The American Interest

Worse Than a Neocon

Until March 22, when the White House announced that John Bolton would replace H.R. McMaster as national security advisor, it was still possible to imagine that President Donald Trump’s many compromises with the globalist-hegemonist establishment had been made under duress.  This may have been true once, but it is not true now.  Bolton’s appointment indicates that candidate Trump the noninterventionist has fallen victim to Stockholm Syndrome; he has ventured beyond surrender to adopt the mindset of his Deep State captors.  It is the political equivalent of a neck-bitten vampire-slayer inviting Count Dracula to guard the blood bank.

John Bolton is not a mere neoconservative; he is a war hawk on steroids.  As President George W. Bush’s undersecretary of state for arms control, he was a strident advocate of an attack on Iraq both before and after September 11.  “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq,” Bolton said in 2002.  At the same time, he knowingly misrepresented and distorted intelligence findings on WMD, disregarded or suppressed contrary information, and subjected his dissenting subordinates to abusive treatment.  All of that has been attested by subsequent congressional reports, but over the years Bolton has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.  “I still think the decision to overthrow...

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