16:38 GMT +326 April 2018
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    Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland. (File)

    ‘Hardline Nationalist’ John Bolton an ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Pick for US NSA

    © AFP 2018 / Mike Theiler
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    With the announcement that John Bolton will be the new White House national security adviser, Sputnik News reviewed how some experts and analysts have responded to the war hawk’s return to a high-profile US government post and what his history of belligerence might mean for the future of US foreign policy.

    According to journalist and author Max Blumenthal, Bolton is not your typical neoconservative.

    ​"He really embraces something that's beyond neo-conservatism. He's a hardline nationalist. He really reflects the dominance of the right-wing, Likudnik, pro-Israel element and the Saudi-UAE axis in this administration," Blumenthal said Friday on Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear.

    "He's been close to the Israelis for years, very close — so close that when he was first nominated for UN ambassador, he faced some pretty strong questions during his [confirmation] hearing about his meetings with the Mossad, which he didn't notify the State Department about. He was going outside of diplomatic protocol," Blumenthal, author of "The 51-Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza," told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou.

    "It's an extremely dangerous selection, especially if Mike Pompeo gets confirmed" as the new secretary of state, Blumenthal asserted.

    "People, let this be very clear: The appointment of Bolton is essentially a declaration of war with Iran. With Pompeo and Bolton, Trump is assembling a WAR CABINET. If we want peace, Pompeo MUST be blocked in the Senate. A vote for him is a vote for war," Trita Parsi, the head of the National Iranian American Council, wrote in a tweet Thursday.

    Even conservative commentator Ann Coulter raked Trump over the coals for nominating Bolton as the next national security adviser. "Trump when he was winning: ‘Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake…" Coulter tweeted Thursday. She linked to an article in Reason that pointed out how Bolton was a cheerleader of the US war in Iraq and lied in 2002 when he said "we are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq."

    Bolton has openly called for wars against North Korea and Iran. Last month, Bolton outlined "the legal case for striking North Korea first" in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. In 2015, Bolton published a piece for the New York Times titled, "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran."

    "The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel's 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed," Bolton argued in the NYT article.

    George W Bush's "axis of evil" included Iraq, Iran and North Korea. So far, the US has only initiated a war in Iraq — a decision Bolton still supports, Politico reported March 22.

    After Bush speechwriter David Frum coined the phrase "axis of evil" and Bush mentioned it in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, a flicker of US-Iran cooperation in capturing al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives was snuffed out. US State Department official Ryan Crocker had been meeting with officials representing the Iranian government in Geneva, and the Iranian government was helping the US during the initial stages of fighting the Taliban in the early days of the war, as the New Yorker reported.

    "The Axis of Evil speech brought the meetings to an end," the 2013 New Yorker report states. "Recalling that time, Crocker shook his head. ‘We we're just that close,' he said. ‘One word in one speech changed history.'"

    In a 2002 speech at the Heritage Foundation, Bolton outlined three additional countries "Beyond the Axis of Evil." The US has bombed or illegally sent troops into two of them: Libya and Syria. The third country he mentioned was Cuba.

    In a moment of bitter levity, Northeastern University's Max Abrahms tweeted Friday: "Not sure why everyone says Bolton is some kind of hawk. There was a flap between several Tahitian communes in the late 1980s where Bolton didn't advocate regime or pull out the nuclear card."

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    Tags:
    war hawks, Iran deal, The Heritage Foundation, Max Blumenthal, John Bolton, United States
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