I have been warning against Neocon John Bolton for years. He belongs nowhere near the White House. Below Cato’s Doug Bandow shares with readers the Boltonish snarl President Trump is getting himself into. He writes at The American Conservative (abridged):
Candidate Donald Trump campaigned against Washington’s foolish Middle East wars. President Donald Trump is threatening Tehran with the equivalent of fire and fury. After decades of American attacks on Iran, what Trump should be doing is changing course.
The president erupted against Iran on Twitter earlier this week in an outburst that was even more hysterical than his tirade against North Korea last year. “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” he tweeted. “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
The president sounded like a high school dropout who had just downed a six-pack and was now itching for a brawl. It’s he who should be cautious before enthusiastically threatening to visit death upon another nation and people. After all, as he once acknowledged, the results of U.S. warmongering have been ugly.
In 1953, Washington backed a coup that overturned a democratically elected government. Five presidents supported Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s shah, who governed as an absolute monarch. His rule was highlighted by ostentatious corruption, brutal repression, nuclear research, and plans to become the Middle East’s dominant power.
Virtually every American intervention in the region has created violent, even disastrous blowback: entering Lebanon’s civil war, supporting even extremist Israeli governments, selling U.S. foreign policy to Saudi Arabia’s royals, invading Iraq, blowing up Libya, fueling the Syrian civil war, backing autocracy in Bahrain and Egypt, aiding Riyadh’s aggression against Yemen.
The administration’s greatest mistake today may be anointing Saudi Arabia as prospective regional hegemon, which would allow the Saudi crown prince to advance his reckless ambitions with little regard for Washington’s interests—like how Iran’s shah promoted his foolhardy imperial ambitions while backed by the U.S.
Iran is a dramatic example of the costs of arrogant, reckless American intervention. Washington and the Iranian people continue to pay a high price for past U.S. follies. It’s time for Trump to finally step back from the mess that his predecessors created.
Read more here.