Trump puts nuclear war advocate Bolton in charge of national security
Large part of photo: YouTube screenshot / Inset photo: New National Security Advisor John Bolton | AP

In what is widely viewed as the most dangerous and consequential move of his presidency thus far, Donald Trump yesterday ousted H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor and replaced him with the ultra war hawk, John Bolton.

Dropping his campaign promise to keep America out of “stupid wars” like the U.S. invasion of Iraq, almost 15 years to the day since that war started, Trump has selected one of its chief proponents to take over the job of ensuring the safety and security of the voters to whom he made that promise.

In Dr. Strangelove-esque fashion, Bolton told the press as late as last month that “we should not wait until the last minute to strike North Korea.” He wrote a detailed editorial in The New York Times explaining why a first strike against that country would be perfectly “legal.”

Earlier, he had urged a first strike “pre-emptive” attack on Cuba, claiming that the Cubans were preparing biological warfare agents at a plant on the island. Steve Clemons of The Atlantic had visited that plant and reported that it was a medical lab developing vaccines for Cuba’s free national health care system.

Bolton advocates the U.S. military overthrow of the Iranian government and has said that after that goal is accomplished, the Americans who were held hostage there by the Ayatollah during the Carter years should be invited to attend the christening of the new U.S. embassy in Tehran. On Iran, he has also argued that a nuclear bombing of the country by Israel would be fully justified.

Trump’s appointment of Bolton comes as he ratchets up his own attacks on Iran, stirring up more propaganda to scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran that has successfully halted that country’s push to develop deliverable nuclear weapons. It comes at the same time that Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch enemy in the Middle East, is talking about becoming a nuclear power and is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into Trump organizations in exchange for Trump’s radically favorable tilt to Saudi Arabian policy, including that country’s slaughter of more than 10,000 civilians in Yemen.

Having failed to secure two loans from Qatar, one for $500 million and another for $350 million, the Kushner family is now enjoying the massive financial support of the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates. Crafting U.S. foreign policy to line their pockets, the Trump family recently engineered the dumping of Qatar as a strategic ally (despite the huge U.S. military base there) and backed the Saudi and UAE-led blockade of that country and their invasion of Yemen.

It is almost beyond belief that a president beholden to the Saudis for their incoming money and fearful of gangsters and oligarchs in the Kremlin who, if they called in the loans he owed them could ruin him financially, is charting foreign policy around the world with regard only for how much wealthier he can become.

Pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war with the appointment of Bolton is apparently totally acceptable—provided the cash keeps flowing.

H.R. McMaster is approximately the 60th person to be fired from or to have resigned from the White House since Trump took office. The chaos ensuing is also apparently okay with Trump as long as the money continues coming in for the Trump organization.

Yesterday, the greed-driven president also ditched John Dowd, one of his lawyers who had been urging restraint in Trump’s attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and replaced him with the right-wing conspiracy theorist, Joseph DiGenova.

By the time this article is published today, others may be on the chopping block. There were reports yesterday that Trump was planning to also fire Chief of Staff John Kelly and replace him with himself (Donald Trump). It is clear that the president sees himself as the state and intends to surround himself only with people who agree with and support the dangerous path he is taking.

Mueller is clearly in his crosshairs now that he appears to be closing in so successfully, piling up evidence that implicates the president on several fronts, including collusion, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Mueller’s recent granting of immunity to George Nader—the man who supposedly orchestrated the December 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed—has the President particularly unnerved. Nader is believed to have set up some of the deals that resulted in UAE funding for Trump operations in exchange for the Trump foreign policy shift away from Qatar and toward the UAE and the Saudis. Mueller is also obviously looking closely at Trump participation in the money laundering operations of Russian oligarchs and gangsters.

Speaking yesterday after his announcement about Bolton, Trump raised fears of a war with Iran when he said to the press, “There are a lot of bad things happening in Iran.”

Logic should dictate the futility and danger of the Bolton-Trump approach to Iran. Any bombing of Iran, as Bolton advocates, would surely be followed by an active war there that could spread around the world. Even if a wider war could miraculously be avoided, it would strengthen the hand of the right-wing fundamentalists in power in Tehran. No doubt even the appointment of Bolton is already doing that.

Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush blasted Bolton’s Korea policy last night. “Any first strike attack on North Korea,” he said on national television, “would end up, at a minimum, with millions of people being killed.”

Once again the world awaits reaction from current GOP leaders who, unlike Painter, have thus far given Trump a green light on everything. The security of the world may depend upon them ending their profile in cowardice.


John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.