New information from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie has revealed that incoming national security adviser John Bolton's super PAC tried to use data on Facebook users to make people more willing to support backing wars. Soon to be in his place is someone far less qualified - and far more unsafe.
Christopher Hill, chief adviser to the chancellor for global engagement at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies and assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2005 to 2009, agreed with Russel's assessment that the president himself was most likely seeking to take charge. In this role, he was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the invasion. In that article, he said that North Korea is an "imminent threat" to the United States because it is only months away from achieving the capacity to deliver nuclear warheads to the USA mainland. After UN Ambassador Nikki Haley struck the JCPOA in a much-covered speech at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute last October, Bolton mentioned: "The Iran bargain could not have passed away today, however it will certainly pass away soon".
He's been equally hawkish about Iran, arguing that Barack Obama should never have entered into the agreement under which Iran promised not to go on developing nuclear warheads while focusing on nuclear power. And since Trump reportedly doesn't read his own daily intelligence reports and largely relies on oral briefings, or cable news, for gathering and assessing information about the world, Bolton may play an outsized role in the formation of USA policy.
Bolton's views on Pyongyang were most recently on display in a February 28 commentary that laid out what hecalled a "perfectly legitimate" case for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. But the past is often prologue and nobody should bet their mortgages on a transformed John Bolton. Still, there may be things about him that even the president could find less than appealing.
And this despite Bolton's critique of administration policy. "However, China, like Pakistan, worries most about the groups that stage attacks in Pakistan", says Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center think tank.
Experts further reveal President Trump's decision signals the plans to fully embrace the hawkish foreign policy turn that was previewed in his administration's National Security Strategy. During the campaign, Trump opposed the Iraq War, sending the message that he won't get drawn into the misguidedly idealistic or stupidly conceived military adventurism so typical of our clueless, corrupt elites.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads Jewish Home, tweeted that Bolton was "an extraordinary security expert, experienced diplomat and a stalwart friend of Israel."Environment Minister Zeev Elkin of Netanyahu's Likud echoed his cabinet colleagues, telling Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM Bolton was "unquestionably a friend of Israel for many years, including in his position as United States ambassador to the UN". As he told me in one especially memorable two-hour interview back in 2007: "Nobody should want a war on the Korean Peninsula".
And so, when Trump was debating whether to certify the Iran deal last summer, and was unhappy with advisers urging him to do so on substantive grounds, then-adviser Stephen K. Bannon handed him a piece by Bolton urging him to decertify. His could prove to be one of the more catastrophic appointments of an already devastating administration - so here's hoping that he will embarrass or enrage the president quickly enough to flame out before doing serious damage. But it did showcase the rising star of trade adviser Alex Navarro, who unabashedly stated that he had provided the "analytics" to "confirm his intuition", which is "always right".
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