected both major political parties in the US. In fact, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and all their rivals from the 2016 presidential campaign, are deep in the pockets of the pro-Israel Lobby. Trump’s current policies are not significantly at variance from Clinton’s equally pro-Israel foreign policy agenda.

    The fracture between the Trump and Clinton contingents of the pro-Israel Lobby is rooted in the personal predilections of their major American oligarch donors. Billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban are the Koch Brothers of the pro-Israel Lobby, and both are obsessed about starting war with Iran.

    When Adelson and Saban shared the stage at the Israeli American Council’s inaugural conference in Washington, D.C. in 2014, Saban quipped, “There’s no right or left when it comes to Israel”. Despite their shared pro-Israel Lobby objectives, Adelson and Saban had a fracas in 2015 over political tactics. The Republican Party and Democratic Party campaign platforms in 2016 reflected right and left pro-Israel Lobby orientations. Even the Sanders sheepdog campaign was a far-left pro-Israel Lobby iteration.

    It’s all too easy to focus on the “unique” pathology of Bolton or Mike Pompeo, or congressional creatures like Lindsey Graham, not to mention faux “insurgent” President Trump, while ignoring the wider extent of pro-Israel Lobby pathology in the US government.

    It is also extremely dangerous to refer to these figures generically as mere “neoconservatives” or “warhawks”. They are unquestionably pro-Israel warhawks, and regardless of “liberal” or “conservative” leanings, all are paid to advance a pro-Israel Lobby agenda for US foreign policy.

    In a video discussion based on his March 22, 2016 Consortium News article, Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry addressed pro-Israel Lobby influence during the 2016 presidential election:

    Robert Parry on the Clinton/Trump AIPAC ‘Pander-Off’
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OktOl4MaKRE

    Consortium News editor Joe Lauria may wish to contribute a follow up series of articles detailing the purity of pro-Israel Lobby pathology exemplified by Bolton, Pompeo, and the beyond troubling Trump… preferably before the next war.

    • Litchfield
      May 23, 2019 at 19:33

      “the wider extent of pro-Israel Lobby pathology in the US government. ”

      That’s it in a nutshell.

    • KiwiAntz
      May 24, 2019 at 18:46

      Thanks Joe for the great article. Bolton (aka the moustache) truly is a humourless, warmongering, depraved psycho? This is a cowardly man who dodged the Vietnam draft as he didn’t want to die in some foreign patty field! But this lunatic has no qualms to send other peoples sons & daughters into a Iranian war zone as cannon fodder to satisfy his deluded & perverted bloodlust to destroy Iran? If “the moustache” wants a War with Iran he should be forced to fight on the frontlines with his troops along with POTUS Bonespurs Trump, another cowardly draft dodger? Let the moustache & the Dotard make a stand, like Jon Snow in the Battle of the bastards, sword in hand, facing down the so called Iranian, bogeyman enemy, but this would never happen as cowards & bastards like Bolton & Trump don’t personally fight in the battles they start, they hide in safety in a Washington situation room, as far away from any War zone as possible! If Bolton gets his War with Iran, Trump will pay the price for this suicide mission because he would be blamed for the fallout of any Military defeat! America’s already sorry record of Military humiliation & defeat in Regime change operations around the Globe would reach a crescendo if they ever dared to try to attack & overthrow Iran as it would be the endgame of the US Empire!

    • mark
      May 23, 2019 at 22:28

      Trump is just Israel’s bitch.

    • incontinent reader
      May 24, 2019 at 01:08

      Good comment, Abe. We’ve missed you. Keep posting more of the same.

    • Zhu
      May 25, 2019 at 01:37

      We Americans were bloodthirsty long before Israel existed.

    • anon
      May 25, 2019 at 06:35

      What an absurd zionist troll post. Try it with someone dumb, Zhu.

  31. Michael Steger
    May 23, 2019 at 15:17

    First Joe, McKinley did not implement American submission to British Imperialism, though it began with the end of Grant’s administration as with the twice elected Groucher Cleveland, but it’s confirmation as US policy began with Teddy Roosevelt. The Roosevelt Corollary destroyed JQA’s Community of Principle in the Americas which should be known as the true Monroe Doctrine, contrary to popular opinion today which has incorrectly replaced the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary (as Bolton is especially want to do). TR signalled the end of the Lincoln Era of American industrial development and global cooperation, which was best represented by Grant, the most overlooked of great Presidents (and perhaps we see similarities of Grant to Trump today). Bolton indeed is Captain Kangaroo, presiding over his Court as the Queen of No Hearts would in Alice’s confrontation with British rule once she penetrates behind the facade of British Lockean empiricism. With insight only equalled to Lincoln’s, who said “We can’t fight two wars at once, so first the Confederacy and then the British,” Trump has identified the fascist nexus within our government as that same British foe, a nexus led by Brennan, Rice, Clapper, Jarrett, et al, which works on behalf of what Eisenhower (another overlooked great President and General) called the Military Industrial Complex. The MIC is a British Intelligence deployment to fundamentally undermine our Constitution and put the US into a state of perpetual war and police surveillance. It is now over 70 years in the making, and is enforcing a new Cold War and attempted coup of our elected Government, and yet, it may have finally found its match, not just in Trump, but in Trump’s intended cooperation with Putin of Russia and Xi of China. These three nations, along with Modi of India (just reelected) are a true threat to this rotten British system, from Fabian liberals to Bolton chickenhawks, the true enemy is this British System. If we move on that effectively, we may just have a chance to win this revolutionary moment now unfolding throughout the trans-Atlantic world. Let us return to JQA’s community of principle for the entire world. Let us work with Trump to end this fascist British nexus. Let us celebrate our true heritage as Americans!

    • Litchfield
      May 23, 2019 at 16:51

      Your comments read with interesting and well taken.
      BUT: The bottom line is that Trump hired Bolton (and Pompeo) and has wound him up and set him loose goosewalking across the globe.
      Why?
      The buck for Bolton’s suicidal buffonery stops with Trump.
      So, I can’t see him as a genuine foe of the Deep State-MIC as you describe.

    • Michael Steger
      May 23, 2019 at 18:10

      Bolton is loyal to Trump, even though he is a failed chickenhawk. Look at McMaster, at the leaking, and outright betrayal of the President. Same with Tillerson, betrayal. Pompeo and Bolton have ridiculous views and bloated war rhetoric, but they’re personally loyal, perhaps opportunistically, and even temporarily, but nonetheless right now they are, and when they’re not, I bet they’re gone. But Trump does control the policy. Look at North Korea, any war? Media said there would be, then worked to undermine a deal. Venezuela, war? They’re talking in Norway now, how’d that happen? Syria, troops out? MIC, Dems and Media opposed, and Trump called them out for the first time since Eisenhower! Pompeo to Sochi to see Putin, progress. How’d that happen? Trump is fighting the MIC and too many good Americans are spinning so fast from the propaganda machine they can’t see straight.

    • anon4d2
      May 24, 2019 at 18:40

      Interesting, but it is easy for a president to fight the MIC: simply fire and arrest anyone who acts against efforts to control them. He could send any federal enforcement agency, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, reserves, national guard, or even the Coast Guard, Secret Service, DC police, or private guards to arrest them and prosecute any resisters as traitors. It is not one man against the MIC.

      And they cannot assassinate him once he has announced that intention, without exposing their hand and unleashing a generation of purges and strict controls. If he is surrounded by traitors, he has only to say that and fire the lot of them. He could leak that anonymously to Wikileaks or tweet it and they would be terrified.

    • Mork D
      May 25, 2019 at 01:48

      Bolton has been working DC bureaucracy like a pro for decades. He’s using Trump like a marionette while he runs circles around the amateur. He was helping orchestrate foreign wars of choice back when Trump was still playing a pretend boss on TV. Bolton has no loyalty except as a facade for those he needs to suck up to.

      Your examples of non-wars are terrific. Trump is amazing! – because he’s running the government so badly that the State Dept doesn’t know what the Pentagon is doing doesn’t know and vice versa. He chose to ignore the Iran nuclear deal, which had prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. So now, the Iranians declare (out of self defense) that they’re now going to pursue nuclear weapons. Trump then says that he doesn’t want to attack Iran, but they must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. This is a circular argument exactly of the type the MIC uses to engage in war. Pompeo then indicates that laughable, ineffectual attempts at sabotage are most likely Iranian. This grave threat to our nation can’t even do enough damage to an oil tanker to make it take on water.

      Just because someone fails to do something doesn’t mean that they were against it the whole time. Maybe they’re just awful at it. Sure, Trump says some things that are heartening to the anti-war and anti-interventionist crowd. But the next day he’ll say something heartening to rabid neocons. He needs to grow a spine, but it’s far too late. He’s a dandy, a spoiled rich kid fop who’s never had to answer for his mishaps, because why, when you have inherited money and a stout legal team?

    • anon4d2
      May 24, 2019 at 19:06

      The idea that “the MIC is a British Intelligence deployment” is fantastical, as the US MIC is several times the size of UK’s entire MIC, and such a secret could never be kept. The US MIC has engaged UK secret agencies to subvert the US Constitution by serving as agents to pass intercepted US communications back to the US to pretend that the MIC didn’t do it, or that it was foreign intel. But that is a long way from UK controlling the US MIC.

      There are certainly confluences of interests between the US and UK oligarchies, but I see no basis for the contention that “American submission to British Imperialism… began with the end of Grant’s administration” when the US prosecuted Britain for building the Alabama etc. to break the Union blockade, and was outraged that Britain considered recognition of the Confederacy until it lost at Gettysburg. The US under TR was not submitting to anyone when it sent the Great White Fleet on tour, or when it seized Cuba and the Philippines. Nor under Wilson when it stayed out of WWI until very late in the war, despite the Lusitania loss. Nor under FDR when it stayed out of WWII until attacked, despite the passionate pleas of Churchill.

      Some detailed argument with credible references would be needed to support those assertions.

    • Zhu
      May 25, 2019 at 01:44

      Scapegoating is real popular with lefties & rughties alike. American Exceptionalism forbids we ever accept respobility for what we’ve done.

    • Zhu
      May 25, 2019 at 01:45

      No, the rest of humanity is not any better.

    • anon4d2
      May 25, 2019 at 06:48

      The commenter was searching for causes, and some UK conspiracy is simply too far from any available evidence. In fact it much appears to be a wild attempt to distract from the obvious causes including zionism, which you pretend is “scapegoating.” No, zionism is a principle corrupting factor in US politics, especially foreign policy.

      If you don’t see that, you must start learning the evidence, rather than relying on the presumption that it is mere scapegoating. Otherwise you are serving their wrongful and racist tribal purposes, and others will presume that you know that.

    • Oscar Shank
      May 26, 2019 at 07:24

      Zhu knows it.

  32. Vera Gottlieb
    May 23, 2019 at 14:56

    How much more peaceful the life on our entire planet would be if the Americans weren’t around.

    • Vonu
      May 23, 2019 at 16:58

      Extend that to all humans, and the head of PETA would support the project.

    • David G. Horsman
      May 23, 2019 at 17:16

      I doubt that. Nature hates a void.

    • Bethany
      May 24, 2019 at 17:50

      Exactly. Very well put.

  33. Abe
    May 23, 2019 at 14:19

    Brazilian diplomat Jose Bustani, the first director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), only served about one year of his second term.

    Bustani was forced out by the U.S. government in April 2002 because he wanted international chemical weapons monitors inside Iraq and thus was seen as impeding the US push for war against Iraq. The US accused Bustani of “advocacy of inappropriate roles for the OPCW”.

    Since 2011, the United Nations has stood by a US-Saudi-Israeli Axis financed and armed the mercenary terrorist forces attacked Syria. In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, major support for terrorist mercenaries has provided via NATO-member state Turkey, as well as Jordan. Israel has launched repeated air attacks and provided direct support for terrorist forces in Syria.

    From July 2010 to 2018, the Director-General of the OPCW was Turkish career diplomat Ahmet Uzumcu. Uzumcu served ambassador to Israel from 1999 to 2002, and as the Permanent Representative of Turkey to NATO between 2002 and 2004.

    Turkey has been the primary channel for mercenary terrorist forces assaulting the Syrian state. The remaining terrorist forces in the Idlib Governorate continue to be supplied through Syria.

    Since Uzumcu announced the creation of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on 29 April 2014, not a single OPCW report has acknowledged these basic facts concerning the conflict in Syria.

    Following a consensus recommendation by the OPCW Executive Council in October 2017. Spanish career diplomat Fernando Arias was appointed to replace Uzumcu as Director-General of the OPCW. Previously, Arias served as Ambassador of Spain to the Netherlands and the Permanent Representative of Spain to the OPCW. He also has served as Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations in New York.

    Uzumcu, and now Bustani, obviously understand that the appropriate role of the OPCW is to provide propaganda support for “regime change” operations, and to say nothing contrary to the “narrative” endorsed by the US-Saudi-Israeli Axis.

    • David G. Horsman
      May 23, 2019 at 17:52

      The OPCW has certainly disgraced themselves in Syria. What a sham.

  34. Randal Marlin
    May 23, 2019 at 13:48

    John Bolton’s questioner in the second clip should have made the distinction between deception used to lead the country into war, and deception used to pursue a war already constitutionally declared and already underway.
    In the first case there is a violation of democratic principle. When the people are the ultimate sovereign, they need to be properly informed. They can agree to deception, like where and when D-Day will occur, during war; but not in the case of leading the people into war. Lying to Congress is always unacceptable, and those who do lie to Congress should be made to suffer serious penalties.

    • zhenry
      May 24, 2019 at 02:13

      I read a report that the aircraft carrier strike force and preparation of 120,000 US troops, to Persian Gulf was ordered sometime ago and that Bolton took advantage of that fact to make it look that ‘Bolton ordered it’?

    • vinnieoh
      May 24, 2019 at 10:54

      What I’d read is that the carrier strike force and bomber detachment were previously scheduled: there had been a previous drawdown and this deployment represents a return to a level similar to the end of the Iraq war, and that does sound like Bolton/Pompeo opportunism. The 120,000 troops plan sounds like something Bolton prodded pentagon scribes to produce. How to interpret when Bolton says that then Trump denies it, and then a new troop deployment (1% of the previous) is announced/suggested/leaked? I see it as Trump taking his dogs out for a walk to snarl at the neighbors.

  35. David G
    May 23, 2019 at 13:07

    “Thus Bolton was the driving force to get a carrier strike force sent to the Persian Gulf and, according to The New York Times, on May 14, it was he who ‘ordered’ a Pentagon plan to prepare 120,000 U.S. troops for the Gulf.”

    That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton, may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

    The National Security Advisor is, as the title states, merely an advisor – not confirmed by the Senate, and therefore not, in constitutional terms, an “officer of the United States” with the authority to carry out the policy of the government. Other than his assistant fetching him lunch, nobody in government should be following Bolton’s orders at all while he holds this job.

    But this is nothing new. I had the same concern, on an even larger scale, during the first Bush Jr. administration when Cheney was running around reshaping the government in his own warped image. Despite the Vice President’s elected status, he has no executive power under the Constitution – no power at all, in fact, except when sitting as President of the Senate. There was a time when everyone knew that.

    With all the perennial crowing we see about the greatness of the Constitution, and the mewling about how Trump is degrading it, it would be nice if Congress and the media could spare a moment to care about whether the people giving orders to the world’s largest military and covert/intelligence apparatus are legally empowered to do so.

    • Ash
      May 23, 2019 at 17:17

      > That the National Security Advisor, irrespective of whether the job is currently held by a lunatic like Bolton,
      > may be giving such orders should in and of itself be a subject of serious inquiry by Congress and the media.

      It does kind of have an Alexander Haig flavor to it, doesn’t it?

    • David G
      May 23, 2019 at 22:08

      When Bolton gets up and says “I’m in control here”, I’m definitely finding a rock to hide under.

  36. Zenobia van Dongen
    May 23, 2019 at 13:06

    The question that Joe Lauria asked of John Bolton, i.e. “If the United States and Britain had not overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 would the United States be today faced with a revolutionary government enriching uranium?” seems to imply that Iran seeks revenge against the US for the CIA’s 1953 coup d’état against prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq.
    However the current leaders of Iran are not entitled to consider themselves the heirs of Mossadeq, nor are they morally justified in avenging him, since the CIA coup relied largely on support from the very same clerical establishment that now rules Iran. As a matter of fact in the 1950s and 60s Shia clerics in Iran were routinely considered CIA agents. Consequently the Iranian elite’s pretense of carrying on Mossadeq’s anti-imperialist struggle is profoundly hypocritical. I grant that the current reactionary clique that governs Iran defends Iran’s sovereignty against US imperialism as Mossadeq did. But the underlying concept of the Iranian nation is profoundly different. The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran’s anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Constitutional_Revolution
    Indeed, Iran has no hesitation in crushing underfoot the aspirations to independence of other nations. It ruthlessly conducts ethnic cleansing in Syria, commits assassinations in South America, and in general behaves with imperialist ruthlessness that is moreover unmitigated by any concern for human rights or international law.

    • vinnieoh
      May 23, 2019 at 14:27

      As to your last paragraph please provide proof for your allegations. As to your second paragraph you assume to know the meaning behind the question Mr. Lauria asked. Could it be possible (this I believe is more likely) that what Mr. Lauria meant or realizes that absent the ’53 coup would there now be an Islamic theocracy ruling Iran?

      Again making the disclaimer that I’m no expert on the region or Iran particularly I have followed many leads of reading and investigation to understand the ramifications of that seminal event (the ’53 coup.) What I believe I’ve understood is that Iran prior to and until the ’53 coup was on its own unique trajectory of reclaiming its sovereignty and rejecting its status as a (UK) colonial vassal. There seemed to be a somewhat fluid acceptance of the rising democratic movement of Mosaddeq et. al., a fading nod to the former royal house, and an acceptance of Shiite religiosity of some considerable social legitimacy.

      So, three centers of power and influence working its unique way to an unique Iranian future.

      With the US/UK engineered coup the imperialists destroyed the legitimate democratic evolution happening there. With the re-installation of the Shah Reza Pahlavi as the puppet ruler of the US, that traditional center of power and legitimacy was likewise forever delegitimized in the eyes of most Iranians. That sentiment was cemented with the creation of SAVAK by the US, UK, and Israel to be the iron fist of the Shah and his new imperial master.

      That left only one center of power or authority which retained legitimacy in the eyes of Iranians – the Shiite theocrats, and that is why when Iranians kicked the US out it was the Islamic theocracy doing the booting. You are correct that there was at least one Shiite cleric (I’ve forgotten his name,) jealous and fearful of the rising influence of democratic governance, who is a known and recorded collaborator with the US/UK machinations of the coup. Without the help of the US/UK his part in the affair would probably have been inconsequential.

      It is not Iran that is funding and establishing Islamic madrasses in Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere. It is the Wahhabist Sunnis and they preach intolerance and violent jihad. Furthermore, of the total global population of adherents of Islam, 75% are Sunni affiliated, and 25% are Shiite affiliated. Those percentages hold true in the immediate region of the ME as well. The repeated claims of Iranian desires of empire are a shibboleth emanating from KSA and UAE.

    • May 23, 2019 at 15:36

      The leaders of the Islamic Revolution used Mossadegh’s image to help get people on board against the Shah, The National Front was allowed to be a party again for a short time, and a Street in Tehran was renamed post-revolution for Mohammad Mossadegh. This was a cynical ploy by the Mullahs to get people on board with their revolution and make people believe that they were indeed the true heirs of Mossadegh and committed to democracy. It was all a sham. The National Front was made illegal again at some point in the 80s, and the street named for Mossadegh was renamed around the same time. These people are the heirs of the Shah whether they like it or not.

    • anon4d2
      May 23, 2019 at 16:59

      Joe’s question points out that, had the US not overthrown Mossadegh, there would have been a secular democratic government. That is true throughout the Mideast, where in the 1950s-70s the US supported radical Islamic movements that suppressed secular movements and overthrew secular governments, pretending that the USSR was moving in. There was no evidence of USSR interest there, as it was preoccupied with such factions in its central Asian republics, and apparently only some arms from the USSR in Egypt were ever found as “evidence.”

      Similar US actions have continued to date, almost 30 years after the collapse of the USSR, the US always supporting fanatics against moderates like Assad and Ghaddafi, and pretending to support “democracy.”

      Compare the US support of Saudi Arabia, a fanatical fundamentalist monarchy engaged in terrorism throughout the region, including against their only neighbor that defends minority rights, Syria. Again falsely claiming the need to protect oil supply, which it can buy anywhere without bombing anyone, like any other oil buyer. Again falsely claiming to support democracy which it overthrows everywhere at the pleasure of its own oligarchy, always to “protect Israel” or attack socialism, which is always to get political bribes.

      There is no evidence of any “ethnic cleansing” by Iran in Syria or elsewhere. Where do you get that idea? Iran is majority Shiah, defending the majority Sunni population of Syria from Sunni fundamentalists. You certainly have no evidence that Iran “commits assassinations in South America” or opposes “aspirations to independence of other nations” and made that up to deceive others. Your comments on this site have been knowingly false.

    • zhenry
      May 24, 2019 at 03:44

      The above, re the current Iranian religious govt, very informative, thankyou.
      Re Joe’s article I cannot take seriously that Trump is against war and the Deep State.
      If Trumps rhetoric during his electioneering, supporting the middle class (deeply deprived after the US corporations abandoned them for low paid Chinese labour) was in any way honest he would not have chosen the cabinet he did (and keeps on choosing).
      Trump has not chosen one cabinet member that would support that supposed sympathy for the middle class.
      Reporting that assumes Trump is fighting for moderation (against his own cabinet) and to establish policies in the direction of that sympathy, is without evidence, it seems to me, regardless of what he might suggest to Fox News.

    • Vonu
      May 23, 2019 at 17:00

      “The present régime has no respect for the principles of democracy and popular sovereignty that pervaded Iran’s anti-imperialist struggle in the 1950s and was derived from the democratic ideals of the Persian constitutionalist revolution of 1909.”
      And the American government has equal respect for the Constitution.

  37. May 23, 2019 at 12:56

    Bolton didn’t order a carrier group to the Persian Gulf. He doesn’t have the authority. The carrier group left because of the deployment was already planned. Bolton does not have the power that has been ascribed to him. He is a grandiose clown who knows how to play the press. I don’t think he will have his job six months from now.

  38. David G
    May 23, 2019 at 12:16

    “At the time of Bolton’s appointment in April 2018, Tom Countryman … predicted to The Intercept that if Iran resumed enrichment after the U.S. left the deal, it ‘would be the kind of excuse that a person like Bolton would look to to create a military provocation or direct attack on Iran.’ In response to ever tightening sanctions, Iran said … that it would indeed restart partial nuclear enrichment.”

    Two problems with this part of the article:

    • The link in the main text here goes to an Intercept article about Bolton, but it has no mention of Tom Countryman, or even of Iran.

    • It isn’t accurate to say that Iran may now, or is saying it will, “resume” or “restart” nuclear enrichment, since it never ceased, nor did it ever commit to cease, such activity. The JCPOA merely imposed strict *limits* and monitoring on nuclear enrichment and stockpiling, some of which Iran is saying it will now depart from.

    I also disagree with the imputation elsewhere in the article that Donald Trump has a good understanding of real estate. His disastrous, decades-long record in that business suggests otherwise. But I suppose some people will always believe what they see on TV.

  39. lou e
    May 23, 2019 at 12:06

    Creeping fascism works like fishing with a rod and reel. You hook the fish and it runs off 100 ft of line . You reel in 50 ft and the fish takes 30 feet back. Do the Math! Some times burning down the village IS the only way to get rid of the infestation. Bit hard on the USSA, but as Ben Franklin put it you have a democratic republic IF ypu can Keep It.

  40. May 23, 2019 at 11:56

    Remember at an earlier time with Bolton, someone described him as a kiss up kick down kind of guy, i.e., a real jerk. I defended Trump against Russiagate because it was a threat to the office of the president. Unless, he gets his head straight, his “political” moves in the Middle East and Southwest Asia can spin out of control. He is not negotiating a new deal with some city to build another hotel, and his rhetoric makes him sound like that is the way he thinks he should act with other countries.

    One can defend him by saying maybe it will work, but then maybe not and it is not a matter of your target taking his papers and leaving the room.

    Great article, Mr. Lauria. Have you posted your resume on your site? Interested in your confrontation with Bolton.

    Trump wants to be reelected more that being the President but in his defense we know what he will face if he decides to enter into honest negotiations. He’s going to have a heck of a time finding people to cover his back. He can count on one presidential aspirant, Tulsi Gabbard but she’s on the other side.

  41. Jeff Harrison
    May 23, 2019 at 11:42

    If we have to rely on Thump for anything other than social controls, we’re screwed.

  42. David G
    May 23, 2019 at 11:40

    These personal reminiscences of Bolton at the U.N. by Joe Lauria unfortunately only confirm the man’s very public record. The fact that such a creature has been accepted for so long in the heart of U.S. foreign “policy” is yet more evidence that the country’s crisis of political culture started long before Trump came on the scene.

    I don’t quite accept the slight comfort implied in the formulations here that this time Bolton has “gone too far”, or “flown too high”, since to me they imply that there is some moral or rational bedrock that he has struck beneath which the establishment is not willing to go.

    I don’t think that’s true, as a general proposition. For example, the U.S. continues less noisily but inexorably on its long-term collision course with China, which will be even more catastrophic than war with Iran, not to mention the ultimate one with the planet’s environmental limits.

    For me it’s enough that, for a number of contingent reasons, Bolton’s (and MBS’s and Netanyahu’s) lunge at Iran has fallen flat with both U.S. and European policy and media elites – for now, and I hope forever.

  43. May 23, 2019 at 11:26

    I just called WH 202-456-1111 to tell President Trump that Bolton should be fired; had to wait 8 min to talk. Trump certainly has lots of problems, but he’ll have plenty more if he starts a war! Pox Americana!

    • Litchfield
      May 23, 2019 at 16:58

      Great idea.
      I’ll do the same.

  44. vinnieoh
    May 23, 2019 at 11:04

    Thank you Mr. Lauria. I’m tending to believe that not only has Bolton flown too high, but Trump’s predictable method of trying to get what he wants was completely miscalculated wrt Iran. There is no better treaty or deal to be had concerning keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The failures of the JCPOA that Trump is probably griping about all have to do with matters of Iran’s necessary and legitimate right to security and self-defense. No sane nation would willingly give in to this bullying. Thanks again.

    • vinnieoh
      May 23, 2019 at 11:44

      Also, wrt Trump’s predictable patterns, note that little if anything has changed regarding the US and the DPRK, so if he is a crafty and effective negotiator I’m having a hard time seeing it.

    • David G. Horsman
      May 23, 2019 at 18:22

      Good example Vinnieoh. NK and SK are reaching out and (more importantly) shoving out the US. More winning.

      I love Trump. He is useful. Fascism, NAFTA, generic racism… you name it, he really shines a light on issues.

      Here again. (Currently) SA, GAZA, Israel, Syria and of course Iran. Hell, the entire region. What a train wreck he is.

      What about the dollar? The EU? Yikes.

      By gosh this man could single handedly take down an empire! MAGA!

  45. May 23, 2019 at 10:47

    Well done, Joe Lauria. Of course our dilemma is Donald Trump says one thing and contradicts himself 5 minutes later. You could say he “changes his mind” but I do not think his mind is stable to begin with. He’s far too nuts to put any faith in for “doing the right thing,”

    Bolton and his neoconservative pox on the world serve the interests of the war machine and fossil fuel corporations. When will be rid of them? When We the People grow a set of testicles and throw them all into prison. Trump isn’t going to save us, but he might let Bolton get us all killed.

    Time for the people to rise.

    http://opensociet.org/2019/05/19/the-interlocking-crises-of-war-climate-chaos

    • May 23, 2019 at 11:31

      Seems that Trump is so small minded that what we observe cannot be explained mechanistically, we need quantum mechanics. Rather that a particular state of mind we have a stochastic distribution, wave patterns and spin.

    • May 23, 2019 at 14:34

      Great analogy

    • May 23, 2019 at 12:39

      The expert says what’s going on in Trump’s mind is solipsism and I agree with him:

      https://opensociet.org/2018/07/07/assault-on-reality-solipsism-whats-wrong-with-donald-trump-part-1/

    • Sam F
      May 23, 2019 at 13:12

      Yes, Joe Lauria has presented the problem very well.

      A major factor is certainly the persuasiveness of the NSC and other MIC entities which surround the president, and comprise much of official DC. Try persuading anyone in the MIC that war is ever inappropriate: they are all full of extreme scorn and false accusations, and have endless “evidence” of threats behind every tree, and rationales to attack this or at least that, just to make “statements” and “warnings” to invisible foreign monsters. The MIC is a completely and permanently logic-proof subculture of bullying, which bullies every member of its own tribe to line up behind tyrants like Bolton and a million other puerile bullies devoid of humanity.

      No doubt you know that this was all well understood by the founders of the US, who restricted federal military powers to repelling invasions and knew that any standing military was a threat to democracy. The Federalist Papers should be required reading in the US. All of those understandings were gradually lost after the War of 1812 and the 1820s, as the founders died off. As the US became confident that it could repel any invasion, it lost the sense of the necessity of unity and cooperation of regions, and Congress degenerated into a battle of intransigent factions leading to the completely unnecessary Civil War. With the ebullient emergence of the middle class, no effort was made to correct the defects of the Constitution in failing to protect the institutions of democracy from the rising power of economic concentrations. With WWI and WWII, the power of oligarchy over mass media was consolidated, and by WWII the oligarchy and MIC effectively controlled elections, mass media, and the judiciary, the tools of democracy. Democracy has been a facade ever since.

      The US has zero security problems that the MIC has not created, and could at any time re-purpose 80% of the MIC to developing infrastructure in the poorest nations with positive effects upon its security. Had it done so since WWII, we would have rescued the poorest half of humanity from poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, and disease, and would have had a true American Century. Instead we have killed over 20 million innocents and mortgaged the lives of our children to serve the infantile psychopaths of the MIC.

      The solution is not only to eliminate the 2000-member NSC, cut the military by at least 80 percent, prohibit acts of war or surveillance by the executive branch, tax the rich so that no one has income above upper middle class, and demand amendments to the Constitution restricting funding of the mass media and elections to limited and registered individual donations. We also desperately need a fourth branch of federal government, which I am calling the College of Policy Debate, to conduct moderated textual debates of policy issues in all regions, protecting and representing every viewpoint, in which all views are challenged and must respond, and all parties must come to common terms. The CPD should produce commented debate summaries available to the public with mini-quizzes and discussion groups. Without that rational analysis and access to the core debates, we do not have a democracy at all, we are all no more than the fools and pawns of these oligarchy scammers, who must be actively excluded from all government capacities.

      Sorry for the lecture.

    • Linda Wood
      May 24, 2019 at 01:59

      Please don’t apologize, Sam F. Your brilliant and humane words give me hope at a time in which I am in shock at the blatancy of fascism in our government.

  46. Doggrotter
    May 23, 2019 at 10:33

    Where is a drone strike when you need one?

  47. OlyaPola
    May 23, 2019 at 10:23

    ” seemed to always think he was the smartest person in the room.”

    Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools.

    Once upon a time there was a discussion of which of the opponents’ should be proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize – the list being relatively long.

    After extensive analysis and discussion the short-list consisted of two opponents in alphabetical order Mr. John Bolton and Mr. Karl Rove.

    However in light of the notion “Do you think your opponents are as stupid as you are? ” the proposal question was left in abeyance, not only as a function of decorum but also through understanding that “Useful fools are often most useful when they are believers that they are not fools.” and that even small dogs can seem tall when you are lying on your stomach.

  48. bobzz
    May 23, 2019 at 10:12

    “Pompeo told a radio interviewer after the briefing that the U.S. had still not determined who attacked two Saudi, a Norwegian and an Emirati oil tanker in the Gulf last week, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation. Pompeo said “it seems like it’s quite possible that Iran was behind” the attacks.”

    What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships? Smells of another false flag.

    • May 23, 2019 at 11:46

      I would not be so sure. A delicate signal that Iran has more capabilities concerning stopping in-out-Gulf traffic than naive people like Bolton realize has a sobering potential. By the way of contrast, what kind of black flag it is if it is instantly put in doubt, “we do not know” etc. When there were “chemical incidents” in Syria, no one in Washington claimed the need for more facts, uncertainty etc.

      Instead, UAE initially denied that it happened at all, subsequently, together with KSA, they did not have any “certain knowledge”. Somehow no government appears to promote the incident. Even USA.

      BTW, the allegation that Iran is placing missiles on fishing boats staggers the mind. First of all, “missile boats” of which Iran has plenty are small ships, BUT NOT VERY small, ca. 500-800 tons, which are fast, 40 kt, but not as fast as their predecessors, torpedo boats (200-300 tons, 50-60 kt). They are still faster than any of the larger naval vessels, can trail them, and attack from small distance in the case of start of hostilities. That Iran places missiles on such boats can be learned from videos proudly provided by PressTV.ir.

      Using “fishing boats” for that purpose is dubious, and the largest question mark would be: WHY? The reason that missile boats are larger and heavier than torpedo boats is that you need more stability to launch missiles than torpedoes. Then you need a radar etc. Placing missiles on fishing boats would be a waste of missiles. Hardly an escalation.

    • OlyaPola
      May 23, 2019 at 12:47

      “Hardly an escalation.”

      Perhaps you are being deflected by framing?

      One of the escalations is the escalation of belief in, requirement of, and resort to, the dumbed-downess of the “target audience”.

      One of the salient questions being deflected is why, and as ever investigation requires some knowledge of Mr. Heisenberg and his principles.

    • mark
      May 23, 2019 at 22:34

      Perhaps the Iranians are putting missiles on fishing boats to stun the fish and catch them that way. Fishing boats aren’t exactly very fast.

    • May 23, 2019 at 12:21

      Anyone who actually believes the oil tanker incidents were carried by Iran should seek an immediate consultation with their doctor. These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools and Iranians are not fools.

    • Brian
      May 23, 2019 at 17:22

      Exactly. According navel personnel, Iran has been using fishing boats to transfer rockets from land to it’s vessels for years, supposedly because the gulf is too shallow. I don’t have hydrographic maps of the area, anyone know if this is true?

    • May 23, 2019 at 23:33

      Clearly, Persian Gulf has routes for the largest ships on Earth, but the supply bases for missiles may be away from ports, and it would make sense to place them so they are not easily accessible to a big ship navy, and in general, to disperse them.

    • Tim
      May 26, 2019 at 06:43

      “Thomas”

      > These blatant false flags clearly are the work of fools

      Since neither you nor I know who did it, and there are a whole slew of plausible suspects, we don’t know why they did it, either. So it is silly to claim they are fools.

      Since the Saudis and UAE are in the midst of waging war on Yemen, the most obvious suspects are their enemies there, al-Ansara.

      (And by the way, contrary to what another commentator claimed, it was not a “few dents”, but a gaping hole in the hull just below the waterline. And since the local authorities spoke of an impact by an unidentified object, these were presumably torpedo strikes.)

    • OlyaPola
      May 26, 2019 at 07:58

      “What possible advantage could accrue to Iran from putting a few dents in the ships?”

      Quite a few including but not limited to further data on the opponents’ perception of what constitutes plausible belief for the opponents’ target audience, and the opponents’ increasing resort to, amplitude, scope and velocity of “misrepresentations”.

      As is the case with the benefits of dumbing down not accruing solely to those actively engaged in dumbing down, the benefits of creation and implementation of “false flags” do not accrue solely to those engaged in “false flags”, and are enhanced when the creators and implementers of “false flags” are immersed in amalga of projection and notions of sole/prime agency, facilitating potential benefits to many others not restricted to Iran.

  49. Joe Tedesky
    May 23, 2019 at 10:05

    Keep writing articles like this Joe Lauria and more will know that we better well stop John Bolton. Very informative thank you Consortium.

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