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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 5/23/19

The Pathology of John Bolton

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From Consortium News

John Bolton criticized North Korea's denuclearization efforts.
John Bolton criticized North Korea's denuclearization efforts.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: PBS NewsHour)
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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 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Joe Lauria has been a independent journalist covering international affairs and the Middle East for more than 20 years. A former Wall Street Journal United Nations correspondent, Mr. Lauria has been an investigative reporter for The Sunday Times (more...)
 

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9 people are discussing this page, with 13 comments


Michael Dewey

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Whew, listening to that first video of him saying the UN is only for what the US wants exposes the every imperialistic foreign policy causing all the trash since after WW 2. The tares have grown up trampling the dreams of the sixties wheat. The tares will be removed.

Submitted on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:48:51 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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John Bolton is a walking talking nightmare. Is it not insane that we are forced to watch helplessly while he manipulates president Cheese Whiz into starting a conflict that could lead to WWlll?

Submitted on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 1:38:15 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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God save the world from the likes of John Bolton.

Submitted on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 3:25:08 AM

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shad williams

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Will no one rid us of this troublesome bastard? God? WTF are you?

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 1:01:55 AM

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Dennis Kaiser

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Call him what you wish, but taking off the "political politeness" it comes down to psychopath. Put in a position of power he has become more dangerous to the World than even nuclear weaponry as see envisions misery, even death, to those who oppose his view and his actions can incite a nuclear conflict which, unfortunately, would make such a sick individual proud.

As it appears Bolton was brought in following several meetings Trump had with Henry Kissinger and, knowing Kissinger's criminal background, one can only imagine treats being given to Trump who had announced withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan. Trump must immediately "grow a pair" and dump not only Bolton but Pompeo and Pence, as they are not only not taking direction from Trump, but giving them and leading our nation into disaster.

Submitted on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:03:27 AM

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Dear Dennis. Excellent. With people such as yourself, there is hope for Peace.

Submitted on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 4:52:25 PM

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Michele Goddard

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Great article on a terrifying subject. Why isn't congress or anyone else for that matter trying to draw attention to this maniac? Are the Democrats all on board with him? They seem to gemmbe just going along with this Adninistration of the empire building. Very disappointing.

Submitted on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:01:40 PM

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Reply to Michele Goddard:   New Content

The Dems, as well as the GOP, are in the pockets of the war profiteers hence they froth at the mouth when a psychopath like John Bolton digs up another victim.

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 10:03:59 AM

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shad williams

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Did Bolton indeed order the Pentagon to send a strike force to the Persian Gulf? I do not see how that can be accurate. If the Pentagon followed such an order from Bolthead that would subsequently be grounds for their court marshals and possible treason. It seems like it would be grounds to remove the president and the vice president from office and lock Bolton up in Gitmo.

Furthermore, the president's waffling on Iran is deadly, especially after hiring a Boeing extortionist directly responsible along with accessories to murderous airlines who refused to be extorted and participated in the deaths of nearly 300 passengers on the Boeing 737 Max. Reality is more real than fiction.

And what can be said of this punk ass president? Nothing good. Big talk, lying ass chicken mofo. Who could possibly trust a single word from his puckered little lips?

It should be clear by now that there will be a response from Iran, Russia and China if the US and its Coalition Regimemates attack Iran for any bullshit reason. What could Pompous One have expected as a Russian response? I believe this entire exercise has been to further deplete the American people of more treasure in cahoots with over 400 compliant members of the national US assembly calling themselves a Congress. They love wasting resources on a strike force to go sit in the Persian Gulf and diddle themselves, engaging in insider trading on members of the MIC's architecture, causing higher gasoline prices to bite Trump base and other low wage workers right in the ass. This is intolerable!

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 1:00:38 AM

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Angie Williams

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What coalition? If we're stupid enough to go to war with Iran, we're going alone. Our allies won't join us after having been burned by the Iraq invasion.

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 7:36:46 AM

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Ms Nan

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It's pretty clear that everyone commenting here is stuck in past history and believes Trump's cabinet is in charge of Trump.

The hysterics over the last 2+ years that Trump was going to attack Syria, NK, etc. and now Iran haven't as yet materialized. Bolton is a bad actor, I agree, but Trump's in charge, not Bolton.

Bolton is, or was Deep State. Trump is not Deep State. He's using Bolton and he has been tricking the Deep State which is no longer in control.

It's also clear that even some here who know better still trust MSM, Trump's enemy. I believe that Trump is a master negotiator.

He's playing everyone brilliantly and using the media's animosity towards him to achieve the results he wants. I think he follows Sun Tzu's Art of War.

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

All warfare is based on deception. SunTzu

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 1:01:16 PM

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Ms Nan, it's good seeing you here again after a long absence. S you know I had the same feeling as you about Trump and the Deep State and frankly, until now he has not taken us in a new regime change war, but appears to have given Bolton a free hand to disrupting the Globe Iran, Venezuela, North Korea (a situation which I believe Trump started on a positive manner, but Bolton has thrown a monkey wrench into that deal. The Globe today appears to be spinning out of control and if his goal was to expose, he had better get in control before we have reached a point of no return.

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 6:54:10 PM

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i believe you are thinking.

Submitted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 11:21:31 PM

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