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Working out his notice? July 12, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

John Bolton has been worrying me this last while. Worrying me? Well, perhaps I mean I’ve been worried on his behalf. Worried on his behalf? Well, okay, that’s a stretch, his politics and mine are near antithetical. Still it has struck me in recent weeks his tenure at the White House as national security advisor may be due to come to an end. He has the appearance of a man working in a job on borrowed time.

Simply put I couldn’t see Bolton agreeing with much of the thrust of what passes for Trump era foreign policy. Some of it sure, but hardly all of this, not least the pandering to the DPRK. Or the interesting hesitation on the part of Trump in relation to Iran (a hesitation that on one level shows up the cosmetic nature of Trump’s approach, rhetorical rather than active, and yet simultaneously is something one is in this instance at least glad of).

In truth Trump is coming up against the limits of the possible and perhaps learning that in relation to Iran the agreement made under the Obama administration was, all things considered, pretty good and a significant step forward. As to the DPRK, who knows what’s going on there. Nothing of substance, that’s for sure.

And Bolton in all this? Well, he’s a bellicose character at the best of times. He can’t be enjoying this. And as Fred Kaplan notes, perhaps someone in despatching him to Mongolia during Trump’s travels around Asia this last week had a sense of humour (of sorts) for…

Surely Bolton, who knows history, gets the reference. He no doubt recalls that, in 1957, as part of his campaign to rid his inner circle of Stalinist remnants, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev banished the longtime foreign minister, Vyacheslav Molotov—executioner of some of the late Josef Stalin’s most savage diplomatic maneuvers—to the post of ambassador to Outer Mongolia.
Ever since, in the lexicon of power politics, sending rivals or unwieldy subordinates to Mongolia has been a metaphor for consigning them to oblivion. In Bolton’s case, it’s been given a blatantly literal spin. The fact that Trump’s daughter Ivanka and even Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson escorted the president across the Demilitarized Zone, while the national security adviser was marooned on the terrestrial equivalent of the dark side of the moon, highlights the pink slip in neon.


1. Joe - July 12, 2019

Has anyone done body counts? On how many people have been killed on the orders of Obama compared with on the orders of Trump?


2. Daniel Rayner O'Connor - July 12, 2019

In the first three and an half years of each.


Daniel Rayner O'Connor - July 12, 2019

Correction: two and an half years.


3. FergusD - July 13, 2019

Dunno, but Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, had plants killed, by drones. Drone killings don’t count as far as Democrats are concerned. But then Demo facts aren’t concerned about US imperialism’s victims anymore than Republicans do.


Daniel Rayner O'Connor - July 13, 2019

Fair enough. certainly Obama’s nobel was ridiculous, if not quite as ridiculous as Kissinger’s or Begin’s.


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