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John Bolton's Departure Shows "Personnel Are Policy"

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 11, 2019 10:01

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John Bolton's recent ouster as National Security Advisor indicates the Bush foreign policy team that allowed the 9/11 attacks, lost the War on Terror, destroyed American freedoms with the Patriot Act, and paved the way for the election of President Obama may be back in charge at the White House.

NSC Advisor John Bolton, Secretary Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump with S. Korean President President Moon Jae-in on April 11, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Many people in Washington were happy to see John Bolton go on Monday, among them Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who could not stop beaming at his White House press conference with Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin hours later.

While he is not as skilled an infighter as Secretary Pompeo, and made mistakes, Bolton was consistently opposed to Islamic Terrorism, unlike officials who who protected the Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and even Bin Laden for years.

Unlike Pompeo, Bolton opposed negotiations with the Taliban and Iran with such determination that he may have actually fallen on his sword to prevent a scheduled 9/11 meeting with Taliban representatives at Camp David.

Bolton--like the Afghan government--was cut out of the loop regarding the deal. This seems eerily similar to the Vietnam Peace Accords that preceded the fall of Saigon, negotiated between the US and North Vietnam, without the South Vietnamese government, designed for political advantage in the 1972 election.

President Nixon won, and was subsequently driven from office, leading to the loss of the Vietnam War. Not a happy precedent.

Unlike Pompeo, Bolton is a proven hard-liner regarding Islamic Terrorism.

I attended an August 16th luncheon at the Army-Navy Country Club in memory of late Admiral James A. "Ace" Lyons, an anti-Islamist, where Bolton had been scheduled to speak as guest of honor--before he was called to a meeting with President Trump. His deputy presented a frightening analysis of Islamist and Chinese threats in his place.

It didn't sound like most State Department briefings, nor White House spokesman Hogan Gidley's subsequent statements to Fox News about working with the Taliban in Afghanistan following Bolton's departure:

"The President wants to have conversations with people who are bad actors across the globe...he wants their behavior to change...the President wants to change behavior."

However, President Trump didn't win the White House on promises of "changing behavior." He won on promises to "eliminate Islamic Terrorism from the face of the earth." Including the Taliban.

President Bush tried changing the behavior of Islamists. America learned that while they could be rented, they could not be bought. In Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt, and elsewhere, American policies to co-opt rather than defeat enemies failed under President George Walker Bush and President Barack Hussein Obama alike.

We've seen this movie before. Not again--please.

President Bush preserved the Taliban after they were driven from power, allowed Osama Bin Laden to live, and sent the Bin Laden family back to Saudi Arabia...they made deals. 

John Bolton's ouster signals the Bush foreign policy team that allowed the 9/11 attacks, lost the War on Terror, and damaged American freedom may be back at the White House.

One lesson from Bolton's departure: In Washington "personnel are policy."

Laurence Jarvik

Posted on September 11, 2019 10:01

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Source: CNN
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