Tag Archives: John Bolton

Trump turns a ‘zero’ into a ‘hero’

Donald Trump’s unique ability is on display once again.

The president of the United States has this way – at least in my own biased way – of turning political zeroes into heroes.

Take the case of John Bolton, the former national security adviser who quit or was fired because of disagreements with the president.
Bolton is not shy in the least about expressing his views on worldly matters. I guess he got into trouble with the president because he gave Trump advice he didn’t want to hear.

Bolton has said in recent days that he didn’t think the president should meet with the Afghan terrorists known as the Taliban at Camp David on the eve of the 9/11 terrorist attack commemoration because it would, in Bolton’s eyes, dishonor the memory of the victims we lost on that terrible day.

Trump didn’t want to hear it. He also didn’t want to hear a lot of things that Bolton had to say.

So now Bolton is gone. The president has appointed another individual to offer him “advice” on how to protect the nation against our enemies. I doubt he’ll listen to the new man any more than he listened to the three previous national security advisers; I’ll pass on judging his relationship with the first guy, Michael Flynn, because he was gone after just 24 days in office.

I suspect we haven’t heard the last of John Bolton.

Hey, don’t misunderstand me. I didn’t think much of Bolton’s appointment when Trump made it. I think even less, though, of the man who selected him.

So, keep talking, John Bolton.

Bolton is gone; the problem remains: it’s POTUS

John Bolton has left the building, the White House.

Fine. Good riddance. However, the former national security adviser isn’t the problem. The national security risk remains with the guy who appointed him to the office he has just departed in a huff: Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

Trump said Bolton made too many decision with which he disagreed. What’s most stunning, though, is that Bolton did not want the president to meet with Taliban terrorists on the eve of the nation’s 9/11 commemoration. Trump seemed to call that a “big mistake.”

Moreover, then we hear from Trump that Bolton drew the ire of North Korean tyrant/dictator/murderer Kim Jong Un. Trump said Kim “couldn’t tolerate” Bolton … as if it should matter whether a Marxist tyrant should have to tolerate a U.S. national security adviser.

Bolton is the third national security adviser to leave the Trump administration. The first was Michael Flynn, who left after 24 days for allegedly lying to the FBI about that “Russia thing.” Then H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general and a brilliant military strategist, resigned over differences with the president.

Now it’s Bolton who’s been shown the door.

These presidential appointees come and go.

However, the problem remains with the individual who called on them in the first place.

Another of the ‘best people’ becomes ‘not bright’

I’m confused.

Donald Trump told us he would surround himself with “the best people” while he settled into the presidency of the United States. Then whenever they leave — often after disputing with the president — they become dummies.

So it has been with John Bolton, the former national security adviser, who quit suddenly this week — or perhaps he was fired.

Bolton is a well-known foreign-policy hawk with whom the president reportedly had disagreements.

Now he’s gone.

Does the president let the issue go? Does he move on? Does he look ahead exclusively to finding the next national security adviser, who would become No. 4 in that office since Trump took office?

Heavens no!

Trump told reporters that Bolton isn’t “bright.” He said Bolton made some “big mistakes.”

Good grief, dude. Trump selected the national security adviser, who isn’t subject to Senate confirmation. He picks all the White House aides. He vows upon picking them that they’re best at what they do. Then they run afoul of the president, at which time they become worthless.

Is this how Donald Trump defines the “best people”?

Yep, Bolton quit … period

Former national security adviser John Bolton wrote it out plainly and simply to Donald J. Trump.

“I hereby resign, effective immediately, as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Thank you for having afforded me this opportunity to serve our country.”

The letter is dated Sept. 10. That would be, um, Tuesday … of this week.

The president said he sought Bolton’s resignation. Bolton said he gave it on his own.

Who’s telling the truth? Well, you know how I feel about Trump. I don’t believe anything he says. Not at any level. On any subject. Nothing, man! Zero.

Therefore, I am inclined to believe Bolton.

Let me be clear: I do not want John Bolton advising any president on national security matters. He’s a warmonger. He’d rather hurl bombs at our enemies than seek diplomatic solutions.

Trump said he has disagreed with the advice Bolton gave him. At some level, I wish I could believe the president. Then again, I’ve already stated once again that I believe nothing from this man.

Oh, the quandary.

The bigger question facing the nation is seeking to find someone who can work with the president. Who in the world who is worth a damn would stomach working for someone who is so prone to disagreeing with advice he gets from supposed experts on matters such as, say … national security?

Trump has said he’s an expert on every subject known to humanity. That must include ways to protect this nation against its enemies.

Heaven help us.

Bolton quits … or was fired … which is it?

What do you know about this?

John Bolton, Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, is gone. He was either (a) fired by the president or (b) quit all by himself, of his own volition.

Whichever way Bolton’s tenure ended really isn’t critical here. The critical element is this: Donald Trump cannot work with individuals who seek to give him any sort of critical advice with which he might disagree.

Thus, Bolton has hit the road.

Trump, Bolton hit the skids

I won’t mourn the loss of John Bolton. I dislike his world view. He’s a warmongering hardliner. However, reports are surfacing that the national security guru disagreed with Trump’s decision to meet with the Taliban, the terrorists with whom the United States went to war after 9/11.

I reckon that Bolton told Trump of his disagreement with that call, so the president canned him, or asked him to quit, or perhaps Bolton offered to quit and Trump agreed.

What a circus? What a carnival?

Who in the world would dare to work with this president under any circumstance?

So now Donald Trump is without an individual who can give him the kind of unvarnished national security advice he needs.

Pass the popcorn. The clown show goes on.

War with Iran? Are you really serious about that?

The chicken hawks who are advising Donald Trump to launch military strikes against Iran need to have their heads examined.

Yep, they’re aboard the “war with Iran” hay wagon. They are led by national security adviser John Bolton, who long has favored “regime change” in Tehran. This is frightening and dangerous stuff, ladies and gentlemen.

The Iranians reportedly have been launching attacks on commercial vessels sailing in international waters. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says U.S. intelligence has confirmed Iranian involvement. In an ironic twist, I should add, Pompeo has endorsed the intelligence analysis on the Iranian involvement from the same people he and Donald Trump have dismissed when they said the Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016; go figure, eh?

We must not go to war with Iran because of attacks on commercial vessels.

Some members of the Senate are calling for “retaliatory strikes” against Iran. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, is one of them. To be fair, I don’t include Sen. Cotton in the “chicken hawk” cadre; he served as an Army infantry officer who saw combat in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

His prior military experience does not make his argument correct. A retaliatory strike is bound to produce a vigorous military response from the Islamic Republic of Iran. And by vigorous, I mean deadly, as in ferocious.

Do we really want to engage in yet another war with a Middle East nation? Good grief! Please, let us not go there!

The Iranians already have announced their plans to exceed their nuclear enrichment limits as payback for Trump’s decision to pull out of the agreement that sought to ban Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The president pulled out even though other signatory nations said the Iranians were complying with the restrictions.

This is not how you “make America great again,” Mr. President.

This saber-rattling is making me very nervous.

Your opinion most certainly matters, Mr. Bolton

Uh, John Bolton? Hello?

I have taken in recent months to addressing the president directly with my blog posts. I’ll direct these remarks to you.

You say your opinion “doesn’t matter.” Hey, you’re the friggin’ national security adviser. It most certainly does matter.

Donald Trump gave North Korean dictator/tyrant Kim Jong Un a pass on what he knew about Otto Warmbier’s imprisonment and then his death. His statement that he takes Kim “at his word” that he knew nothing about it is absurd on its face.

I would hope that you know better as the national security adviser.

You’re known as a hardliner. You’re a tough guy. Tough on Iran. Tough on the United Nations. Tough on the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

You’re also the third national security adviser to work for this president. He burned through Michael Flynn and H.R. McMaster quickly. Then he brought you aboard, albeit over the objection of many of us out here. I admit to being one of those skeptics.

But you’re in the hot seat now. You have been given the responsibility of providing the commander in chief with the best national security advice he can get. If only he’d listen.

I happen to believe that your word is as valuable as any that Donald Trump is going to receive as he considers what to do about this and that threat to our national security.

Kim Jong Un is a bizarre tyrant whose hand is in every aspect of government in the country he rules with untold cruelty.

I get that you don’t want to “contradict” the president. You surely want to keep your job. It’s a big job, indeed, Mr. Bolton.

I’m just going to ask you to give Donald Trump the candid advice he needs to hear. One thing you ought to tell him is this:

“Uh, Mr. President. Don’t take Kim Jong Un’s word on anything. And for crying out loud, stop saying out loud that you ‘like’ this murderous tyrant. You cannot possibly ‘like’ an overfed tyrant who is allowing the people he rules to starve to death.”

Is U.N. ambassadorship a training position?

Welcome to the real big leagues, Heather Nauert.

Donald Trump wants the former Fox News correspondent and morning talk-show co-host to lead the U.S. diplomatic effort in the United Nations. I am left to wonder if the president values the U.N. as much as his national security adviser, John Bolton, does. It was Bolton who (in)famously said you could remove the top 10 floors from the U.N. Building in New York and not lose a thing. Then he became the U.S. ambassador to the world body.

Nauert brings far less foreign policy experience to this most delicate of posts. She did serve as State Department spokeswoman for a year after leaving Fox News.

You know, I actually thought that Nauert wasn’t the first rookie to take this job. My thoughts turned to the late John Scali, the former ABC News correspondent who was U.N. ambassador from 1973 to 1975. However, a quick check of Scali’s record showed something quite revealing.

He helped mediate an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 while working for ABC, carrying messages from President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy to the Soviet embassy, warning them of the dire peril they were putting the world in by installing offensive missiles in Cuba. Scali then left ABC to work for the Nixon administration as a foreign policy adviser before becoming U.N. ambassador in 1973.

Thus, Scali had experience.

Nauert does not. In a way, though, she more or less mirrors the experience level of the man who nominated her. Donald Trump brought zero government or public service experience to the presidency when he got elected.

And it shows.

I fear the absence of any foreign policy chops is going to show itself yet again at the United Nations. Heaven help us.

Bolton has lost his spine

I am going to concur with Paul Begala, a former Bill Clinton political confidant and pal, who says national security adviser John Bolton has shown himself to be a coward.

Yes, Begala is a partisan. For that matter, I suppose you can argue that I am, too. Sure, I lean in the same direction as Begala, but I’ve never worked for politicians.

Begala is angry that Bolton has chosen to avoid listening to the recording of slain U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi being slaughtered by his Saudi Arabian captors, who killed him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Reporters asked Bolton why he hadn’t listen to it. He said: “Unless you speak Arabic, what are you going to get from it?”

Begala responded in an essay: A lot. You will, presumably, hear struggle. You will hear beating, according to a Turkish newspaper, citing Turkish security sources. You will hear torture. You will hear an innocent man’s final, desperate words: “Release my arm! What do you think you are doing?” You will hear one of the alleged conspirators, who allegedly put on Khashoggi’s clothes to act as a body double, comment that “it is spooky to wear the clothes of a man whom we killed 20 minutes ago.”

Bolton didn’t want to hear that. Nor did he want to ask an interpreter to translate it for him. He said he could “read a transcript” if he could find an Arabic speaker to listen to it.

Read the essay here

Bolton’s crass and callous response defies human decency, in my humble view.

He is the national security adviser, for crying out loud! He needs to hear the screams of a journalist based in Washington, D.C., a Saudi national and a champion of political dissent. He had the temerity to insist on reforms in the land of his birth . . . and this is the response reportedly from the crown prince who allegedly ordered the man’s murder.

The CIA has determined that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder. The president has blown that assessment off. So, too, I guess has John Bolton, choosing to join Donald Trump in the hideous game of disparaging the nation’s intelligence experts.

Cowardly.

‘What wars have we started?’

Allow me to throw a bouquet at Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” who this morning asked national security adviser John Bolton a most pertinent question.

“What wars have we (the media) started,” Wallace asked Bolton, who — quite expectedly — dodged the question, avoided giving a direct answer.

The question came from a tweet fired off this morning by Donald J. Trump, who said the following:

The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!

The danger and sickness, allow me to respond, are coming from the president of the United States, whose Twitter messages are sounding increasingly hysterical and detached from reality.

According to The Hill: “That’s the president’s view, based on the attacks the media has made,” Bolton responded, citing past administrations that have clashed with the media.

“I think this kind of adversarial relationship is typical,” he added.

What is not typical is for the president of the United States to accuse the media of potentially causing “war” by offering critical analysis and commentary of public policy.

Scary, man!