Distemper in the White House – Casualty John Bolton (#98)
To put a point on the mentally unstable nature of Donald Trump’s White House, the ouster of John Bolton quickly deteriorated into a childishly public spat, with Trump announcing on twitter that he had ‘fired’ Bolton, and Bolton almost immediately firing back, on twitter, that he had ‘resigned’ first!
This is the ‘State of Affairs’ in the World’s most powerful nation’s innermost sanctum, the White House; peevishly immature minds in control.
Bolton was the 3rd National Security Adviser in Trump’s third year as President, 16 months or 520 days in the job, with the revolving White House door always threatening from day one.
The first, perhaps Trump’s most favorite and the shortest serving National Security Adviser, a Retired Lieutenant General, Michael Flynn, lasted in office all of 24 days after Trump’s inauguration, and was ousted for lying to the Vice President, Mike Pence. Later he was also was convicted of lying to the FBI, and is going to be sentenced this December to serve prison-time.
As one that demonstrated unsettling comfort with speaking lies, like the President, Mike Flynn was seemingly a man after Trump’s own heart, as Trump’s publicly-stated esteem for the convicted Lt. General proved over and over.
The second, also a military officer, a serving Lieutenant General, H.R. McMaster, was a much admired ‘elite-warrior-thinker’, and perhaps much-too-much of an independent ‘adult in the room’ for Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip style, and his need for personally loyal ‘yes men’, and so the ‘gruff and condescending’ McMaster was let go 13 months or 412 days into his job, and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, the ultra-hawk John Bolton was brought in.
And while there was speculation as to how long Bolton would last, amid growing rumors of his clashes with Trump, the sudden departure still seemed to catch most everyone by surprise.
But it really should not have been a surprise, given Bolton’s reputation as a highly intelligent acerbic personality that was hard to get along with, and as a certified Republican war-mongering ultra-hawk, he much preferred to bomb and destroy America’s foes, than negotiate with them, while Trump of course thinks his personal one-on-one negotiation skills is unmatched in human history. There was bound to be a clash of styles and conviction between them, and there was.
Yet, both Bolton and Trump had this particular trait in common - they are both belligerent and like to talk tough, but in reality are strictly arm-chair-warriors.
Given the opportunity to go to war in their youth, in Vietnam, they both actively avoided the chance to fight and serve, by dodging the draft - Bolton by joining the National Guard, and Trump by repeated medical claims to having ‘bone-spurs’.
But safely beyond the possibility of going to war themselves, and with others ‘sacrificing’ for the country, both Bolton and Trump like to talk tough and threaten devastation, damnation and hellfire on the enemy. Those ‘enemy targets’ include Iran, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, and more lately Venezuela, etc.
Bolton deeply believed in affecting ‘Regime Change’ in those countries for years, and pushed Trump for it while he was National Security Adviser. As is now well known, some of those ‘Regimes’ are Trump’s most beloved and admired leaders and friends, such as Russia’s Putin, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. So, such conflicting views of some of America’s enemies were sure to cause serious conflict between the President and his National Security Adviser, and it did.
Bolton deeply disapproved of Trump’s public affections for Putin and Kim Jong-un, and his reluctance to militarily strike Iran and North Korea over their perceived provocations, to bring them in-line, which all led to growing estrangement between the two of them.
And Bolton was also apparently clashing with other senior advisers such as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (who could not hide his glee at the press conference right after Bolton’s ouster).
Most recently, Bolton vehemently opposed Trump’s bizarre ‘secret plan’ to bring the Taliban to the US, to Camp David, days before the anniversary of the attack of 9/11, to sign a ‘peace treaty’ with them so that the remaining American troops in Afghanistan could be withdrawn.
Trump of course was salivating at the dramatic publicity bonanza he would reap from such dramatic ‘secret’ maneuverings, by which he could at last prove his legendary negotiating skills, but apparently Bolton was apoplectic from the idea of the having the ‘Enemy’, the terrorist group, the deeply offensive Taliban, who sheltered Al Qaeda after their attack of 9/11, being invited to the United States just ahead of the attack’s anniversary.
Reportedly, this particular drama brought things to a head between Bolton and Trump, and there was a confrontation between the two of them that led to Bolton claiming he tendered his resignation, and Trump claiming he fired him.
Knowing this White House’s reputation under Trump, and these colorful, comically inept, but rather depressing and dangerous characters, one can be sure that we haven’t heard the last of this latest sorry saga. And, as yet another of Trump’s ‘best people’ bites the dust, and joins the mountainous heap of ousted bodies outside of the ever revolving White House doors, Trump’s and his administration’s distemper grows.