Myths About John Bolton Shattered


iberals have expressed alarm over president Donald Trump’s decision to replace H.R. McMaster with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as nation-

al security adviser. The Root’s headline proclaimed, “Trump Ousts McMas-

ter and replaces Him With Warmonger John Bolton.” The New Yorker’s headline screamed, “John (‘Bomb Iran’) Bolton, the New Warmonger in the White House.” But these knee-jerk reactions are based purely on liberal

media spin and ignore the facts about Bolton’s positions and long track record in government. They’re also based on a misconception of Bolton’s role in the administration. Although Bolton consistently

playground or the world stage: You stand up to him and call his bluff . As Bolton said in an interview on Sky News, “If you want

peace, prepare for war.” And any objective review of the Trump administration

The president tapped a foreign

holds a no-nonsense, hardline stance regarding the world’s bad actors, he’s neither a warmonger nor a “neocon” nation-builder. His worldview, rather, makes him a realist, one who refuses to analyze events through the previous administration’s rose-colored glasses. Bolton understands his role as the national security adviser is not so much to create policy himself, but to carry out and implement the president’s policies. Take Iran for example. Both the president and Bolton

are in sync on the Iran nuclear deal’s failure from the outset. Although it purports to halt the regime’s nuclear weap-

ons program, the one-sided agreement doesn’t off er any real verifi cation that Iran is living up to its terms. Bolton’s detractors fail to understand the purpose of

hardline stances; they often lead to real diplomatic solu- tions. That was demonstrated recently by the president’s warnings to North Korea of “fi re and fury.” Trump repeatedly dismissed its dictator, Kim Jong Un,

as “Rocket Man” and declared that the U.S.’ nuclear button was larger than North Korea’s. Similarly, Bolton laid out the legal case for a pre-emptive

strike against the regime in The Wall Street Journal. Now, North Korea has changed its approach, freezing all

missile and nuclear weapons tests. Not only did Kim Jong Un suggest a face-to-face meet-

ing, he also told ABC News he “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of [South] Korea and the United States must continue” — not merely may continue, but must. Both Trump and Bolton realize there’s but one way to deal with a bully, whether on the

90 NEWSMAX | MAY 2018

policy and security heavyweight who will have his back — and the nation’s.

policies toward Russia demonstrates that the president remains a hardliner. Bolton is just one more example of this. The president has ordered the Pentagon to dramatically modernize our strategic nuclear arsenal and increase the number of tactical warheads. At the same time he has called on NATO countries to step up their military spending. Almost two dozen member states are answering the presi- dent’s call. Bolton himself recently suggested

beefi ng up our presence in Europe to counter Russian aggression. While liberals howled at Bolton’s

big-stick approach for dealing with Putin’s aggression, they also blasted Trump for being too soft when he con-

gratulated the Russian leader on his re-election. (Inciden- tally, Obama did the same in 2012, just as George W. Bush congratulated Dmitry Medvedev in 2008.) John Bolton also has a long history of being a team player

— starting with his days in the Reagan administration. Bolton has emphasized that a national security adviser

doesn’t make policy but rather off ers the president alterna- tive courses of action in any given scenario. Accordingly, Bolton saw his future role as two sides of the same coin. First, “making sure that the president has the full range

of options,” and second, “when the president makes a deci- sion,” becoming “one of the leading implementers of the decision,” whether the national security adviser agrees with it or not. Bolton recalled learning the lesson of presenting a united

front to the public despite personal beliefs early in his gov- ernment career from a mentor — former Secretary of State James Baker. Whenever Bolton raised objections to a White House decision, Baker gave him the ultimate reasoning behind it: “Because, John, the guy who got elected doesn’t want to do it.” In sum, the president tapped a foreign policy and secu-

rity heavyweight who will have his back — and the nation’s — in the challenges and crises the nation will undoubtedly face. We will be in good hands.

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