One of the key issues libertarian types could hang their hats on about Donald Trump was his relatively non-interventionist foreign policy positions, at least compared to those of his Republican rivals. However, one of Trump’s rumored candidates for the pivotal job of Secretary of State, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, has many non-interventionist and anti-establishment types concerned.
One of the most prominent of which is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The former presidential candidate penned a scathing op-ed for Rare.us attacking Bolton’s previous policy positions as antithetical to Trump’s entire stated worldview.
“One of the things I occasionally liked about the President-elect was his opposition to the Iraq war and regime change,” Paul writes. “He not only grasped the mistake of that war early, but also seemed to fully understand how it disrupted the balance of power in the Middle East and even emboldened Iran.”
Paul praised Trump for seeming to get the oft-unintended consequences of needless foreign intervention, such as an Iraq that is currently friends with Iran, Russia, and Syria, consequences Hillary Clinton never seemed to understand.
As for John Bolton, the “longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose” has “never learned and never will.”
Paul insists Bolton is “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,” and has “more often stood with Hillary Clinton and against what Donald Trump has advised.”
Bolton, Paul points out, was one of the “loudest advocates” of the Iraq war and even defended it 13 years later.
Trump has blamed George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for helping to create ISIS — but should add John Bolton to that list, who essentially agreed with all three on our regime change debacles.
In 2011, Bolton bashed Obama “for his refusal to directly target Gaddafi” and declared, “there is a strategic interest in toppling Gaddafi… But Obama missed it.” In fact, Obama actually took Bolton’s advice and bombed the Libyan dictator into the next world. Secretary of State Clinton bragged, “We came, we saw, he died.”
When Trump was asked last year if Libya and the region would be more stable today with Gaddafi in power, he replied “100 percent.” Mr. Trump is 100 percent right.
No man is more out of touch with the situation in the Middle East or more dangerous to our national security than Bolton.
All nuance is lost on the man. The fact that Russia has had a base in Syria for 50 years doesn’t deter Bolton from calling for all out, no holds barred war in Syria. Bolton criticized the current administration for offering only a tepid war. For Bolton, only a hot-blooded war to create democracy across the globe is demanded.
Paul even criticized Bolton’s avoidance of serving in the Vietnam war himself and the hypocrisy around seeming to be “okay with your son or daughter dying wherever his neoconservative impulse leads us.”
The man is a menace.
The true statesmen realizes, with reluctance, that war is sometimes necessary but as a country, we should resist any would-be leader who wants to bomb now and think later.
President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on changing our disastrous foreign policy. To appoint John Bolton would be a major first step toward breaking that promise.
John Bolton did vocally support Donald Trump during the presidential campaign. The questions are, will Trump reward loyalty by appointing someone so seemingly opposed to the positions he ran on, and if he does, will Bolton bend to Trump’s will or will it be the other way around?
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