TEHRAN – Donald Trump trumped his national security advisor John Bolton on Tuesday via a Twitter, saying he had “strongly disagreed” with many of Bolton’s positions.
Naming Bolton as national security advisor was in sharp contrast to Trump’s campaign promises including his criticism of “unending wars” that Republican President George W. Bush and his close team, Bolton included, had started in Afghanistan and Iraq.
After firing him, Trump admitted Bolton made a number of “big mistakes”, including pushing for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Trump has turned his administration into a trial and error system. Analysts say Trump’s decisions are based on his impulses and that he has no strategy.
It was quite clear that Bolton was a wrong choice for the important post of national security advisor. Even moderate Republican politicians did not approve of Bolton’s ultra-hawkish tendencies.
He is a hard-hearted person. He has shown no remorse for the disastrous Iraq war.
Not being affected by the tragedy of the Iraq war, he advocated for war against North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela.
Bolton’s thirst for war against Iran was so high that he favored Mojahdin Khalq Organization (MKO/MEK) – a cult group that some analysts have likened to Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge – as a replacement for the Islamic Republic system.
Trump’s administration is fraught with repeated mistakes. Trump knew beforehand that Bolton had pushed for the Iraq war and that he was paid by the MEK, which was on the State Department terrorist list until 2012.
Also, in March 2015, while Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) were busy negotiating a deal over Iran’s nuclear program, he wrote an editorial in the New York Times suggesting strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Trump himself was a fierce critic of the 2015 nuclear deal. But, he ditched the deal in May 2018, just one month after naming Bolton for the senior post.
Though Bolton is not the only culprit for all the chaos haunting the Trump administration, he added new problems to the old ones. To the detriment of Europe, he triggered a new arms race with Russia by encouraging the Trump administration to abandon the Cold War-era INF Treaty, sabotaged dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, and disgraced the U.S. for his unsuccessful push for the ouster of the Venezuelan government.
Writing in the National Interest on September 10, Paul Pillar, author of Why America Misunderstands the World, says, “Bolton’s wrecking career began as an undersecretary in the George W. Bush administration, when Bolton boasted of his role in killing the earlier Agreed Framework dealing with the North Korean nuclear program.”
Pillar also says, “In each of his positions in government, Bolton has made the world a more conflictual place and the United States a more isolated and despised country.”
Now, Bolton has been sacked or forced to resign but the U.S. is left with a number of emerging problems: Iran is reducing its commitments under the nuclear deal, or the JCPOA, to an extent that may lead to its demise, Washington’s allies in Europe and Asia have largely lost their trust America and now see Washington as a part of the problem rather than part of the solution.