10 Reasons to Fear John Bolton
The new national security adviser is a dangerous warmonger.

By Medea Benjamin / AlterNet March 27, 2018, 9:57 AM GMT

Let’s not mince words: John Bolton is a warmonger, and his appointment as Donald Trump’s national security adviser
is a threat to global security. Bolton advocates a foreign policy that exaggerates threats, belittles diplomacy, shows
contempt for international institutions and is quick to use violence. The national security adviser position does not
need Senate confirmation, so starting April 9, the hawk of all hawks will be perched at the White House.

Need specifics on why we should oppose Bolton? Here are some. Add your own.

Bolton wants to shred the Iran nuclear deal... and bomb Iran. Bolton hates the nuclear deal that was signed under
Obama’s watch not only by the U.S. and Iran, but also by Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the EU.
Although the deal is working and even Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said [3] it is in our national interest, Bolton
calls the Iran deal a massive strategic blunder. On May 12, when Trump is required to re-certify that Iran has been
complying with the deal, Bolton makes it more likely that the U.S. will pull out of the deal, triggering a major
international crisis. Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, says [4], “People, let this be very
clear: The appointment of Bolton is essentially a declaration of war with Iran.”

Bolton is in bed with an Iranian terrorist organization called MEK, a fringe group that was listed as a Foreign Terrorist
Organization by the United States until 2012 and is still considered a terrorist organization inside Iran. Bolton routinely
meets with and accepts payments from the group, which has been responsible [5] for the murder of American
soldiers, the attempted kidnapping of a U.S. ambassador, and many violent attacks inside Iran. Bolton considers MEK
a "viable opposition [6]" that he wants to use to overthrow the Iranian government [7]. With Bolton in power, one of
the most detested Iranian cults will be treated by the U.S. government as legitimate representatives of the Iranian

Bolton will jeopardize talks with North Korea. The world breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement that President
Trump would meet with Kim Jung-un by May. But with Bolton, that meeting may never take place, or could be
disastrous. Bolton says [8], “Talking to North Korea is worse than a mere waste of time. Negotiations legitimize the
dictatorship, affording it more time to enhance its nuclear and ballistic-missile capabilities.” Instead of talks, Bolton
has called for the United States to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea, a strike that could spark a nuclear

Bolton hates the United Nations and international law. When George Bush nominated Bolton to be UN ambassador in
2005, he proved so controversial even to the Republican-controlled Senate that Bush had to sneak him in as a
recess appointment when Congress was not in session. It is one thing to be critical of the UN, but Bolton opposes its
very existence. “There is no such thing as the United Nations,” he once said [9], adding, “If the U.N. Secretariat
building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a lot of difference.” More than that, he is hostile to the concept
of international law, having once declared [9], “It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even
when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so—because over the long term, the goal of those who think that
international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States.”

Bolton was a key instigator of the Iraq war and has no regrets. He was a major figure (along with Dick Cheney and
Donald Rumsfeld) pushing for the invasion of Iraq. During the Bush presidency, when he was Under-Secretary of
State for Arms Control, he helped fabricate evidence about weapons of mass destruction that led to the March 2003
invasion. And he is one of the few original advocates for that war who still insists it was a good idea.

Bolton provided false information about Cuba. As Under-Secretary of State, Bolton claimed that Havana was
attempting to develop biological weapons and sell them to rogue regimes. Then he tried to fire two intelligence
analysts who challenged his erroneous allegations. Bolton has also urged that stronger sanctions be imposed on
Cuba, and put Cuba on his “axis of evil” list.

He is no friend of the Palestinians. When he was at the United Nations, he constantly protected Israel by vetoing all
UN resolutions targeting Israel. Bolton praised Trump's decision to recognize [10] Jerusalem as Israel's capital,
breaking with decades of international consensus that the disputed city's status must be negotiated between the two
sides. He opposes a Palestinian state, saying, “I don’t think there are institutions on the Palestinian side that can live
up to the commitments of a treaty with Israel….or could resist takeover by terrorist elements.” His solution? Get rid of
Palestinians by merging Gaza with Egypt and the West Bank with Jordan.

Bolton will create new problems with China. He has been an ardent supporter of diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, and
was paid by the Taiwanese government [11]. He advised the Trump administration to reconsider the “One China”
policy [12], an agreement made in 1972 that requires countries to choose between diplomatic relations with China or
diplomatic relations with Taiwan. His antagonistic stance toward China could have a negative impact on issues
ranging from North Korea and the South China Sea to cyberspace and trade.

He hangs out with Islamophobes. Bolton has a decade-long history of associating with anti-Islam activist Pamela
Geller, appearing on her internet radio program "Atlas on the Air" and on her video blog. Geller is well-known for her
inflammatory public comments about Muslims and the idea that they are trying to impose Sharia law in the U.S. Bolton
wrote the foreword to the book she co-wrote with fellow anti-Islamist Robert Spencer called “The Post-American
Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.”

His white walrus mustache should immediately disqualify him. According to former White House Chief Strategist Steve
Bannon, president-elect Trump passed on nominating John Bolton to a senior Cabinet position because he didn’t like
Bolton’s signature mustache. With his hairy upper lip, Bolton just didn’t “look the part." We agree. Trump should
immediately rescind the offer in favor of someone with less facial hair.

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the peace group CodePink. Her latest book is Kingdom of the Unjust [13]: Behind
the U.S.-Saudi Connection (OR Books, September 2016).