10 Wednesday, September 11, 2019 18:38

The rise and fall of John Bolton

When John Bolton was named as Donald Trumps national security adviser I was as stunned as anyone. After all, hes well known as a man who wants to blow up the world while Trump is a man who thinks he can bring world peace by offering condo development deals to dictators and terrorists. They didnt seem like a good match.

I did, however, think they might find a meeting of the minds under certain circumstances. After all, if a war were to happen, they share a similar philosophy about how it should be fought:Trump’s words, both in public and private, describe a view that wars should be brutal and swift, waged with overwhelming firepower and, in some cases, with little regard for civilian casualties.

Victory over America’s enemies for the president is often a matter of bombing “the s--- out of them,” as he said on the campaign trail.Neither Trump or Bolton have any use for nation-building and both are contemptuous of Americas allies as well. But other than a shared love for brutality they really didnt have anything in common.

If Trump didnt hire people just because theyre on Fox News, he would have known that an egomaniacal super-hawk with a taste for fierce bureaucratic infighting wouldnt mesh with his own belief that he can con anyone into doing his bidding by the sheer force of his personality.Advertisement:Yesterday, Trump tweeted that hed fired Bolton, and Bolton immediately fired back that hed offered his resignation.

Since Trump is the more notorious liar, Im going to assume Bolton is telling the truth. From the sound of it, Boltons going to make a whole lot of money on a book, probably set to come out right before the election. Trump may regret not keeping him in the fold.This has been a long time coming, with Bolton clashing with everyone else in the administration and being publicly humiliated at every turn.

But the precipitating event seems to have been last weekends Camp David debacle in which Bolton adamantly opposed Trumps plan to bring Taliban leaders to the U.S. a few days before the 9/11 anniversary. He wasnt the only one, of course. It was a daft idea. But he seems to have been the one who spoke up and became the fall guy for that embarrassment.

Bolton never accepted that Trump doesnt have a geopolitical view or a foreign policy philosophy. He just wants to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, hes convinced he can do it simply by holding a photo op.Never Trumper David Frum described the dynamic on MSNBC:This is a story about fantasy and envy.

The presidents fantasy about being a great deal-maker and his envy of President Obamas peace prize. Zalmay Khalilzad, our former ambassador to Afghanistan, was running a process of negotiation with the Taliban to see if an agreement could be reached. About the first of September, he seems to have reached some kind of interim deal.

. What should have happened at that point [is] it goes into the government and different agencies look at it and say, Do we like it, can we look.....

News Code: 345252  |  Salon
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