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Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump's 'Tough Cookie' Is a Dangerous Warmonger

John Bolton's belligerence belies the president-elect's critique of reckless foreign intervention.

Donald Trump began to express doubts about the wisdom of overthrowing Saddam Hussein soon after the 2003 invasion of Iraq and by 2004 was criticizing the war as senseless and counterproductive—or, as he put it more recently, "a big, fat mistake." Hillary Clinton, by contrast, did not admit the war was a mistake until more than a decade after she voted for it.

John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador whom Trump reportedly plans to nominate as deputy secretary of state, has Clinton beat: He still thinks the war was a good idea. Bolton's stubborn defense of a disastrous war he helped engineer, which by itself should be enough to disqualify him from any position related to foreign policy, reflects interventionist instincts that are glaringly inconsistent with Trump's critique of reckless regime change and naïve nation building.

In a recent speech, Trump reaffirmed his "commitment to only engage the use of military forces when it's in the vital national security interest of the United States." He said "we will stop racing to topple foreign regimes…that we know nothing about," promised that his administration will instead be "guided by the lessons of history and a desire to promote stability," and declared that "the destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally…come to an end."

It is hard to think of a worse candidate to help implement that vision than Bolton. As undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs, he was largely responsible for the deception used to justify the invasion of Iraq, a stratagem that Trump has condemned in no uncertain terms.

"They lied," Trump said during a debate last February. "They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none, and they knew there were none."

Bolton is not only a liar, according to Trump himself, but a liar who does not learn from his big, fat mistakes. "I still think the decision to overthrow Saddam was correct," he told The Washington Examiner last year.

Undaunted by the results of that intervention, which according to Trump created chaotic conditions conducive to terrorism, Bolton supported overthrowing Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, which according to Trump continued "the destructive cycle of intervention and chaos." More recently Bolton has advocated bombing Iran and argued that the U.S. should have intervened earlier and more decisively in Syria's civil war.

Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator who briefly vied with Trump for the Republican presidential nomination and who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is dismayed by the gap between Bolton's belligerence and Trump's criticism of wanton war making. "I want Trump to pick somebody who agrees with what he said on the stump," Paul told Reason last week. "The fact that the administration would consider Bolton makes one wonder how deeply felt or deeply held those beliefs are."

In a Rare essay explaining why he will oppose any nomination of Bolton for a State Department position, Paul describes him as "a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years—particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president." Paul notes that Bolton "more often stood with Hillary Clinton and against what Donald Trump has advised."

Trump's puzzling fondness for Bolton, whom he calls "a tough cookie," is of a piece with his promise to "build up" a military that already receives more money than its seven closest competitors combined. "I'm a very militaristic person," Trump bragged during a debate last year, even as he criticized the Iraq war.

Trump says he aims, like Ronald Reagan, to achieve "peace through strength." But a military buildup hardly seems consistent with Trump's complaint that "we're all over the place, fighting in areas that we just shouldn't be fighting in." An outsized military budget invites outsized thinking about how to use it, and an adviser like Bolton would have plenty of ideas.

© Copyright 2016 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • Radioactive||

    I read that as Cookie Monster, at first...

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Bolton's chickenhawkness is closer to Hillary than Trump, by a long shot. I wonder what his other positions are? I bet he subordinates everything to being a bellicose chickenhawk, so much that if Hillary had won, he would be a perfect fit for her.

  • ||

    Bolton, McCain, and Hillary would be 3 war mongers in a pea pod.

  • OldJim||

    Yeah, but I imagine both Bolton and McCain would want the top job at State.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Sessions is more worrisome than Bolton. He will bring Bolton's sentiments to US law enforcement. Against US citizens.

  • The Grinch||

    How much sway does the Deputy SOS really have though? Bolton will be subordinate to both Trump and Tillerson, two people who at least appear far less bellicose then he is. I'd like to think that Trump wants him around to have an alternative opinion available to avoid groupthink but who knows what the actual reason is.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Deputy SoS is an operations position dealing more with the agency than the other countries.

    And I still don't like Tillerson, though I'm trying to pin down what it is that makes me uneasy about him.

  • I can't even||

    If they keep Bolton aimed inward at the State bureaucracy, that may be okay. Certainly a need for much reform and knows the organization.

    If they invite him to policy meetings, that's bad.

  • The artist known Dunphy||

    No, it's good. Alternative viewpoints are good. DO we want Trump only surrounded by people that think the same way he does?

    Any president should be surrounded by diverse viewpoints, and especially not just by people who will say whatever they WANT to hear

  • ||

    Yes, but the problem with Bolton is that he has a history of lying - not just of presenting "alternative views."

  • gaoxiaen||

    Colin Powell agrees/disagrees.

  • geo1113||

    Let's look at the silver lining. Bolton drives progressives batshit crazy.

  • ||

    I honestly think that this was the motivation. In reality, he can't actually do much in that position, but if he pisses off the right people, that's pure gold.

  • MikeT1986||

    How much are you willing to sacrifice to gain the pleasure of annoying people you disagree with? It's getting kinda sad.

  • ||

    I sacrificed nothing. I voted for someone who lost, so the only thing left is the pleasure of watching heads explode.

  • american socialist||

    Oh, Mike, that's the raison d etre around here. The answer expressed in Jeopardy terms is "what is everything?"

  • كبير الهراء, Jr.||

    The $200 clue was: "american socialist is wrong about this."

    Good job nailing that one, amsoc!

  • ant1sthenes||

    You fool, you just doomed the world with that paradox.

  • gaoxiaen||

    What the Federal and State apparatchiks control or want to control. You know, everything that exists.

  • Chip Chipperson||

    Ask Obama.

  • thrakkorzog||

    I just hope Trump sends him as the ambassador to the UN. He gets to spend all his time telling the UN what a waste of space they are, and occasionally veto the 'Israel is worse than Satan' resolution, and his job is like 99% done.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    I think Nikki Haley was already chosen for that job. Or Trump tapped her or something.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Tapped = Shagged?

  • MoreFreedom||

    "Bolton drives progressives bat**** crazy"

    I wouldn't be so sure about that. There are a lot of interventionists on the Democrat side. It's just their idea of intervention is for "humanitarian" reasons, in spite of the fact that intervening results in bullets and bombs flying. Consider Libya, Allepo, Rwanda, and Bosnia.

    Besides, it gives them opportunities to claim they landed under fire.

  • simplybe||

    Trump never knows what he until 10 minutes after he tweets it.

  • MSimon||

  • Jerryskids||

    There's a slight possibility that Bolton was picked specifically as a "Do Not Enter" sign - if you want to know how an issue should be handled, just ask Bolton what he'd do and then do the exact opposite. But I suspect the real answer is because Trump's got no idea what he thinks until you ask him and then it's just whatever pops into his head and falls out of his piehole - and then the thought's gone and forgotten. Trump's been talking nothing but shit for 70 years - you seriously think he still listens to himself bloviate?

  • MSimon||

    To Saudi Arabia, "You want me to put Bolton on it?"

  • american socialist||

    Yay! A job promotion for a war criminal asshole. Thought he'd never see the light of a government office again, but you never know what's going to happen in Crazy Donald's Cabinet of Crack-Ups. #CalExit

  • Agammamon||

    There's a promotion up from President of the United States? Did Obama get the Super-Peace Prize or something?

  • UnCivilServant||

    How many Stossel Articles in a row is reason going to post? Did they have a backlog that some quibble prevented them from putting up, or did he just deliver a big stack of them today?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Sorry, I put this in the wrong place.

  • Robert||

    I'm sure he's got medical bills. Wonder how he's feeling?

  • ||

    "John Bolton Is a Dangerous Warmonger"

    No! When did Reason Staff have this brilliant revelation?

    Next thing, you're going to tell us that Sessions is drug warrior dinosaur.

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'll be shocked when they realize some other people are also dangerous warmongers.

  • ||

    Let's see, you can't be talking about Hillary, hmm, umm... I give up.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Why would he be talking about Hillary? Why would anybody? She no longer works for the government in any capacity.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Does that mean we've stopped paying Secret Service agents to follow her around?

    Also the investigation into her crimes is still ongoing, so she might be back in the news again.

  • ||

    She's also still going to be running a money laundering scheme disguised as a charity. It just will probably not be as profitable until they get Chelsea to the Senate or Hillary inevitably runs again in 2020 if she's still alive. Politics is all the Clintons know, they're not going to just quietly go away.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    My dream: Hillary becomes ambassador to Libya with her headquarters in Benghazi. (sans security).

  • Number.6||

    We still have a diplomatic presence in Syria and Yemen, don't we?

  • MikeP2||

    Meh.....He's not in charge.

    And the whining about the Iraq warn is kinda lame as it conflates two issues.

    The vast majority of people "in the know" thought removing Hussein was a great idea at the time.
    The execution of afterwards is where we see major divergences in opinions.

    Bolton at least has the balls to stand by his belief that toppling Hussein was a good idea. Clinton and many others cut-n-run when it was politically expedient, to their shame and our cost. How much of the problem in post-war re-building is due to the perfidy of the Democrats that had voted to approve the war in the first place.

  • Agammamon||

    The problem is *specifically* that the 'people in the know' failed to understand the political landscape of the very region they so confidently thought they could re-engineer. They failed to understand basic concepts like 'power vacuum'.

    Bolton's belief that toppling Hussein was a good idea shows that he's kind of a moron who didn't understand how Hussein maintained a lid on the very shit we've been fighting and shows that he still doesn't understand how our removal of the dude and his whole governmental apparatus has lead to significantly worse outcomes than leaving him in place would have.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    MOAR REJEEM CHANGEZ!!!!!

  • The Metonymy||

    +1 Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998

  • MikeP2||

    " lead to significantly worse outcomes than leaving him in place would have."

    You are just making up claims that you have no friggin support for.

    There was a very solid argument pre-war that Hussein was a tyrant, actively facilitating regional unrest, and setting up Iraq for inevitable civil war upon his death/assassination. His sons were reportedly insane, one leading the friggin death squads.
    Removing Hussein at that point in time made global sense and was widely discussed by a lot of people far more knowledgeable than you or I.

    Whether that was a good or bad idea ultimately must be debated on intelligence and data we don't have access to. So STFU already.
    What we can debate is the visible competence of the execution and post-war management of Iraq. Lots of criticism is possible there for all of us. But arguing theoreticals about a go/no-go decision is childish.

  • ||

    Removing Hussein at that point in time made global sense and was widely discussed by a lot of people far more knowledgeable than you or I.

    Top Men, you might say.

    There were other people who were fairly knowledgeable who weren't pulling the strings of power who understood something about the history of the ME and predicted with great accuracy every single thing that happened in the wake of taking out Hussein, much in the way that many people foresaw exactly what would go wrong with the PPACA.

    But, indeed, "arguing theoreticals about a go/no-go decision is childish," since it makes the foreign policy establishment look like imbeciles. And no one wants that.

  • MikeP2||

    "predicted with great accuracy" calling BS on that.

    None of us here have access to even a small fraction of the intelligence data available to the decision makers.
    It was a bipartisan consensus to go into Iraq. The vast majority of people-in-the-know were aligned.

    To my recollection the only vocal opponents were the typical non-interventionalists who would have nay-sayed anything overseas....and even a number of prominent folks in that camp thought it was a good idea.

  • ||

    "predicted with great accuracy" calling BS on that.

    You must not have been reading reason or Cato back then.

    It was a bipartisan consensus

    Best kind.

    The vast majority of people-in-the-know were aligned

    Then why even bother with this representative government thing, when our betters know so much better than we do, as demonstrated by how awesome all of their plans keep turning out?

  • MikeP2||

    I think it's cute that you think Reason has writers who are "fairly knowledgeable". Or were you referring to the commenters?
    Cato? I recall harping after the fact, not detailed reasoning prior to the war. I just googled to confirm and found nothing. Who at Cato was predicting what would happen prior to the invasion?

    "Then why even bother with this representative government thing, when our betters know so much better than we do, as demonstrated by how awesome all of their plans keep turning out?"
    Well...ya know.....they have access to far more information than us as a result of the office they were elected to. The whole job is essential to manage the shit because you can't have 300million people voting on every decision. And if they farge it up, they lose the job. Kinda like almost every job.

  • ||

    Well...ya know.....they have access to far more information than us as a result of the office they were elected to.

    Your analysis relies on ignoring their colossal fuck ups. But I suppose you're right - we should simply keep doing what the "knowledgeable people" tell us to do. Because Bolton probably knows best. His having been wrong about/lied about almost everything in his life should in no way dissuade us from this conclusion.

  • MikeP2||

    No one is ignoring their colossal fuck ups.

    You seem to fail to understand the difference between
    A) Pointing out clear fuck-ups.
    B) Criticizing based on hindsight and claiming people should have known it all along.

    These are two distinctly separate things.

    When the majority of people with the most knowledge in the friggin world make a decision to pursue a venture, it is the epitome of hubris for some schmo with little knowledge to sit back and say "I told you so" when it doesn't go well. It is worsened by lobbing baseless talking points (Bush lied, there were no WMDs, Etc) perpetuated by Dem opposition propagandists.

  • ||

    When the majority of people with the most knowledge in the friggin world make a decision to pursue a venture


    You're ignoring that most of these "most knowledgeable people" had

    1) little actual knowledge (cf 9/11 Commission Report)
    2) had the situation misrepresented to them by self-serving intelligence officials, including Bolton

    Here's some schmo who saw this coming miles off. But that's probably random chance.

    I myself, who've been known to spend years at a time studying ME history, and who's even published and given talks on the subject (from a history-of-science angle), predicted exactly how all this would turn out (even, at times, in this very comment section), and witnessed directly the ignorance and hubris of my "betters" who understand all this so much better than I do.

    But your faith in Top Men is endearing - keep it up. They'll probably figure out what they're doing someday.
  • ||

    In the off chance that you're arguing in good faith, let me clarify one important distinction:

    What has emerged over the years since 9/11 is that our intelligence people are very good at identifying different groups and where they are operating from, who their members are, and even at times where their funding is coming from.

    The big glaring blind spot that has emerged again and again is their total lack of awareness of the history of the area, which groups have antipathy for which and why, and which groups are likely to form alliances and why.

    They believe that knowing where all the pieces are will make them win the game, without understanding why the pieces are where they are and what the different players are actually trying to achieve.

  • Nunya||

    Arguing with Mike is pointless when the "they lied about WMDs" is cast aside as liberal propaganda. We can't even ask why there was a need to lie to the public about the cWMDs when obviously they were actually seized by Americans and UN forces. Right?

  • MikeP2||

    You are sadly misusing the "Top Men" theme. Do you not understand what that really means?

    No one, least of all me, is saying you must trust those in power simply because of who they are or the power they wield. That is the problem with faith in "top men"....blind acceptance.

    But, it is a very different premise to respect and give credence to those people that have more knowledge about a topic. It is childish to think you know more than an expert in the field....really friggin childish.
    And you've said nothing of import or consequence for anyone to believe you are anywhere close to an expert.

  • wareagle||

    Removing Hussein at that point in time made global sense and was widely discussed by a lot of people far more knowledgeable than you or I.

    sort of related is how many folks railed against Bush I for not "finishing the job" in the first Gulf War, even though the UN resolution and the coalition involved never signed on for a march to Baghdad. Many of those same people took the opposite tack when Bush II was the decider. And in a stunning display of irony, they tried to justify Herself's move against Qaddafi, who was far more under control than Saddam.

  • Number.6||

    Let's not forget too that despite all the armchair quarterbacking, Iraq had been violating UN Resolution 1441 for years.

    The general tenor of the time among people who were paying attention (i..e. people whose interests were policy based rather than Team Derp Oneupmanship) was that flouting of UNR1441, plus all the other *circumstantial* evidence provided a plausible casus belli for GW2.

    It was, and is, fair to view the invasion as inadvisable in hindsight, but there was considerable bipartisan support based on INTEL briefings given at the time, and maybe, just maybe, if we want to start looking for possible culprits for getting into GW2, one might reasonably put the CIA under a bit more scrutiny, now that we can see just how craptacular they are.

  • MikeP2||

    ^^^ yeh...have to wonder about the CIA and the intelligence communities. Would have been the stuff of the conspiracy mongers at the time...but now?

  • The Metonymy||

    I recall Bill Clinton's Justice Department indictment of Osama bin Laden mentioning cooperative ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam's Iraq.

  • The Metonymy||

    And Clinton's bombing of the Al Shifa pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan was predicated on reports of Iraqi outsourcing of sarin gas production there.

  • ||

    there was considerable bipartisan support based on INTEL briefings given at the time, and maybe, just maybe, if we want to start looking for possible culprits for getting into GW2, one might reasonably put the CIA under a bit more scrutiny

    And excellent point. If we could only discover who it was who misrepresented the situation to the President, so that we can make sure that person never gets back into office.

    Wait . . .

  • Number.6||

    Let's not forget also that even if all parties motives are pure, the geopolitical concerns of the CIA and the intelligence community are not necessarily aligned with the prevailing government.

    Iran has always been one of the biggest geopolitical concerns, aspiring (and currently succeeding) in becoming a regional hegemon. The opportunity to develop a pincer formed by Iraq and Afghanistan would make a lot of sense, and that objective would persist across multiple electoral cycles.

    So, when your current boss says "Hey, what do you think about maybe smacking that Iraqi dude?", don't you think that would be seen as an opportunity that justified 'coloring the evidence' somewhat?

  • ||

    the geopolitical concerns of the CIA and the intelligence community are not necessarily aligned with the prevailing government

    ^ So much this.

    Iran has always been one of the biggest geopolitical concerns, aspiring (and currently succeeding) in becoming a regional hegemon. The opportunity to develop a pincer formed by Iraq and Afghanistan would make a lot of sense

    if you're operating under the assumption that involvement in regional politics on the other side of the planet is your prerogative or is even within your abilities.

  • Number.6||

    One can disagree with it, but the CIA's official mission statement is:

    [to] Preempt threats and further US national security objectives by collecting intelligence that matters, producing objective all-source analysis, conducting effective covert action as directed by the President, and safeguarding the secrets that help keep our Nation safe.

    Says nothing about geographical proximity whatsoever, but then, it's a nonsense anyway. I'd argue that an intelligence body *only* conducting covert action as directed by the President wouldn't be effective, because a program will typically be active far longer than a single sitting administration.

  • ||

    I'd argue that an intelligence body *only* conducting covert action as directed by the President wouldn't be effective, because a program will typically be active far longer than a single sitting administration

    Probably true. But the program that continues independently of the president to the extent that the CIA does eventually develops its own existential concerns and its own interests that aren't necessarily aligned with those of either the President or the public.

    I would go so far as to suggest that there is no place in a free society for a president undertaking covert actions that potentially lead to war with other countries.

  • Agammamon||

    No I'm not going to shut the fuck up already. The 'intelligence we don't have access to' excuse is bullshit.

    Let's say Hussein did have WMD's. Let's say he was fomenting 'regional instability' (though how you do that in what is perhaps the most unstable region of the world and how you do it by promoting 'pan-Arab unity' I don't know) - what the fuck did that have to do with us?

    We didn't invade when he used WMD's against the Kurds. Why later? Because he might us the against American troops that shouldn't have been in range in the first place? Because he might sell them to the very sort of people he'd been spending several decades keeping a very effective lid on inside his own country? That he might sell them for use against Americans when the only reason to do that would be to counter American interference in the ME?

    Even without access to 'the intelligence data' - which none of the policy makers had, they had access to intelligence summaries, and analysis reports, and policy proposals - the invasion of Iraq was a bad idea. Simply because there was no real American nexus there. No threat to us, no obvious advantage to it, and a huge amount of risk.

  • Agammamon||

    All of the above is irrelevant anyway - we invaded Iraq because a bunch of 'Top Men' decided Hussein was both vulnerable and that by controlling Iraq we could remake the ME into a peaceful Western-style culture. WMD's and 'fomenting instability' are a red-herring. They're a distraction, a hand-wave, used to hide the true justifications for the invasion of Iraq.

  • MikeP2||

    "The 'intelligence we don't have access to' excuse is bullshit."

    um...no, it's not. Intelligent people realize when they don't have the necessary information to make an informed opinion and avoid spouting absolutes about things they have little background in.

    "Simply because there was no real American nexus there. No threat to us, no obvious advantage to it, and a huge amount of risk."

    and thus you display the above mentioned lack of knowledge.

    Hussein was sitting on the largest/2nd largest oil reservoirs in the world and had a blade to the throat of global energy with his proximity to the Gulf. The only thing preventing his flexing of this power was the constantly maintained No-Fly zone for the decade after GW1. It was a stalemate, with no positive potential outcome. Regardless of when the US gets its oil, the global economy...of which the US trades with.....is utterly dependent on reliable flow of oil out of the Gulf. The second largest economy at the time, Japan, is something like 85% dependent on Gulf oil.

  • MikeP2||

    So...yeh...it was vital to US interests to maintain stability in that area of the world.

    We can argue all day about the post-invasion fiascos and who is at fault. But the bulk of the friggin world wanted Hussein gone (except those making money in the oil-for-food scam), along with the vast majority of those elected officials with access to the best intelligence of the time.
    But no...you think you know better.

  • Number.6||

    Which brings us back to that quote from the much-maligned Donald Rumsfeld about known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

    I'm not sure it's really even possible to untangle the "real" story about how the decisions were made to undertake Iraqi Freedom, but I'd like to offer a suggestion - that all the personalities currently criticized for taking the decisions they did, was based on a confluence of ignorance, rather than deceit, compounded by hubris and misplaced trust in the meagre sources of information they had.

    Traditional, innocent, ignorance rarely gets the recognition it deserves when projects fail.

  • Number.6||

    ... which further demonstrates the foolishness of relying on Top Men, of course.

  • ||

    all the personalities currently criticized for taking the decisions they did, was based on a confluence of ignorance, rather than deceit, compounded by hubris and misplaced trust in the meagre sources of information they had.

    ^ This.

  • juris imprudent||

    We promoted stability in the region by backing Iraq when they were fighting Iran. Fucking strange definition of stability you got there Mike.

  • MikeP2||

    Not strange at all. If you want two opponents to weaken themselves, you encourage them to fight and provide arms to both sides. Keeping the Iraqis/Iranians tired of war kept them from any broader flexing of power in the Gulf. Worked great until they wised up.

    This was the M.O. of the Cold War era, spiced with a handful of proxy wars.

    I'm not advocating this BS, mind you, just pointing it out.

  • ||

    Keeping the Iraqis/Iranians tired of war kept them from any broader flexing of power in the Gulf.

    Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988. Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1991.

    "Top Men" seem to have miscalculated.

    I'm not advocating this BS, mind you, just pointing it out.

    You're defending this BS and it's architects awfully passionately for someone who's not advocating it.

  • ||

    Intelligent people realize when they don't have the necessary information to make an informed opinion and avoid spouting absolutes about things they have little background in

    Some intelligent people have enough background in things to realize that the "authorities" don't have any idea what they are talking about and are feeding them a line of bullshit.

  • MikeP2||

    yeh, and some people full themselves into thinking they know jack shit.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Well. Japan is a noncombatin since 1945.

  • gaoxiaen||

    *noncombatant

  • MikeP2||

    um...yeh. Because we are pledged to do their combat for them. or at least 'were'

  • MoreFreedom||

    I agree Agammamon. Before we ever get involved in a war we ought to know what the outcome (other than we'll crush their military) will be afterwards. You can't have freedom (and the prosperity that comes with it) unless you are FIRST willing to give it to others. And who exactly in the Middle East is willing to do that, other than perhaps General el-Sisi in Egypt?

    I wondered exactly what would happen after finishing off the Republican Guard. All I can say is the US totally screwed up in siding with oppressive Muslims and allowing them to have a constitution that enshrined Islam rather than freedom. That's after HW Bush's schemes that green lighted Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and after the ill advised war to push him out of Kuwait at our, rather than Kuwait's expense. And after GW Bush's failure to question our "intelligence" agencies and their falling for Hussein's propaganda campaign he had WMDs to keep Iran away. And after our government's failure to not sell arms to warmongers in the Middle East.

    It all points to efforts on the part of the military industrial complex and the politicians (mostly RINOs) who were and are invested in them. They like stirring up hornets nets of Islamic militants who are being oppressed in countries where the leaders don't want others to have freedom.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Yeah, well, your mom is a dangerous warmonger.

  • ||

    My mom is a dangerous war monger. She votes for Republicans and once made all of us kids, Desert Storm t-shirts. Seriously.

  • thrakkorzog||

    Mmm, dessert storm t-shirts.

  • ||

    Mum would probably have a portrait of Bolton on the wall beside her Reagan and Dubyah portraits if she knew who he was.

  • Princess Trigger||

    So, a position as head of the Social Security Administration is just the job for him?

  • Citizen X||

    "Rad Mustache Czar."

    You know what, keep him out of office, but definitely appoint his mustache to something.

  • Swiss Servator||

    I wonder if his 'stache wrestled Stossel's.....matter-antimatter explosion?

  • ||

    Nope. Bolton's 'stache would repeat the infamous D. David Schultz bitch slap on Stossel's NAP laden 'stache.

  • juris imprudent||

    The Juris Imprudent mustache appears to end in well defined handlebars - that conceal rapiers that would mercilessly slice the Bolton caterpillar to tiny little bits.

    Non-aggression, deadly retribution.

  • ||

    Trump's just rewarding those who were loyal to him when most Republicans were against him, or at least refused to back him. He should put Bolton in as Whitehouse basement janitor. Every once in a while we can see a quickie reel of him sweeping the floor and mumbling to himself about Iran and nukes, on Fox News.

  • Derp-o-Matic 5000||

    Except that fat fuck in New Jersey who, despite being one of Trump's earliest big-name supporters, Trump makes his bitch at every opportunity.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    And Rudy, and Newt...

  • ||

    Guiliani is going to be in charge of Whitehouse hair styling and Newt is going to be the first politician to live on the moon, one way ticket.

  • ||

    You have to have your limits. Christie is just too 'big' of an embarrassment (pun intended). Here's a guy who had weight loss surgery and 'gained' weight.

  • MikeP2||

    Strong/confident leaders surround themselves with people who 'know their shit' really well. The sign of a bad leader is one who surrounds themselves with yes-men.

    Bolton knows his shit quite well and has a long career of involvement on the global stage. He got crap done at the UN and was praised for it by many...the complaint was his abrasive style.
    Seems like a solid choice for a deputy.

  • Chip Chipperson||

    This is what I was going to comment. He's a guy who knows his stuff, and Trump is clearly going for some diversity of opinion here (and in his cabinet in general).

    Whether anyone likes it or not, Bolton represents a point of view which was dominant not too long ago and should have a seat at the table.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Bolton represents a point of view which was dominant not too long ago and should have a seat at the table.

    Why? The only people pushing Bolton is the gang over at the National Review. You remember, the folks who devoted an entire issue to opposing Trump? The guy represents a point of view that should be seen as discredited. We tried his approach. It didn't work.

  • MikeP2||

    "We tried his approach. It didn't work."

    In all fairness, no one ever tried Bolton's approach.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Except "Bolton's approach" looks an awful lot like the apologists for communism. Every time things don't pan out it turns out that it wasn't true "Bolton's approach".

  • ||

    the complaint was his abrasive style


    His tendency to tell the President and Congress bald-faced lies was another one.
  • MikeP2||

    are you just making more shit up, or do you have an example

  • ||

    The man was first made famous while lying to Congress about Iran-Contra.

    His next biggest hit on the dance charts was as the literal architect of the WMD lie told to Bush.

    These are the things Bolton is famous for. It's why he has what fame he has.

  • MikeP2||

    you need to check your facts. They aren't what you think they are.

    Bolton stonewalled Congress on records access as assistant Attorney General. I googled this to refresh my memory and there is no mention of "lying to congress about Iran Contra".

    Also, nowhere is Bolton fingered as the "architect of the WMD lie". He was a vocal proponent, but the primary architect of the lie told to Bush? WTF are you spouting?

  • ||

    I suppose you got me.

    Yes Bolton didn't literally sit and give false testimony before Congress as far as I know. He simply concealed evidence of criminal wrongdoing regarding administration officials' dealings with US enemies from Congress during their inquiry. My bad.

    GWB believed the WMD lie because Bolton told it to him. Bolton claimed to have sources he didn't have. Maybe Bolton also had no idea, and someone below him was lying to him, and he simply went and advocated a war based on intel he himself didn't realize was false. I suppose that would make him a stellar candidate for Deputy SoS. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    Now that I think about it, Hillary must be innocent, too. I mean all anyone has is innuendo and circumstantial evidence, right?

  • MikeP2||

    do you actually have a reference for this:
    "GWB believed the WMD lie because Bolton told it to him. Bolton claimed to have sources he didn't have"

    Because I've never heard that or seen it documented anywhere. Or are you just making shit up?

  • HenryC||

    His beliefs were considered wrong, thus "lies". They were difference of opinions using the same facts, not lies.

  • BigW||

    This is why its good that he's the deputy and not the Secretary of State....

  • MSimon||

  • ||

    This could somehow be worse than Obama stuffing the cabinet with Mao fans? Me thinks not.

  • Agammamon||

    1. Yes, Bolton's an asshole.

    2. Bolton offends the delicate sensibilities of mainstream foreign (read: European socialist) politicians - always a plus in my book.

    3. *Maybe* . . . MAYBE, Trump! is picking a group of people with 'diverse views' so that he gets a well-rounded set of advice rather than simply a bunch of people agreeing on a single plan - even if the plan is horrible.

    But that would give Trump! more credit as a savvy manager than his public persona implies (and, frankly, more credit than I'm comfortable extending to the dude).

  • ||

    He's just setting the stage for the imminent first Whitehouse reality TV show. He has to appoint a few cantankerous fucks or it will be boring.

  • Agammamon||

    I agree - West Wing was complete shite.

  • Citizen X||

    +1 appointment of Omarosa as Chief of Staff

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I'm a very militaristic person," Trump bragged during a debate last year

    Do you know who else was a very militaristic person?

  • ||

    You can't be talking about Hillary, so umm... uhh... ok, I give up.

  • Citizen X||

    John?

  • Swiss Servator||

    Wilhelm II?

  • ||

    Matthew Broderick in War Games?

  • Citizen X||

    american socialist?

  • Number.6||

    Robert Baden Powell?

  • Libertarian||

    Hmmmmm, isn't there a word for militaristic people who have never been in the armed forces?

  • Number.6||

    "Youtube gun channel subscriber"?

  • Citizen X||

    Dunphy?

  • gaoxiaen||

    All the chickenhawks.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I know it has become the accepted narrative that Bush and his administration deceived the American people into accepting the invasion of Iraq, but every time I set out to run down the 'facts' that are supposed to support this what I find is either a resonable difference of opinion in interpretation of data, or outright Liberal Left lies.

    Nothing changes that doing nothing in the wake of 9/11 was not politically possible, nor that if our efforts elsewhere were to be at all useful we had to topple Saddam, since he had never even come within shouting distance of metting the surrender terms of the first gulf war. It's kind of hard to get people to treat with you seriously when the last person you fought is openly defying the terms you dictated to him.

    The problem with Obama's interventions isn't that they were military, but that they were ineffectual. The problem with Bush's wars isn't the war part but the 'nation building' nonsense that followed.

  • MSimon||

    Nation building can work if you have 50 or 100 years.

    OTOH India currently.

  • kbolino||

    Nation building can "work" if:

    - You have an indefinite amount of time to commit to it. Even the Romans only kept places civilized while they were physically present to keep the peace. Places that had been solidly within the empire for centuries still fell to pieces after the legions were gone.

    - There was already a well established nation and you are just helping to rebuild it. Like (West) Germany and Japan. Maybe even Afghanistan or Iraq before the communist/Ba'athist-Islamist civil war had been raging for decades could have been rebuilt this way, but not at the time we invaded.

    - You are willing to escalate responses up to and including complete eradication of the local population. But that only lasts along as your own nation/empire does. Genghis Khan and Alexander built great nations this way, but those nations lasted only as long as the men who founded them.

  • HenryC||

    The Brits claim it takes a minimum of twenty years. They were the colonizing country with the most success in creating stable nations.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    True, but I doubt any first world nation has the temperment to do it anymore.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Until the Revolution.

  • Agammamon||

    Don't conflate the need to 'do something' after 9/11 with the invasion of Iraq.

    What we needed to do after 9/11 we did - we invaded Afghanistan and destroyed the Taliban.

    Iraq was a pointless side-show designed to stroke the egos of a group of 'Top Men' who thought they knew how the ME and Arab culture works - they didn't have a clue.

    Now instead of Hussein threatening to use WMD's he didn't have and poking at us with a stick (like North Korea does) we've got ISIS. A direct result of a bunch of people with a large amount of power and ignorance thinking that since they didn't know what they were doing, doing it would be easy.

  • Libertarian||

    "Don't conflate the need to 'do something' after 9/11 with the invasion of Iraq."

    THANK YOU. We've had 15 years of brainwashing, and even some folks who were dead set against the Iraq war are starting to get sloppy when discussing 9/11 and Iraq.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Iraq was unfinished business. If we wanted any terms of surrender we ever entered into elsewhere to be taken seriously, we needed to clobber Saddam for ignoring the last set we offered. I really don't understand why more people don't see that.

    Of course, I did say that in my first post, so you get marked down for reading (in)comprehension.

  • ||

    Iraq was unfinished business

    This is the only reasonable defense I've ever heard of GW2.

    To pretend that that was a "new" war is to misunderstand the situation. The sanctions and no-fly zones were a de facto siege on the country, and millions died while Clinton refused to either shit or get off the pot regarding the whole situation.

    The glaring moral imperative in the late-90s-early-2000s was to end that siege one way or another. There are ways in which the 2003 invasion was simply about ending the siege while saving face.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I tend to think of it more as "We had time and resources to hold a seige before, now we don't."

  • HenryC||

    Tony Blair thought Iraq would be capable of a secular Democracy and it would be good to establish one in the Middle East to help fight Terrorism. He convinced Bush, not the other way around. Bush was there about Afghanistan.

  • You ARE a Prog (MJG)||

    So you're saying the mistake was nation building, but we had to topple Saddam to get some respect in the region? Why would need that respect if we were not nation building?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Look at it this way; if we are going to do ANYTHING (other than sit on our thumbs) we need people to take contracts with us seriously. Saddam had agreed to certain terms of surrender, and then ignored them. There HAD to be consequences for that. I don't insist on respect. I'll accept fear. But if we don't get one or the other, then nobody has any reason to not attack us.

  • Number.6||

    And I'd add that if the sanctions had been unilaterally enacted by the USG, rather than as a UN resolution, the Bush administration would probably have found the invasion far less palatable.

    When Iraq was flouting a UN Resolution, he was disrespecting the entire international community, and all the US was doing was providing a response on behalf of "the right people".

  • ||

    The moment to have turned back without negative consequences was when Hussein informed April Glaspie that he was going to invade Kuwait.

    Rather than say "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America," the proper response would have been "if you do that, the US will declare war on you."

  • HenryC||

    Read the Prince by Machiavelli. Being liked is good, being feared is necessary in ruling a state with enemies.

  • ||

    it has become the accepted narrative that Bush and his administration deceived the American people into accepting the invasion of Iraq

    I think it is now fairly widely accepted that Bush honestly thought Hussein had WMDs.

    Why did he think that?

    John Bolton told him so.

  • MikeP2||

    Your lies don't make it real. The CIA and other intelligence agencies were briefing Bush and Congress on WMDs. If you want to point figures at lying about WMDs, you need to look to the CIA and the rest of the deep state. Bolton was a fargin undersecretary at the time.

  • ||

    If you want to point figures at lying about WMDs, you need to look to the CIA and the rest of the deep state.

    You mean the Top Men who know so much more about all of this than us ignorant little people?

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Bolton for Pope, then.

  • HenryC||

    And the CIA, and MI 6 and the Duexime Bureau, etc. Most intelligence systems in the world thought he had WMD's.

  • kbolino||

    Nothing changes that doing nothing in the wake of 9/11 was not politically possible, nor that if our efforts elsewhere were to be at all useful we had to topple Saddam, since he had never even come within shouting distance of metting the surrender terms of the first gulf war.

    Which is it? Was the invasion of Iraq a response to 9/11, or was it about not meeting the terms of an agreement made a decade before 9/11?

    It can be both, of course, but the two have no connection to each other and so require totally different chains of evidence to support.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Well, if we want to respond to 9/11 it might be nice if people took surrender terms seriously, no?

  • kbolino||

    I'm not sure what kind of message destabilizing the entire region sends but I'm pretty sure "take the U.S. seriously" is not it. Moreover, you aren't establishing a meaningful link; there are two dots but they aren't connected.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The entire region is about as stable as a vial of nitroglycerine in the hot sun. Has been for most of human history. What exceptions there have been occurred when some really nasty empire was stepping on necks fairly firmly. That being the case, I don't see where the 'stability of the region' is our freaking business. OTOH, establishing that we are bad people to annoy, IS.

  • kbolino||

    The stability of the region is not, inherently, our problem. But that principle is kind of thrown out of the window when we step in to protect a country there (Kuwait), dictate what a country shouldn't do there (Iraq), and then set about reconstructing nations after punitive actions there.

    Moreover, sending a message requires both that the message is clear and unambiguous and that there is a high signal-to-noise ratio.

    And this doesn't establish a connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    One could look at the Kuwait war as meddling in the 'stability' of the region. Or one could look at it as a case of "we like amd/or need these people a good deal more than we like and/or need YOU. Get the fuck out of their country and don't annoy us again."

  • ||

    The entire region is about as stable as a vial of nitroglycerine in the hot sun. Has been for most of human history

    Not true. The "pax Ottomana" lasted about 500 years, and they were characterized by a fairly "hands-off" approach to rulership. The iron-fisted tyrants of 17th century India had a harder time maintaining stability, but still the Mughal peace was pretty steady for about that same period.

    Things didn't go to shit until after WWI, due to the collapse of the Ottoman and Mughal Empires. It can often take up to several decades to recover from something like that.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I seem to recall that the Ottoman Turks were a fairly heavy handed bunch when annoyed. I thought that while they didn't interfere much day-to-day they made it fairly plain that life could get ugly if they were bothered.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Same as any statist.

  • american socialist||

    DUH OBAMA BAD BECAUSE HE LAUNCH DRONE STRIKES AGAINST ACTUAL TERRORISTS AND HE KENYAN SOCIALIST ASSHOLE. BUSH GOOD BECAUSE BOLTONN LIED TO HIM AND HE GOOD GUY DEP DOWN

  • kbolino||

    DRONE STRIKES AGAINST ACTUAL TERRORISTS

    And anyone standing within 100 feet of them at the time the bomb explodes.

  • HenryC||

    The blast radius for most of the strikes is large than that.

  • american socialist||

    DUH "LIBRUL LIE" MEANS LIBRULS WHO OPPOSED WAR SAID MEAN THINGS ABOUT WAR CRIMINAL NICE GUY IN CHARGE OF KILLING MOOSLIMS. WE KILL THEM THERE SO THEY DON'T KILL US HERE. PARIS, SAN BERNADINO, ORLANDO, NICE, BERLIN IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT. NO ONE COULD HAVE SEEN THAT KILLING A MILLION MOOSLIMS AND DESTROYING THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE AND GOVERNMENT WOULD LEAD TO CHAOS. IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT. LIBRULS ARE BAD MEANIES.

  • kbolino||

    NO ONE COULD HAVE SEEN THAT KILLING A MILLION MOOSLIMS AND DESTROYING THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE AND GOVERNMENT WOULD LEAD TO CHAOS

    Certainly not Obama. But who cares about North Africa, right?

  • american socialist||

    shrugs. I was against that intervention too. It wasn't quite the same-- wouldn't you say-- as Iraq.

  • kbolino||

    shrugs

    And this is why you are so loathsome. You only care about it if it advances your political objectives. Go fuck yourself.

  • Ken Shultz||

    John Bolton is being made Deputy Secretary of State so that Trump can show that he takes care of people who are loyal to him.

    That was a major concern for the Trump transition team moving forward because they snubbed Giuliani for both Attorney General and Secretary of State.

    You don't want people thinking that it doesn't matter whether they're loyal. They were concerned after Ben Carson rejected the Surgeon General gig, as well.

    So, anyway, point is, I wouldn't read anything into Bolton's nomination in terms of a philosophy of foreign policy. Remember that time Bill Clinton executed a retard to prove that he was tough on crime? Well, Bolton is something like that. Trump nominated a retard to be the Deputy Secretary of State to show that he rewards loyalty--and Bolton is especially well suited to being the poster child for that specifically because everyone knows he's such a retard.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    OT:

    I haven't smelt any Shika shit in a while. Was that a condition for a bunch of youse making contributions this year? If so, thanks very much.

  • Citizen X||

    Dude, you gotta quit hanging out in the ladies' room at Reason HQ.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Why?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It will be interesting to see if Bolton sticks to his past comments about Iraq and Iraq during his Senate hearing.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    And Iraq and Iraq!

  • SIV||

    OMG!!1! TRUMP is a total warmonger who totally supported W's illegal, immoral war! The factcheckers say so:


    Stern asked Trump directly if he supported going to war with Iraq, and Trump hesitantly responded, "Yeah, I guess so."
  • ||

    Well, he didn't complete oppose it, like Hillary did.

  • american socialist||

    Boy, there sure are a lot of people here concerned about Hillary Clinton's warmongering. I was too so I voted for Jill Stein. Maybe now that she won't come close to the WH we can stop talking about her and move on to the fact that Trump just appointed a war criminal who lied his ass off to bolster the case for a war that killed a million people in the ME.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    It's been stipulated many times. Can we also get you to stipulate that the POTUS is also a lying war criminal?

  • american socialist||

    "This has been stipulated many times"

    It has? From 5 posts ago...

    "I know it has become the accepted narrative that Bush and his administration deceived the American people into accepting the invasion of Iraq, but every time I set out to run down the 'facts' that are supposed to support this what I find is either a resonable difference of opinion in interpretation of data, or outright Liberal Left lies."

    I say when you *know* that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of VX just waiting to be dispersed over New York and you don't in fact *know* that and then you kill a million people you deserve to spend the rest of your days being fucking waterboarded.

  • kbolino||

    There are already six separate replies by different posters calling out the argument made in that post.

    Try again.

  • Citizen X||

    Self-describing as a socialist means never having to actually look at evidence, k.

  • american socialist||

    Nah. There's a bunch of assholes just below saying that because the US Army found a couple of Iran-Iraq War era shells with residual chemical agent in them that this means GWB was golden. What a bunch of bullshit. Don't worry Kbolino, you and I will be here to tell them to go fuck themselves when Trump launches another bullshit war.

  • kbolino||

    I'm still waiting for you to tell Obama to go fuck himself for all of his warmongering, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting a long time.

  • Number.6||

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • gaoxiaen||

    +1 hangover. Or DT's..

  • american socialist||

    Sorry, I'm not a pacifist. I thought shoving a missile down Anwar-al-Amriki's throat was the right call. How many US troops are in Iraq now compared to when Bush was in office. Sorry, we were predicting way back in 2003 that the democracy and roses scenario Bolton and his cronies were suggesting was unlikely so the argument that Obama was responsible for the rise of ISIS by his weak leadership holds like absolutely fucking zero weight with me-- just in case you were going to make that point.

  • kbolino||

    I'm not sure what's more pathetic, that you think all Obama ever did was kill terrorists, or that you think the entire state of the world in 2016 is the result of actions now over a decade old.

  • american socialist||

    Hey Kbolino, how many US and European casualties were there in this hellish military action in Libya that you use to justify your thesis that, yeah, pretty much every US Administration is the same? There must have been like 100,000 from the way you describe it. Just give me a *round* number.

  • kbolino||

    Oh, I would never contend that every administration is the same. Some are definitely worse. Like those who sow discord and death across the world but haven't even got the decency to return the "Peace Prize" they were awarded or to issue a goddamn mea culpa about the lives lost to the consequences of their actions.

    I'm not going to give you an inch just because you are too parochial to care about people who aren't white.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Stipulated. Also, not the position Bush was in. We DID know that Saddam had WMDs (i.e. Chemical weapons he had used before, and which were not accounted for), and contrary to the Liberal narrative we did find them. We also found a lot of evidence that he was working on, or intended to work on, one hell of a lot more.

    The "there were no WMDs" narrative is a lie, and not an especially clever one.

  • HenryC||

    There were no effective WMD's in the country at the time. The ones they had were so out of date they were more dangerous to the users than the targets. They did have them though and were definitely making efforts in other directions but had been less successful than was thought at the time by nearly the entire worlds intelligence agencies.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The "there were no effective WMDs" excuse is part of the Liberl strategy of moving the goalposts. What it boils down to is Saddam had accepted surrender terms after Kuwait, and then never even come close to meeting them. After 9/11 we were out of time in which to play nice.

  • Agammamon||

    So, what *exact* war crimes do you accuse Bolton of?

    I don't know - and frankly, I don't trust your definition of 'war crime'. I suspect its closer to 'Republicans did it' than to anything the Hague would agree with.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Y'know, what concerned me about Hillary's 'warmongering' was not the actual idea of war. I don't think either she or Obama has demonstrated any real grasp of the uses and limits of miltary power. They don't like the military, don't have people who uderstand the military on their staffs, and consequently when they use the military they do it badly.

    How his Trumpness will do is anybody's guess.

  • straffinrun||

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Personally, I wouldn't hire Bolton for anything. The guy has a history of lying to his bosses to get his way and then leaving the bosses holding the bag when his plans don't pan out.

  • Number.6||

    I think a closely constrained John Bolton, ideally, chained up like an uruk-hai, might be quite beneficial for the administration.

    As someone upthread commented, many disagreements could be resolved simply by asking:

    "I understand, Mr Prime Minister. I'll send my top man, John Bolton over to resolve these outstanding issues."

    Ideally in a Lord Vetinari-like voice.

  • american socialist||

    I think we agree that Bolton should be in chains alright.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Just to clarify; I think 'Nation Building' is a fool's errand. I can see conquest, if there is something we want. I would have preferd kicking the props out from under the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, and then leaving with the warning that if annoyed again, we can always come back.

    It's called 'gunboat diplomacy'. It's nasty and amoral, but unlike 'nation building' it has a track record of working.

  • kbolino||

    Part of the problem is that "nation building" does (sort of) have a track record of "working". People can point to Germany and Japan and say, "look, it can work". But Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 were not like Germany or Japan in 1945. And eliminating Saddam, his nasty family, and the Ba'athists more generally, whether justifiable in its own right or not, only made the comparison less valid, not more.

    Moreover, if the Nazis had made a resurgence in Germany or the militarists in Japan, then I think our occupations would have been prolonged. We were able to step down in those countries fairly quickly because the factions that could cause us trouble had been thoroughly and soundly defeated and none had risen to take their place.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    And, on the other hand, gunboat diplomacy, if applied with some consistancy, almost always does work. It is a way of holding the benefits of diplomacy firmly in front of people who might be tempted to discount it.

  • MikeP2||

    Nation Building works very well, if and only if, you completely eradicate the will to fight...for at least two generations.

    Essentially kill the vast majority of the young males, inter-marry your own men into the society, and invest enough to make sure they have a strong working economy to divert any remaining societal energy into that.

    It's what worked throughout history up to and including WWII.

    Since then, western society doesn't have the balls to do the first, most important, criteria.....eradicate the will to fight

  • HenryC||

    Belligerent diplomats avoid more war than passive ones if you are militarily strong, and the US is. It is weak seeming and vacillating diplomats that get you into wars.

  • Empress Trudy||

    But his boss is anything but. Classic good cop bad cop play.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    So, we can put you down as "undecided" on any Bolton appointment?

  • MarconiDarwin||

    Oh pffft!

    At least he is not Hillary.

    Trump's puzzling fondness for Bolton
    Seriously? Puzzling? Have you even listened to the guy? This guy puzzlingly picked Linda McMahon, Rick Perry, interviewed Romney, claimed thousands of Muslims cheered 9/11 in Jersey City, ignores intelligence...he has a lot in common with Bolton.

    Yes, it'd have been less puzzling had he picked Omarosa instead.

  • MikeP2||

    Why is McMahon puzzlingly?

    From Wikipedia...."McMahon was active with the WWE from 1980 to 2009. During this time, the company grew from a small regional business in the North East to a large multinational corporation."

    Seems a solid choice to pick someone to run the Small Business Administration, who successfully ran a small business. Wow...what a concept.

    Or are you just so butthurt about the election you can't recognize reality anymore?

  • josh||

    i think bolton is an idiot who shouldn't be allowed to teach 8th grade social studies much less advise a president about actual foreign policy. but that said, there's something to be said for having people with different perspectives advising you. even perspectives that are the complete opposite of yours. an intelligent and thoughtful person can use that to make better decisions. it would just help if bolton and especially trump were intelligent and/or thoughtful people.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "i think bolton is an idiot who shouldn't be allowed to teach 8th grade social studies much less advise a president about actual foreign policy."

    He should fit right in at Foggy Bottom, then.

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