55

Farewelling Dr No: The Sacking of John Bolton

Binoy Kampmark

“Every time the president, or Pompeo, or anyone in the [Trump] administration came up with an idea, they had to face Dr No.”
Cliff Kupchan, Chairman of the Eurasia Group, The Washington Post, Sep 11, 2019

It was compelling viewing (one does not so much read Twitter as see it as a series of violent flashes).  John Bolton, the armed-and-ready national security adviser who has been tiring of the US President’s jerks and adjustments, had floated the prospect of resignation.  “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’” 

To the New York Times, Bolton reiterated the account.  “Offered last night without [Trump] asking.  Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”

Hours are lethal in Trumpland; entire worlds can implode at that time, and new ones grow with equal violence.  President Donald Trump was keen to set the record crooked.  “I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed in the White House.  I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was certainly one of them.  “There were many times Ambassador Bolton and I disagreed; that’s for sure.” It pays, however, to qualify: “But that’s true for lots of people with whom I interact.”

What matters in a Trump sacking is less the normality of its occurrence but its manner of execution.  The axe is always held aloft, and, as with any court run by a fickle despot, may fall at any given time.  On Tuesday morning, the signs of any movement regarding Bolton were entirely absent.

At 11, a news briefing was announced by the White House for 1.30 that afternoon.  Bolton would keep company with Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a chat on terrorism. Bolton never appeared, leaving Pompeo and Mnuchin to chuckle before the cameras.

Pompeo, unlike Bolton, has certainly found it easier keeping up appearances.  Disagreements with the President are kept close to his broad chest. He is the manager of Trump’s ever changing approach to policy, and capable articulating foreign policy swerves.  But do not be fooled, suggest the talking heads.

“Pompeo is as much a hawk on Iran as Bolton,” claims John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.  Glaser’s diagnosis of it all? “It mostly boils down to Bolton’s reputation as a bureaucratic manipulator who makes enemies within the executive branch as a matter of habit.”

The manipulation had been placed in another register over the US-Taliban peace agreement.  Trump was happy with the detail; Bolton wanted the agreement sunk as textbook example of capitulation.  Trump’s circle of aides had gotten irate as Bolton’s public dissatisfaction grew. There were leaks into the atmosphere, and not very pleasant ones at that.

The decision to evict Bolton could easily have been caused by something else, the straw that tantalisingly, and destructively, broke the camel’s back.  On Monday, the possibility of easing sanctions against Iran as part of a preliminary step to meeting Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, was mooted by the President and aides.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was certainly open to the suggestion.

Trump tested the water and concluded that “they’d like to make a deal.” A far cry from June, when Bolton’s apocalyptic fantasy was being entertained: a possible airstrike on Iran.  With 10 minutes to spare, Trump called it off.

On Wednesday, the president attempted to add more light and shine to the canvas.  Areas of disagreement with Bolton were articulated.  The former adviser had not been “getting along with people” in the administration; he had been “way out of line” on Venezuela.  Such points merely underscore the difficulties Bolton was always going to face: from his moustache, which Trump detests, to his priestly dogmatism in international relations.

North Korea was always a case in point: for Trump, a moment for the picture books, the firm handshake for history, and promises for rosy readjustments; for Bolton, a chance to cause a flutter of terror in Pyongyang, airing the view that a “Libya” solution for nuclear disarmament might be in the offing.  (That corker eventually assisted the toppling of the Qaddafi regime, hardly a recipe for smooth talking and deal making.)

The point was something Trump did not miss.  “We were set back very badly when John Bolton talked about the Libyan model!  And he made a mistake! As soon as he mentioned that, the Libyan model, what a disaster!  Take a look at what happened to Qaddafi with the Libyan model.”

Bolton’s sabre-rattling enthusiasts were bound to see things differently.  “While John Bolton was national security adviser for the last 17 months, there have been no bad deals,” claimed a Bolton confidante.  In another take, Bolton has been portrayed as the less mad of the two.  Jay Nordlinger, senior editor at The National Review, saw JB as a model of consistency.

Trump, on the other hand, had been dancing merrily off queue, breaking much fine china on the way. Certainly on Russia; certainly on Ukraine.  At the last G7 meeting in Biarritz, Trump expressed his desire that Russia be readmitted to the club. He sported a curious account of Crimea, which was “sort of taken away from President Obama”.  It was “embarrassing” for him, being “outsmarted by Putin” as he was.

Trump had put a halt on military aid to Ukraine and shown a coldness to the newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky.  His idea here is to push for a Ukrainian investigation of Joe Biden, the stuff of side-splitting hilarity. Bolton, on the other hand, was in Kiev paying respect to Ukrainians felled “in the defence of their nation against Russian aggression.”  In saluting “the Stache” Nordlinger was hoping for his return. The chicken hawks will have their day.

Such shuffling and bloodletting is normally the stuff that thrills political wonks and media vultures.  Engineered in-house political assassinations are manna from heaven, and supply good copy in bureaucratic hot houses like Washington.  But Trump has made political sacking the stuff of banal ritual, ceremonial inevitability made that much duller for its frequency. Bolton came in praise, worked in disagreement and discomfort, and was ejected.  Time for the next mug to take his place.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
mark
mark

Bolton is just the latest fall guy for a consistent record of foreign policy failures. He will just be replaced by another neocon clone, appointed by Adelson and other Zionist oligarchs. It,s wrong to obsess about personalities and court gossip, who’s up and who’s down. Which mistress the King is taking to his Versailles bed chamber. It just doesn’t matter.

F.J.Roosevelt
F.J.Roosevelt

I have nothing to say, other than that Mr Bolton is in need of psychotherapy. Part of this therapy would involve him having to watch documentary footage of all the carnage and destruction that he has played a part in over many decades. Following that, he can then take up his post of Professor of Peace Studies at Tehran University. In the meantime, Trump, Pompeo, Pence and Co. can continue doing what they are best at – making America grate again. . . . . . .

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

‘I have nothing to say, other than that Mr Bolton is in need of psychotherapy.’ – surely you meant lobotomy, even though it’s a technically challenging procedure on a shrunken brain?

George Cornell
George Cornell

That’s the route the similarly vile Wolfowitz followed but no one believed him either.

wardropper
wardropper

I don’t mean to offend anybody here, but I heard many years ago that some people without ear lobes are murderers… If there’s anything to this theory, (and I’m pretty sure there isn’t…) that photo above just might be used as corroborating evidence for criminal proceedings…
One lives in hope…

Igor
Igor

Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has business ties to the post color revolution Ukro regime. Connections made while Joe Biden was VPOTUS.
Going to go after Hunter Biden, then it would fair game to investigate Dick Cheney and Jared Kushner’s ties to Genie Energy and, oops, that unmentionable terror state in the Mideast. Which would then lead to Trump’s making a statement about gifting the Golan Heights to the unmentioned little nation.

So nobody is going to investigate anybody. Just like 9/11.

Gezzah Potts

Regards the departure of Bolton; only have two words: Good Riddance. However, although one raving psychopath is gone, how many more Neocon fruitcakes are there in positions of power in Washington?
The Empire is flailing about in disarray, and desperation to maintain its hegemony, imposing sanctions and issuing threats against any perceived enemy, with a very large iceberg dead ahead. Sort of like the Titanic.

Igor
Igor

Pompeo is just as bad.

wardropper
wardropper

And he reminds one vividly of a very large iceberg too…

Gezzah Potts

I know. There’s a whole Cabal of loons in Washington.

Ramdan
Ramdan

Trump first said the “Bolton crossed a line with Venezuela” and now (24 hours later) Trump said that Bolton was actually stopping him from going further, cause he has a stronger stance on Venezuela, and specially, Cuba.

Yesterday, Cuba president announce a number of measures to palliate problems with fuels in general, a situation that the Cuban population (the ones that are actually affected by US “help”) is already suffering.

Cuba, a tiny, little island with NO military or economic capacity whatsoever to put US in danger. If this is not bulling, abusive and atrocious push of the week by an abusive imperial dictator, then what is??

mark
mark

The US terrorist campaign against Cuba has cost thousands of lives. 3,000 plus in the 1960s alone. Plus over $1 trillion in economic strangulation, about $100,000 per head for a small country. You can see the everyday effects of this when you visit Cuba. You have to remember this when US politicians sneer about poverty there.

Jim Scott
Jim Scott

I think Bolton was hired to be the scary madman to put fear into countries who were not bowing to US dictates, including US allies and to be a balance to Trumps smooth negotiating skills. However Trumps inability to play his role and his immediate narcissistic attacks when criticised made him outdo the madness of Bolton. They were both more abrasive than peanut butter with glass shards so that one of them had to go.

milosevic
milosevic
Igor
Igor

You make it sound as if Bolton was doing good. Holdover from Dubya Bush’s regime.
The actual President does not matter. The Hidden Hand rules the USA.
What you see is what They want.

Oliver
Oliver

Absolutely. The hidden hand rules the show. So far.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

How did Putin do this?!Help! Please explain( drawings,if possible)!

Jim Scott
Jim Scott

Putin’s genius is that he does nothing but creates the impression he is up to something even though he sounds polite and respectful using friendly words like “our partners in Washington”. For modern mad America this silence and civility is mystifying and impossible to endure so that they are driven to a frenzy of speculation. Damn that Vlad.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata

So,Zen,then.

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich

@ Ben Trovata,

No.

Zen ceases to be Zen the moment one tries to explain it.

Daniel Rich
Daniel Rich

@ Jim Scott,

I was told by Russians, when I tried to compliment the Russian president by calling him Vlad as well, that it’s actually a not nice thing to say.

The right phrase to use it ‘Vovo.’

RobG

We all know what a pile of doo dah Bolton is; need anything more be added?

But I have a seemingly unrelated question: I have a recently bought cheapo laptop (£170) that is running Windows 10, which without a doubt is the worst OS ever released (how on earth Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world has always been beyond me). Windows 10 won’t even work properly unless its connected to the internet (so that they can monitor everything you’re doing). I do know a little bit about computers, and want to completely wipe my Windows hard drive and replace it with a Linux OS: how the hell do you get into BIOS on Windows 10? so that I can load the Linux OS from a USB drive.

My question is actually totally connected to Bolton & Co. Any half sane replies will be most welcome.

Unfair
Unfair

“need anything more be added?”

No, not much, just perhaps starting a few more war fronts and shed more blood to protect american interests.


About computer operating system, it is insane to continue using Windows 10 after knowing (and sensing) how much surveillance is now built into it, as well as experiencing the extensive use of [computer] resources by the endless (and extensive) update process.

You might not need to go into the BIOS in order to get Linux to work. It is probably much easier than what you are thinking. Follow online instructions to create a USB to enable starting Linux.

milosevic
milosevic

There’s a usually a key you can press before the operating system boots, that will drop you directly into the BIOS; what it is depends on the hardware manufacturer. Supposedly, there is also a way to request MS-Windows to drop into the BIOS on reboot.

good luck. some references:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bios-keys-to-access-your-firmware,5732.html

https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/enter-bios-computer/

RobG

Many thanks to Unfair and milosevic for your helpful replies. Much appreciated.

For anyone else reading this, who might be in a similar quandary, here’s my experience of it:

I was trying to completely wipe Windows 10 (after backing up anything I needed), and then do a clean load of Linux Mint version 19.1 (Cinnamon).

My laptop was bought new, late last year (2018). It’s a Lenovo, but I can’t now remember the model number. It’s a cheapo one (for about £170 at the time), but it’s a very good buy, shipped with 4 gig RAM and a half-way decent processor (the hard drive is only 30 gigs, but that’s not really a problem thesedays with external storage devices). The only problem is that this particular Lenovo laptop is completely locked into Windows 10 and the Microsoft empire (there’s a fairly easy fix for that – if you can live with Windows 10).

The tomshardware.com link that milosevic gave above was very helpful, and pointed me in the right direction. However, a few things didn’t work for me (and if you’re using a different make of laptop and a different version of Windows 10 this might all be very different for you). Tomshardware.com states that you can change the BIOS boot up in the Windows 10 control panel, and then restart the computer (the Linux Mint web site gives a very good explainer on how to create a boot up USB stick). The control panel route didn’t work for me, and despite having the USB stick inserted the laptop kept booting back into Windows 10.

Tomshardware.com also states that the boot up BIOS key for a Lenovo laptop is F2 or F2 + FN. Nope, not on the Lenovo laptop I have. The BIOS boot up key is actually F12, and once I’d figured that out I was easily able to boot from the USB stick, to completely wipe Windows 1o (hurrah!) and load Linux Mint. The process took the best part of 45 minutes.

I realise that this is not a computer help board, but will just add that Linux say that you don’t need internet connection while installing their system. Whilst this is true, I’d strongly advise an internet connection whilst doing the installation, because it’s imperative that you download all the drivers and updates for your new installation.

I did this installation in the apartment next to our house, and in the apartment there’s only one ethernet cable connection for internet (I avoid wifi wherever possible). I had to keep unplugging the ethernet internet from the laptop and plugging it into my desktop computer, in order to figure out what to do next. As a result the laptop Linux installation wasn’t able to update properly, and can’t pick up the wifi in the main house.

I think I’ve now solved this problem (by downloading updates on the apartment ethernet connection). It’s a decade since I last ran a Linux OS on a computer, and back then it was still rather ropey. Linux Mint seems rather good, but of course it’s early days yet.

Apologies for rambling on here: I always appreciate advice, and try to give some back.

Unfair
Unfair

It is insane not to move to Linux if one’s needs are the Internet and Microsoft Office applications because Linux is a superior OS. Linux users still feel they are using the machine themselves. On the other hand, when using Windows, you don’t know what is going on in the background.

Igor
Igor

Bill Gates is rich, because he is from the elite families.
When he sold the DOS software that he did not have in his possession at the time that he was making the deal, to IBM, his mommy was on IBM’s Board of Directors. For some reason IBM’s legal team found no problems with the contract to purchase something that Gates did not have rights to sell. No one asked to see the goods prior to approval?

The same elite families that spawn ALL US Presidents.

George Cornell
George Cornell

I have defended Gates before and was set upon by a pack of dogs who could not validate what they were doing and why. He’s different, not from a ruling family, has a moral principled wife and father and has revolutionized philanthropy. So there.

George Cornell
George Cornell

No, he’s rich because he’s brilliant (scored a perfect 800 on his SATs),ambitious, worked very hard, and thrived in the American capitalist system. He did well because he made products people wanted and created hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide. This mindless slagging off people because they are richer than you gets you nowhere. It is counterproductive, and hardly less ignorant than hating people you know nothing about, because of race, creed or colour.

George Cornell
George Cornell

Would the anon. milquetoast who downvoted my comment on Gates consider explaining and tackling the facts?

George Cornell
George Cornell

You are absolutely disgusting Igor. Bill Gates’ mother who died 20 years ago of breast cancer had one of the most distinguished public service records in the US. She was a teacher who led the National United Way charity and gave countless hours to community service and passed this ethos on to her son. Your characterization of her is disgraceful. I bet she contributed more to society than all your ancestors put together. See wiki.

Gates graduated from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School and then attended the nearby University of Washington, where she received a degree in education in 1950. She married UW law graduate William H. Gates, Sr. in 1951, and she taught school in the early 1950s. After her husband co-founded the law practice that became Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle, Gates turned to a variety of civic activities. Gates’ volunteer roles in Seattle and King County included serving on the boards of the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Seattle Symphony, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, United Way of King County, and many other nonprofit organizations. She served as President of the Junior League of Seattle from 1966-67

In 1975, Governor Daniel J. Evans appointed Gates to the board of regents for her alma mater, where she led the movement on the board to divest the University of Washington’s holdings in South Africa to protest apartheid. In addition, Gates served on the UW Foundation Board of Directors, the UW Medical Center Board, and the UW School of Business Administration’s Advisory Board.

Gates also served for many years on the boards of several major corporations: First Interstate Bank of Washington; Unigard Security Insurance Group; Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company, which became U.S. WEST Communications; and KIRO Incorporated.

Beyond the Seattle area, Gates was appointed to the board of directors of the national United Way in 1980, becoming the first woman to lead it in 1983. Her tenure on the national board’s executive committee is believed to have helped Microsoft, based in Seattle, at a crucial time. In 1980, she discussed her son’s company with John Opel, a fellow committee member and the chairman of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). Opel, by some accounts, mentioned Mrs. Gates to other NIBM executives. A few weeks later, IBM took a chance by hiring Microsoft, then a small software firm, to develop an operating system for its first personal computer.

What an ogre, right Igor?

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

RobG, any PC or Mac has spying built into it by default.

I would suggest getting a device from these guys if you’re worried about it:

https://puri.sm/

MASTER OF UNIVE
MASTER OF UNIVE

Bolton is doing a heck of a job!

MOU

Unfair
Unfair

A poll in the US released this week:

– were you aware that on 9/11 a third skyscraper in the World Trade Center complex collapsed in addition to the Twin Towers?
– 36% answered: No, I was not aware

https://www.ae911truth.org/images/PDFs/Slides-for-AE911Truth-WTC7-202-8232019.pdf

Something monumentally fishy .. can it be true that so many were not aware of the collapse and also many of those who knew could not name the building properly?

milosevic
milosevic

More importantly, a small majority believes that the collapse was caused by “controlled demolition”, and is “more inclined to believe the critics than the government”. Not everybody is completely stupid, but anybody who can swallow this has lost all contact with objective reality:

wardropper
wardropper

“The less mad of the two”…
Wonderful, isn’t it?
That’s what we’re down to when it comes to whom we allow to govern us.

Unfair
Unfair

This is definitely unfair dismissal. This grotesque creature called bloten behaved exactly as he was known for, and exactly as it was expected of him.

How would it be possible to kick him out for doing what he was supposed to do and for what was expected of him?

wardropper
wardropper

I think this is what was described during WW2 as being “over-zealous”.
It’s a fine line, but it’s good to know that Trump recognized that Blotno had crossed it.

George Cornell
George Cornell

All the compliance was Trumped by insufficient obeisance.

Jim Scott
Jim Scott

True George the illiterate and narcissistic Orang Outang craves adoration but the psychopathic Bolton emanates hatred to everyone and cannot control his contempt for his inarticulate boss so someone had to go. I am sure there are other remorseless sadists to take his place.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle

John ‘war’ Bolton sunk by a former ‘reality’ TV presenter – how Iranian and Russian diplomats must have laughed.

How does any foreign diplomat do business with a country that has allowed the lunatics to take over the asylum?

wardropper
wardropper

Nobody should be doing “business” with the Washington cesspit. It’s all a Hollywood Godfather act.

Jim Scott
Jim Scott

Haven’t they run out of horse heads yet?

wardropper
wardropper

I think they use kitten heads now.
They probably call it “professional evolution”.

Grafter
Grafter

Bolton..just another example of how America has become a psychotically ill country and whose citizens live in a constructed vacuum of mindless servitude to a criminal elite who control a faux democracy. There are many like him now and for sure there will be more to come in the future. Recent American history is a sad litany of greed, corruption and death on a worldwide scale where the majority of its citizenry are helpless as to the corporate vandalism taking place within its own government rather like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed shit.

Unfair
Unfair

Thanks, that’s a great Epitaph for a Frankenstein country:

psychotically ill country and whose citizens live in a constructed vacuum of mindless servitude to a criminal elite who control a faux democracy
….
Recent American history is a sad litany of greed, corruption and death on a worldwide scale where the majority of its citizenry are helpless as to the corporate vandalism taking place within its own government rather like mushrooms kept in the dark and fed shit.

Mucho
Mucho

Ditto the UK

Mucho
Mucho

If you think the UK is any better, any less of a human cesspit, you’re wrong

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Solved at last: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
Answer: The force gets the flick.

Unfair
Unfair

That these abominable monsters follow the law of physics, or any proper law for that matter, they are given too much respect which they don’t deserve.

George Cornell
George Cornell

Even Stanley Kubrick could not come up with a character as outrageous as the dreadful Bolton. But he seems to have patterned himself after a talent pool restricted to a few barely fictional characters from Strangelove. A documentary of his professional career, influence and attitudes is necessary , if only to make it clear he is a real extant person and not a Saturday morning cartoon caricature, or some kind of lefty-invented straw bogeyman.

I hesitate to find the word most suitable to describe a primate who so discredits his species. Can you imagine fainter praise than being too wacko for Trump? I am struggling.

Jen
Jen

Even a documentary on John Bolton would resemble a caricature of the highlights (or the lowlights) of all the Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam.

George Cornell
George Cornell

Jen, he does indeed look like Sam but with the wit and cleverness of Wil E. Coyote.

wardropper
wardropper

Agreed. I think he would fit into either of those roles just perfectly.