The US government likes enemies lists. The one commonality among its enemies is that they don’t do what the US government wants them to do. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:
Many American still long for the good old days when men were still manly and President George W. Bush was able to announce that there was a “new sheriff in town” pledged to wipe terrorism from the face of the earth. “You’re either with us or against us,” he growled and he backed up his warning of lethal retribution with an enemies list that he called the “axis of evil.”
The axis of evil identified in those days in the 2002 State of the Union Address consisted of Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Iraq, which had not yet been invaded and conquered by the American war machine, was number one on the list, with Saddam allegedly brandishing weapons of mass destruction deliverable by the feared transatlantic gliders that could easily strike the United States. Bush explained that “Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.”
North Korea meanwhile was described as “A regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens” while Iran “aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.”
Either Trump could fire Bolton or Bolton could fire Trump for insubordination, depending on who actually runs things. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday night tweet.
Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton.
Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the Green Zone in Baghdad, which exploded harmlessly in a vacant lot, Bolton called a series of emergency meetings and directed the Pentagon to prepare a menu of targets, inside Iran, for U.S. air and missile strikes in retaliation.
The Wall Street Journal quoted one U.S. official as saying Bolton’s behavior “rattled people. … People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
Bolton’s former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was “an act of war” to which the U.S. must respond decisively.
Bolton has long believed a U.S. confrontation with Iran is both inevitable and desirable. In 2015, he authored a New York Times op-ed whose title, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran,” said it all. He has urged that “regime change” in Iran be made a declared goal of U.S. foreign policy.
It’s been so long since the US walked away from a pointless war that the ruling class can only shriek long and loud when it’s even threatened. Shellshocked, they’re desperately hoping Trump changes his mind about Syria. From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:
Virtually from the moment Donald Trump announced that he would be removing U.S. troops from Syria, corporate media have converged around a narrative that the president has been forced to walk back his decision. But while a withdrawal will undoubtedly prove more challenging than the president originally anticipated, this verdict simply does not reflect the facts on the ground.
When John Bolton spoke in Jerusalem earlier this month, leading news outlets reported that Trump’s national security adviser had declared that withdrawal would not be completed unless and until specific conditions had been met or objectives achieved. The New York Times announced that “Bolton Puts Conditions on Syria Withdrawal, Suggesting a Delay of Months or Years,” claiming that he “told reporters that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States.”
The Associated Press story, which was picked up by The Washington Post, proved similarly categorical. “US troops will not leave northeastern Syria until Islamic State militants are defeated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected,” a top White House aide is quoted as saying. The article also notes that Bolton was “signaling a pause to a withdrawal abruptly announced last month and initially expected to be completed within weeks.”
Even more embarrassing than the garbage that routinely comes out of American politicians’ mouthes—the world has stopped listening. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.com:
“What are you reading my lord?” — Polonius
“Words.” — Hamlet
Something has changed in U.S. politics. And it may finally signal something changing for the better. Since the announcement (but no real follow through) to end our military involvement in Syria what passes for our statesmen — John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — have been ignored, mocked or both.
Bolton attempted to box Trump in on not leaving Syria while Israel chest-thumped about how they will not yield an inch to Iran. Turkish President Erdogan publicly lambasted him with no response from President Trump.
Or anyone else for that matter.
When was the last time you heard of a major U.S. political figure go overseas and be refused a meeting with a foreign head of state, publicly upbraided and sent home like an irrelevant flunkie?
I can’t think of one.
Bolton came into the Middle East and made demands like he was the President which Bolton knew were clearly red lines for Erdogan — guaranteeing the safety of the Syrian Kurds.
And he did this from Jerusalem.
The insult couldn’t be plainer. The lack of Bolton’s self-awareness and understanding of the situation was embarrassing. And it left Erdogan the perfect opportunity to call out the Trump Administration’s policies as beholden to a foreign power, Israel.
Trump proposes; the Deep State disposes. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
On the first of April last year I published an article titled “Ignore The Words Of US Presidents. Watch Their Actions Instead.”, about Trump’s claim that his administration would be pulling troops out of Syria “very soon”. Watching the actions and ignoring the words is a personal policy I’ve found very useful in dealing with top government figures who understand that power has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with narrative control, and in that particular case the president’s claims were quickly memory holed after a highly suspicious chemical weapons allegation in Douma a few days later. The president’s words said the troops were leaving, and what actually happened was the US bombing the Syrian government for a second time in a year while troops remained where they were.
Everyone completely lost their shit last month when the president once again made the claim that US troops will be brought home from Syria. Establishment loyalists of the political/media class went into full meltdown, Mattis handed in his resignation, and #Resistance Twitter pundits who’d never typed the word “Kurd” in their lives suddenly became self-appointed experts on the geopolitical dynamics between the Turkish government and the YPG. Support for the president’s words also rushed in from anti-interventionists and anti-imperialists everywhere, as well as from a few surprising places like Democratic Representative Ted Liu and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.
What’s the good of being the president when your hired help make all the important decisions? From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
I’m starting to wonder whether President Trump has any power over US foreign policy at all. Many people believe that the US president is just a figurehead, with actual foreign policy firmly in the hands of the deep state. Trump’s latest dramatic U-turn on pulling troops from Syria certainly feeds such theories.
When President Trump announced just a couple of weeks ago that the US was removing its troops from Syria and possibly reducing troops from Afghanistan, the neocons, the media, the military-industrial complex, and the left-wing “never-Trump” people were livid. They were silent when President Obama made the horrible decision to overthrow Assad in Syria and sent weapons to jihadists to do so. They never said a word when billions of dollars were committed to this immoral and dangerous “regime change” policy. They weren’t interested in the rule of law when President Obama thumbed his nose at Congress and sent troops into Syria.
The US wants to stop other countries from colonizing Africa so it will have the field open to itself. From Netfa Freeman at antiwar.com:
John Bolton’s recent unveiling of the Trump Administration’s “Prosper Africa” plan did what is typical of such U.S. foreign policy announcements. It performed the balancing act of admitting motives to protect vague “US interests” while dishonestly claiming benevolent intentions for the other country, region, or continent concerned. In this case the continent is Africa.
The “new” Africa policy, National Security Advisor Bolton suggested, is an adjusted US strategy to “assist” African economic independence from the predatory designs of China and Russia. In reality it is the Trump’s administration taking the baton from the Obama administration in the new Scramble for Africa, a sequel to the proliferation of conflicting European claims to African territory during the New Imperialism period, between the 1880s and the start of World War I.
Bolton admits as much when he calls the administration’s new plan a response to “predatory practices pursued by China and Russia [that] stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for US investment; interfere with US military operations; and pose a significant threat to US national security interests.”
It should be obvious that Bolton cares little about predation – he just doesn’t want other predators to compete with. He made no mention of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which has put most African nations under the effective military control of the United States. AFRICOM is the re-colonization of Africa by the US, with thousands of US troops now stationed in some 30 African countries and dozens of US bases across Africa. The total estimated cost for AFRICOM in 2018 is $236.9 million.
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