Rumors have been circulating that President-elect Donald Trump is looking into former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to be his secretary of state. For conservative favorite, and libertarian star senator Rand Paul, this would be nothing short of a tragedy.
In a blistering editorial at Rare, the senator from Kentucky lambasted Bolton by pointing out that he hasn't learned one lesson from the foreign policy mistakes made by Clinton, Obama, and Bush, and instead wishes to repeat them again.
One of the things I occasionally liked about the President-elect was his opposition to the Iraq war and regime change. He not only grasped the mistake of that war early, but also seemed to fully understand how it disrupted the balance of power in the Middle East and even emboldened Iran.
We liberated Iraq, but today their best friend is Iran, their second greatest ally is Russia, and their third strongest alliance is with Syria. Trump really seems to get the lesson. Hillary Clinton never did.
Most importantly right now, John Bolton never learned and never will.
Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years — particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president.
Paul points out that Bolton wishes to continue purging the Middle East of dictators just like we did in Iraq and Libya, essentially making more room for groups like ISIS to thrive.
Trump has said U.S. intervention in Iraq in 2003 “helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper.” In contrast, Bolton has said explicitly that he wants to repeat Iraq-style regime change in Syrian and Iran.
You can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t see mistakes.
Trump has blamed George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for helping to create ISIS — but should add John Bolton to that list, who essentially agreed with all three on our regime change debacles.
Paul continues his skewering of Bolton by essentially calling him a warmonger ignorant of the situations in the countries he wishes to go to war in.
No man is more out of touch with the situation in the Middle East or more dangerous to our national security than Bolton.
All nuance is lost on the man. The fact that Russia has had a base in Syria for 50 years doesn’t deter Bolton from calling for all out, no holds barred war in Syria. Bolton criticized the current administration for offering only a tepid war. For Bolton, only a hot-blooded war to create democracy across the globe is demanded.
But Paul does not finish there. He throws a haymaker in the form of showing that Bolton, only too gung-ho to send Americans to die in the Middle East, wouldn't go to war himself during Vietnam.
Bolton would not understand this because, like many of his generation, he used every privilege to avoid serving himself. Bolton said, with the threat of the Vietnam draft over his head, that “he had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy.” But he’s seems to be okay with your son or daughter dying wherever his neoconservative impulse leads us: “Even before the Iraq War, John Bolton was a leading brain behind the neoconservatives’ war-and-conquest agenda,” notes The American Conservative’s Jon Utley.
"That man is a menace," ends the article.
Paul would later go on to tell CNN that he wouldn't vote for Bolton, as he's completely unfit. What's more, Paul also threw in former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as being "very similar" to Bolton, who he noted also believes we needed more intervention in the Middle East.
Paul says that he hopes Trump sticks to the ideas he espouses about the Iraq war being a mistake, and does not nominate either man.
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 15, 2016