John Bolton’s Dismissal 222

The power of identity politics as a tool of the Establishment to divert and derail opposition to the wealthy elite was demonstrated to me in a stunning and graphic way back in January 2013. I was entering the Oxford Union to attend the presentation of the Sam Adams award for Integrity to Tom Fingar, a senior American intelligence officer who had successfully blocked a push for military action against Iran by insisting on the barring from assessments of highly exaggerated accounts of Iran’s nuclear programme. A person of integrity in the right place had been able to stop a repeat of the extreme horrors of war engendered by the Iraqi WMD scam perpetrated by Blair and Bush.

You would hope that some of the points Fingar made would be of interest to Oxford’s students. One point that struck me was that he said he was extremely glad if his actions had prevented a war but that:

“Preventing a war was not the goal. Our only goal was to present a full and accurate assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability. Decisions about what to do were for the policy makers.”

You can see Fingar’s full talk here:

You can see a fascinating series of very brief contributions by major whistleblowers made at the event here. I had not really watched my own speech since giving it; I have to say I think it is one of the most powerful I ever made.

More interestingly, there was an extremely thoughtful and insightful talk by Julian Assange, delivered by videolink.

It is worth watching that, not only for the fist rate content, but also to remind ourselves of the quiet and questing actual personality of my friend, who has been demonised by the media on a massive scale.

Which brings me to my point on identity politics. I had to push my way into this event through a crowd of angry students who were picketing the event in protest against the appearance of Julian Assange.

Yet the very night before, serial war criminal John Bolton, one of the most evil men of power in the world, had spoken on the very same platform in the Oxford Union and not one single student had demonstrated against him. His reception inside was also on the fawning side. (Remember this is the venue that spawned the careers of David Cameron, Boris Johnson, William Rees-Mogg and others).

That incident is to me is a microcosm of the use of identity politics by the state. Through self-evidently flimsy allegations, the state can mobilise feminists to silence the world’s most important dissident voices, while warmongers are feted. Enough “progressives” favoured Clinton’s faux-feminism to help ditch (aided by some cheating) Bernie Sanders’ bid for a better life for the mass of people. Here in Scotland the energies of the SNP are routinely diverted into gender and trans issues instead of getting on with Independence, while precisely the same tactics are employed against Alex Salmond as against Julian Assange, to take another major threat to the status quo out of the political game.

I am delighted by Trump getting rid of Bolton as National Security Advisor. The warmonger always appeared entirely at odds with Trump’s professed isolationism, and it appears that Trump no longer feels the need to appease the part of the Republican Party establishment who were placated by Bolton’s appointment. I know that my failure to see Trump as the incarnation of pure evil upsets some people, and I do detest many of his domestic policies. But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, and by recent US standards that makes him a big improvement. The dismissal of Bolton gives hope that may remain the case.


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222 thoughts on “John Bolton’s Dismissal

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  • michael norton

    Today it is being said many, many bombs are being dropped on Islamic State operatives on an island near Mosul, in Iraq.
    I thought the war against I.S. was over.

    I think this and U.S.A. bombing last week in Idleb Province, possibly shows that the U.S.A. really does not want these people talking, who put them up to it, who trained them, who funded them and who provided their weapons.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Another story that has the ring of deviousness is the bomb attack in Kabul, allegedly perpetrated by the Taliban, just as the USG and Taliban were on the verge of signing a peace deal (reminds me of Assad’s chemical weapons use just as the Syrian army was about to retake an area after months of fighting). This is followed up by a rocket attack on the US embassy in Kabul on the anniversary of 9/11. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11 despite the media (and the Bush admin) constantly connecting them to the atrocity. It is not hard to imagine that these attacks have been conducted by Saudi/CIA controlled forces who do not want to see the US withdrawn. Bolton is the kind of character that would be fully onboard with such shenanigans.

      • Jimmeh

        To be fair, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan were hosting the “training camps” (bases) that Osama Bin Laden was running in that country; and OBL specifically claimed credit for 9/11. That is: it’s unreasonable to say that the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.

        • Deb O'Nair

          The “training camps” had been there since OBL was a CIA asset. OBL, specifically, did not claim credit for 911, i.e. he denied it. There were some “Osama” videos where this was claimed but have been shown to be hoaxes. The Taliban offered to extradite OBL if the US could provide evidence to indicate he was responsible.

          Given the amount of controversy/conspiracy surrounding 9/11 it is completely unreasonable to suggest that the Taliban had anything to do with it at all, other than that they were running Afghanistan at the time and opposed US energy supply interests.

        • fedup

          To be fair Milton Bearden CIA station chief in Afghanistan had a lot of success in setting up the data base that became to be known as Al-Qaeda, as explained by late Robin Cook whom later was accidented sent onto pushing up daisy’s mission.

          Bin Laden was shopping for heavy machine guns in and ordinance in US nine months before the attributed attacks, also little known Benazir Bhutto interview*;

          “Yes, well, one of them is, umm, a very key figure in security. He is a former military officer. He is someone that, umm.., has had dealings with, umm.., Jaish-e-Mohammed [JEM], one of the band groups of Maulana Azhar , who was in an Indian jail for decapitating 3 British tourists and 3 American tourists and he also had dealings with Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Osama bin Laden.

          Now I know that having dealings with people does not necessarily mean direct evidence, but I also know that internal security has totally collapsed in Pakistan and internal security cannot collapse without there being some blind eye or collusion turned to the militants or the militancy.”

          * Censored and discounted.

    • Clark

      The ‘religious’ extremists usually end up getting slaughtered, usually by their own side or its allies, right back to the Sabilla massacre in 1929.

    • michael norton

      Reports that the Hungarian Government is planning to upgrade its diplomatic representation in Syria have sparked fears that the European Union’s tough stance towards Damascus may be unravelling.

      There is little doubt that the Assad regime has survived. The outside world is having to slowly adjust to this new reality and it poses particular problems for those countries – in the Middle East and in the West – who actively championed Mr Assad’s opponents.

      Quite recently the Gib Authorities released the Grace One, and the Grace One had unloaded its Iranian cargo of crude in Syria.
      Last week Trump was bombing the terrorists in Idleb Province, just the same as Russia and Syria are.

  • RogerDodger

    I have to agree, and find it baffling that Trump, a racist, sexist, megalomaniacal bully, continues by some measures (such as not escalating American exports of murder abroad) to be the best American president in several decades.

    • glenn_fr

      Unfortunately, drone strikes under Trump (just as one example of American murder abroad) are way up :

      A quick search for “drone strikes under trump” reveal plenty of reports along these lines:

      See quotes from the Trump administration, such as “Some of the Obama administration rules were getting in the way of good strikes.”

    • Laguerre

      “Not escalating American exports of murder abroad” is not the only issue about Trump, although it’s the one that interests Brits. The Trade War is a case of a disastrous policy. And the daily use of sanctions against any country Trump is annoyed with that morning. A lot of people suffer from that. And it will destroy US pre-eminence in the end, because other countries will increasingly look to diverting business through other channels.

      • Loony

        The Trade War is an absolutely necessary policy.

        Take a look at how the Chinese economy is structured – undercutting absolutely everyone for absolutely everything. Massive appropriation of intellectual property. No reliable rule of law, such that wealth can be confiscated on a whim, and repatriation of profits can be similarly impeded by the rule of whim.

        Trump is doing all he can to persuade US companies to repatriate jobs back to the US. If this can be accomplished then the Chinese will be left with only garbage to sell to the US. Sure this garbage will become more expensive, but do people really want or need endless trinkets anyway.

        The Chinese by contrast need to import food, and a lot of it. You can’t do without food. The Chinese cannot win, but seem too proud to understand that fact. Sure they are hoovering up everything they can in Africa, but Africa is in the midst of a population explosion.

        By contrast the Mexicans had the good sense to see things Trump’s way over the course of a single weekend.

        Best not to ask where all of this leaves the EU. Nowhere good is the answer,

        • .Peter

          The largest theft – one might call in non negotiated war reparations – was committed by the USA by “liberating” tens of thousands of German patents after WW2 – so the USA is king in “intellectual property” theft.
          Non reliable rule of law – one might think again you speak of the USA, unless you call the systemic bias of the law enforcement against non-white folks something that can be relied on.
          The repatriation of jobs into a society that has foregone its advantage of manufacturing expertise voluntarily will likely fail or at least quite difficult to achieve as training like apprenticeship programs in non existing production facilities is hard to accomplish.
          The Chines of course need food, but the USA ain’t it. There is Russia with a vastly improving agricultural base thanks to US sanctions, there is South America, and China itself has some vast areas under cultivation.
          Your picture of the world is rather limited.

        • Laguerre

          Economic isolationism, as you recommend for the US, Loony, will only bite back on the state carrying it out. And the Trade War will only bite back on the US, when the electronics people like Apple, if forced to leave China, only move their production to another low wage country. They’re into making money, not helping out the US economy, and Trump can’t force them.

    • RogerDodger

      Good points and worth making both. Tarla’s post about Trump’s support for aggressive Israeli expansion was something else I’d overlooked.

      • glenn_fr

        Thanks Roger. Trump’s almost unbelievable attitude to the environment is another issue of global concern.

        • Loony

          Care to explain how Trump’s attitude toward the environment is so much worse than the Chinese attitude? No. Ihought not.

          Separately did you hear about the great liberal Trudeau in Canada. He has been filling shipping containers full of Canadian garbage and exporting that rubbish to the Philippines. Naturally in order to ease the passage through Filipino customs he made sure to mislabel all of the containers.

          Duterte was none too happy about his country being flooded with Canadian garbage – but hey he’s a fascist so who cares how much crap you dump in the Philippines. What with Canada being such a tiny and impoverished country it would be ridiculous to expect Canada to be responsible for its own garbage disposal. Much better to focus on feminism and inclusivity.

          • Northern

            Somewhat O/T but relevant to this exchange at least;

            You’d be surprised how much ‘rules based international order’ waste ends up being shipped to the Philippines. Several multinational waste companies and British councils have a nice racket in this fashion. The general public does all the waste sorting, the council burns what it can get away with and generates a nice profit selling the electricity back to the grid while the waste companies take the remaining slice exporting it to somewhere ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for landfill. All of which they can put a nice green recycling spin on, whilst painting Asia as responsible for climate change, to boot. Several councils were investigated for this back in 2014/1015 if memory serves, but as far as I know nobody was found at fault and the practice continues still.

            There’s a somewhat similar scam occurring in the charity clothing bags which get delivered to people’s homes also. I’m not sure if/when regulations changed but have noticed it for several years now; at some point private companies became allowed to solicit people for donations at their doorstep in this manner also. I’m sure the majority of people who do donate clothes like this assuming they’re assisting a charity would be repulsed to realise their donations were being sold on at profit in the developing world but someone’s making an absolute fortune out of exploiting both the naivety of the British public, and the misery of developing countries worldwide. I’m only aware of both scams as I’m involved in the shipping processes’ at work.
            Both lovely examples of the evils of private finance at work but, in case in doubt, repeat; There Is No Alternative.

          • glenn_fr

            Yet more whataboutary.

            Is the Chinese standard the best you feel the US should aspire to now?

            Weak, shameful arguments from you as always.

  • Tarla

    Single issue politics , whether its to do with gender, race, the environment etc.that doesn’t strive to put in in context about capitalism and what imperialism is up to is next to useless. A struggle to understand the world in all its’ complexities is what is needed not single issue isolationism. Nearly all single issues are now mainstream and never forget that it was Obama who gave the orders launched thousands of
    drones attacking people in the middle east. That interference in the affairs of another country is at the heart of US imperialism. Whether they are launched by a black guy or black woman, a woman, or a gay person etc. is done in the name of intimidating the world so the US can attempt to remain top dog.

    On the war front, I think you are overlooking Trump’s support for the colonial occupiers in Palestine and how they’ve used that support and upped their warmongering against, not only the Palestinian people but others in Iran, Iraq, Syria etc.. American troops are still carrying out destruction against local populous in various countries. Trump hasn’t stopped using drones against people. War by proxy whether by giving the green light to the IDF and/or the Saudis and /or those ‘protesting’ against the Chinese government in Hong Kong is typical of those that profess ‘isolationism’. Let others do the ‘dirty’ work so I can claim ‘my hands are clean’.

    • SA

      We shall never know whether the change from aggressive wars using US troops to invade is a result of the election of Trump or not. It is quite likely that Clinton might have also behaved in the same way. It is the case that individual presidents do not always dictate US foreign policy and this became glaringly so when escalation of drone killings happened when Obama, the Nobel peace laureate, was president.

      The downside of Trumps persona and policy are extremely damaging in a far more reaching way. His racist and misogynist approach to life in general, and his sense of entitlement and narcissism have meant that these traits, as well as alternative facts have now become mainstream and are copied by such lightweights as Boris Johnson and others.

  • Adrian Parsons

    “That incident is to me is a microcosm of the use of identity politics by the state.”

    Leaving aside your schoolboy conception of the State, this statement, coming from someone who has fallen hook, line and sinker for the “Trump/Trump supporters is/are fascist/racist/xenophobic” (ditto Brexit/Brexit supporters), represents the height of irony.

    In the vanishingly unlikely event that anyone reading this blog is interested, a good introduction to the theory of the State can be found in Bob Jessop’s The Capitalist State (available gratis from his site:, and on the question of Trump and fascism, Dylan Riley in New Left Review (

    • pete

      “Leaving aside your schoolboy conception of the State…”
      I see that what you mean by schoolboy conception of the State, that is any concept of the state that is at odds with your own, your link to a work by an obscure and somewhat blinkered academic who invites us to consider his approach to understandings of the “Staatsableitungdebatte “ (see Preface to Jessop’s 1982 work Capitalist State, page xiii) in the hope that the readers of the this blog will be enlightened by your revealed knowledge, is, I think, wildly optimistic. If I have understood anything from philosophy it is that if anything can be said at all it can be said clearly. Mystification, obscurantism and arcane theory are not helpful.

      Bolton has been booted out, good riddance, if Trump proves to be slightly less that totally malignant that, surely, is good too.

  • Athanasius

    Strange take on the matter of identity politics. I would not have thought of them as something that “the state” deployed. To me, they are a leftist poison, developed by the Frankfurt School, whose purpose is to kill whatever is left of what we call “traditional values”.

    • Greg Park

      Your knowledge of “the Frankfurt Schooll” sounds like it has been gleaned from a line in a Jordan Peterson video.

      • Adrian Parsons

        “Your knowledge of “the Frankfurt Schooll” sounds like it has been gleaned from a line in a Jordan Peterson video.”

        And if THAT is the extent of your “knowledge” of the Frankfurt School, may I suggest that you peruse, firstly and as an introduction, Goran Therborn’s The Frankfurt School ( and, secondly, Perry Anderson’s excellent sketch Considerations on Western Marxism (

        I think that you will find that the Frankfurt School represents the disastrous deviation of a whole academic current from Marxism brought about by the publication of the philosophically pre-Marxist Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts (1844) in 1932 that, through decades-long inadequacies in the education system, is now regarded as “Cultural Marxism”.

        So it goes.

        • Greg Park

          Well that is how it is referred to by the alt-right. (Indoors, I believe they still refer to it as Judeo-Bolshevism.)

          • Athanasius

            “Alt-right”, eh? We started to talk about identity politics, didn’t we? You know, labelling people?

    • George McI

      The Frankfurt school are not leftist. And I have no idea what “we” call “traditional values”.

  • David

    Bolton of course claims he “resigned” (supported by much Media pondside, CNN, WSJ etc), whilst Trump claims that he sacked the advisor for war.

    Actually, both may be accurate, as when I met with a White House Informatics supremo (under a previous admin) he showed me his “resignation” letter, which he signed (undated) on the day of entering the W.H., as a general condition of employment there.

    The sacking is often simply a question of adding today’s date…

    • Bill Thomson

      Is it not the MSM that is claiming the fired/resignation discrepancy to create a story?
      Trump claims he asked for Bolton’s resignation, so they could both be telling the truth.
      Let’s just cerebrate Bolton’s departure.

      • nevermind

        Hail yee, thanks for another cracking article with live comparrison, as for you being available, if the SNP can’t see what’s staring into their face, not a bad idea at all.
        Just play this a little further, what would be your first measure?

        Ps. Can I just give another reminder, we need.more signatures for a fairer indyref2, it will take considerable time to organise an international invigilation, so vote now and tell everyone.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Trump appointed an acting NSA last night. Charlie Kupperman served for 9 years as Director of the Centre for Security Policy. The CfSP is known for pushing the line that Muslims are “infiltrating” the US Gov in a secret plot to impose Shariah law on the population.
      Trump recently stated that he prefers to keep his appointees in an “acting” capacity. Could mean something, could mean nothing. His increasingly syphilitic brain generates word salad.
      My preference would be for Trump to revert to his policy of recruiting pundits off Fox “News”. Trump and Tucker Carlson have much in common (inherited wealth and rampant racism).

      • Tony

        Center for Security Policy—founded by neo-Conservative warmonger Frank Gaffney who became an advisor to Senator Ted Cruz.

    • George McI

      From XTC:

      “Hooray, everything’s great,
      Now President Kill is dead.
      Hooray, I’ll bet you can’t wait,
      To vote for President Kill instead…”

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Wish I could get excited about who wins Sam Awards awards, and what institutions entertain its activities.

    It seems mainly to make the best cse for bad apples, like giving the ward to Seymour Hersh for exposing the massacre at M iLai when his famous book about Camelot concluded that the communists probably killed JFK, Thomas Finger, its 2012 recipient, when he joined the State Department to help put teeth in Reagan;s SDI, and is staying on with Pompeo to see what he does now Bolton is gone, etc.

    And the Oxford Union is noted for promoting bad apples like PM Boris Johnson and Bolton.

  • RP

    “But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, and by recent US standards that makes him a big improvement.”

    It does in some (very important) senses. However he is also pretty dire in other fields of international policy. For one, he has destroyed the one hard-won international attempt to deal with climate change (woefully unambitious though it was). That’s pretty catastrophic by itself.

    • Loony

      There is no attempt to deal with climate change.

      Take a look at the consumption of fossil fuels. They continue to rise. Take a look at the demographics of Africa. Understand that Africa is in the midst of a population explosion the like of which the world has never before seen. Do you think Trump should kill hundreds of millions of Africans? The answer is likely no. So forget climate change. There is nothing that can be done, and so a smart person does nothing.

      • nevermind

        And your.point is? Will all these Africans be coming to Carlisle? Another veiled salute to your right wing friends?

        There are no smart people according to you, because they are all still busy exploiting Africa for its riches, your mobile phone is very likely made with elements from Africa, you little emperor.
        I hope that you will be slightly paused in your hectic life by XR action.

        • Northern

          His point is paying 5p for a carrier bag or using a paper straw for your McDonalds is fiddling while Rome burns. If the science we’re increasingly told is ‘settled’ is correct, the only hope for humanity is some kind of ‘green fascism’. As Loony mentioned, there is no attempt to deal with climate change on any level that would make a measurable difference; We consume millions of barrels of oil daily worldwide, and that number is increasing exponentially with the populations of the African and Asian continents and is beholden to way too many vested interests to ever voluntarily go ‘cold turkey’. So logic dictates that any politician who is going to make any substantial contribution to reducing consumption of fossil fuels is in effect going to have to do 1 of 2 things: Reduce the standard of living of their own people, or in effect deny the improvement in living standards we in the west have benefited from as a result of capitalism, to all those other developing nations now on the verge of them.

          As I said before, if the science is ‘settled’ as we’re told, then it’s going to be increasingly funny watching progressives attempt to square the circle of civil liberties and man made climate change. I suspect I know which side many of them’s bread is buttered on, however. We’ll see how strong their commitments to principles are when the power only works 4 hours a day.

      • Ascot2

        “There is nothing that can be done, and so a smart person does nothing.” What a Loony thing to say as far as climate change is concerned.
        If we started to stop subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, charge the oil companies for their pollution, and provide the same kind of support for the green energy alternatives ( wind, wave, solar, biogas etc, using energy carriers such as hydrogen for on demand power supply ) after the change to renewables the world’s peoples can live just as well, if not better.
        Big oil needs to be priced and regulated out of business.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        You have a touchingly naive belief that we humans can magically control climate.

        I can tell you plenty of places who have had a cold year and equally plenty who have had a hot one.

        First rule of first aid: DO NO FURTHER HARM.

        Politicians seem obsessed with switching the lights out, which in northerly winters is a good definition of doing harm…

        • Iain Stewart

          It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

          Forence Nightingale Notes on Matters affecting the Health of the British Army 1859

        • RP

          Do no harm is a good principle. Substantially changing the thermodynamic properties of our atmosphere risks an awful lot of harm. If we trigger catastrophic warming feedback loops we will indeed find out that we cannot magically control climate.

  • Crispa

    Hmm. I wonder if this is more a case of Trump showing who is boss against Bolton’s seemingly over-weening power rather than one of policy differences, but we shall see. Perhaps Johnson might take the cue from his role model and get rid of Cummings on similar grounds.

    • frankywiggles

      Wow, a great piece, thanks for posting. This development has occurred virtually without comment, even in the paltry left media, despite those MoD documents being leaked earlier this summer. Needs far wider coverage if delusions about the Guardian are to be dispelled. A Craig Murray blog would certainly help.

    • Dungroanin

      Pretty excellent summary in that article – only lacking the SCL and II/IoS mainlining of Carol Coldwarrior… looking forward to that and the fake war between her and Farage/Brexiteers.

      She just got round to Cummings last week! When i and others had posted on his chest beating about winning brexit with a billion targeted adverts, back in 2017! (Whilst I was still Groanin)

      Kennard and Curtis, quite a team! Fingers crossed they are the REAL thing.

  • John2o2o

    Thank you, Craig. A lot to unpack here.

    John Bolton’s dismissal is surely the best news the world has had all year. I for one felt like celebrating. A rare piece of good news.

    I strongly suspect that Senator Rand Paul may have had a hand in this behind the scenes: With his father former congressman Ron Paul they are the often unfairly maligned heroes of the relatively small peace-loving arm American Right. He has been quietly encouraging Trump to end the wars since he came into office. He has influence with Trump.

    Rand Paul (twitter):
    “The threat of war around the world has been greatly diminished with John Bolton out of the White House.”

    “I commend Donald Trump for this necessary action. The President has great instincts on foreign policy and ending our endless wars. He should be served by those who share those views.”

    Julian was a guest by video link of Ron Paul on his Institute of Peace and Prosperity conference held in 2017. The close connection of Paul’s son the Senator Rand Paul to Trump could I think be something that could potentially help Julian if he is extradited, as father and son clearly hold very similar views.

    There are things with which I would disagree with the senator. Nobody in my opinion has the same set of opinions. When it comes to others there are always issues on which we will agree, and other issues on which we will disagree.

    My own views are always those which enhance and promote world peace, irrespective of whether they come from the political Right or the political Left.

  • Sopo

    Similar human garbage now feel depriving Boycott of a knighthood is the most pressing issue facing humankind.

  • Node

    Trump’s political backers put him in the White House to wrest back control of the US from the Globalists. The Trump faction want a return to the situation in early/mid 20th century where America’s energy was focussed on industry and fortunes could be made. Since Kennedy, the Globalists have controlled the US. They want world domination and are squandering America’s resources to conquer other countries.

    It’s an unpalatable choice but if I were American, I’d prefer Trump. At least he has a vested interest in preserving the US, unlike the Globalists to whom all countries are chess pieces, to be sacrificed as necessary.

    • frankywiggles

      The ultimate global capitalists on Wall Street have been making out like bandits under Trump, while most Americans still can’t put their hand on $400 on an emergency. Do not decieve yourself.

      • Loony

        The .rich get richer and the poor get crushed. That is true everywhere and it has nothing to do with Trump, and it has everything to do with zero interest rates and money printing.

        This will continue right up until the moment that it can’t continue and the it’s game ever for everyone.

      • Node

        … while most Americans still can’t put their hand on $400 on an emergency. Do not decieve yourself.

        I didn’t say or imply that ordinary Americans will be any richer under Trump. He will squeeze Joe Soap as hard as the neo-cons do. The difference is that the riches will go to him and his cronies rather than to fund foreign wars.

        The Globalists aren’t doing it for money. They own the banks, they are beyond money. They’re doing it for more power. They are using America as a tool and they will discard it when they no longer need it.

  • Alexander

    There is a post in MoA referring to news in Haaretz, saying, briefly, that Trump eventually felt free to get rid of Bolton, because Miriam Adelson – the wife of his benefactor Sheldon Adelson – has fallen badly out with Sarah Netanyahoo.

    If this is true, I am very happy, as in quiet moments over the last couple of years, when I have come to believe that nothing that Washington (or London) can shock me any longer, I turn to Robert Graves’ I, Claudius, and Claudius the God, where the male actors are practically all under the control of their evil, ambitious and villainous wives, and I have been asking myself, who in today’s world plays the role of the Emperor Augustus’s wife Livia, the most villainous of them all?

    • George McI

      “practically all under the control of their evil, ambitious and villainous wives”

      Apart from Caligula who took an unhealthy interest in his sister lover’s fetus. He was played by John Hurt and that scene was a bigger shocker than the infamous Alien chest burster.

        • George McI

          It was his great grandmother, the aforementioned Livia, that Caligula had an interest in. Caligula’s own mother was completely under the impression that her son was a saint. Nero was the one who ended up romping with his mother (under her instigation). And yes, he was played by Christopher Biggins and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

          The Beeb sure don’t make ’em like that anymore!

  • Kempe

    Worth pointing out, I think, that the opposition to Assange came from some Snowflakes in the Students’ Union (not the Oxford Union) who thought that as a suspected sex-offender he should be “no platformed”.

  • Tom74

    You’re absolutely correct, Craig. “Left-wing” protests are very often a cover for right-wing interests. Hence the “left-wing” protests against Trump advertised for months in the right-wing media before his visit, and the vitriol against Trump in the Guardian while they are silent on real injustices, such as the British government’s treatment of Assange.
    I’m no supporter of Trump but judging by his actions, he is a more moderate President than Obama.

  • Ex Pat



    Tony Benn encounters Neocon Nazi ‘Bonkers’ Bolton. With unfortunate results for Bonkers. Tony Benn was 82, but he looks a lot healthier than Bonkers. Bonkers showing the predictable Dorian Gray results of the hellishly debauched evil which was the Neocon PNAC project.

    Because watching Bolton get repeatedly punched in the face by Tony Benn is always a pleasure, even if metaphorically! ; )


    Just say “Up yours” to USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazi mass psychosis! –

    USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    – “You lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian –

    • Tony

      John Bolton is not a neo-Conservative. He has always been a Republican.


      Frank Gaffney
      Eliot Abrams
      Richard Perle
      Paul Wolfowitz

      I think they all started out working for Senator Henry Jackson (Democrat, Washington state).

      After SALT 1, Jackson made it clear to President Nixon that he would not accept another agreement unless it was unacceptable to the USSR.

      Nixon’s policy of détente probably contributed to the coup that removed him from office. It is doubtful that he actually had anything to do with the Watergate break in.

      He got a pardon off Ford by threatening to reveal the role of LBJ and the CIA in killing President Kennedy and by revealing Ford’s role in the cover up. Ford’s role was finally made public in 1997.

  • Caratacus

    “But it remains the case that Trump has not destroyed a state nor initiated nor escalated a war, and by recent US standards that makes him a big improvement” – it also puts him in serious jeopardy as yet another candidate for an assassin’s magic multi-directional bullet. Heaven forfend. I’m not sure that even the Peoples’ eternal credulity could be stretched that far.

  • Mo Kaufman

    It’s a poorly kept secret: identity politics is the reason class war is not even discussed in the US. Now it has been imported to European countries, almost tax-free, and you can see younger generations passionately debating gendered grammar rules while blissfully ignoring the privatization of essential resources, the destruction of national welfare systems, etc.

      • RandomComment

        I’m genuinely fascinated by this exchange. Where do you see identity politics on the political spectrum? I agree that it is screwing up (has screwed up) society

        • SA

          Identity politics is a faux left issue and is also used to trap and distract the left. There can be no gender equality without general equality.
          In relation to this it was a source of amusement to me when one Guardian columnist wrote an article about Meghan Merkle as a feminist. How can you be a feminist and be part of an archaic system of privilege?

    • MJ

      Yup. Neocons really know how to sneak their destructive policies under the noses of suggestible liberal types.

    • frankywiggles

      The younger generations overwhelmingly support Corbyn’s project to turn back the privatisation and welfare destroying agenda. Old geezers ranting about millenials and political correctness gorn mad tend not to be very exercised by such matters.

      • frankywiggles

        Same applies in the US, where most under 40 now view socialism more favourably than capitalism.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          It is not surprising: when wage inequalities become ever starker, more and more people are capitalisms losers….

  • Dungroanin

    When Trump started receiving the level of abuse in the British msm pre election as had Corbyn – the alarm bells were not to be ignored.

    The Donald whilst no saint, and actually quite a greasy character and media mug (just like our own Sugar) – seemed really to be more interested in bombing the world with his Hotels and Golf chains! He is a megalomaniac who wants his name to be as great as Hilton.

    Can more than one megalomaniac exist in the same organisation?

    The one other thing about this potus, that was noticeable to me was his lack of photo-ops with guns and in uniform – his demand for a display of military might in a parade forcing the absurdity into the open this year!

    CM as many others, is right to point to the contradiction in the narrative. Syria is over, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, PRK are over, Clintons are over as is Obama. The DRC is over as the can of worms keeps exploding.

    I think the tanker wars was probably Boltons moment of running out of rope and choking.
    Bobo and co must be wondering what they got themselves into by perpetrating piracy using our troops! And wtf they were doing letting him into No10.

    I suspect the timing of the Russian mole from Putins office story is not unconnected.

    Although being tarred and feathered or being stripped of badges and uniforms is old fashioned – perhaps a trimming of the Tache before booting out onto Pennsylvania Ave…

  • DiggerUK

    I’m beginning to think his tactic is to keep as many as possible of the political elite, believing that if they wait their turn , they will get a space in the Trump Tent.
    Better inside than outside as far as he is concerned…_

  • Gary

    Yes, Trump has killed relatively few. He has killed tens of thousands less than any of his recent predecessors and that DOES make him a success. Despite being a racist, misogynist, serial sexual assaulter of women (like some before his also) he IS an improvement.

    What a sad endorsement that is for a world leader…

  • Glasshopper

    Bolton was Trump’s “big Stick”, but was pushing too far. Trump’s campaign was based on his not dragging the US into another disastrous Middle Eastern adventure. He knows it’s a bad idea and doesn’t want to go there.
    The next question is whether he’s looking for a carrot or another big stick. My money is on the carrot, but he’s going to meet some stiff resistance from the neocons. He could lose a lot of campaign cash from oiks like Adelson if he goes off message.

  • Ingwe

    Pleased Bolton’s gone but fear who’ll replace him. It is tempting to think nothing could be worse but my experience has been that there’s always worse.

    I remember when the architect of apartheid, Dr Verwoerd was assassinated in 1967. There was glee amongst the anti-apartheid and non-white population, at his demise, only for his place to be taken by Johannes Balthazar Vorster, who was even more cruel and much less intelligent.

    There’s always worse!

  • John2o2o

    My apology if this is not quite on topic, but I link to a very interesting piece published today by the Daily Maverick on the Guardian. “How the UK Security Services neutralised the country’s leading liberal newspaper.” By Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis.

    “The Guardian had gone in six short years from being the natural outlet to place stories exposing wrongdoing by the security state to a platform trusted by the security state to amplify its information operations. A once relatively independent media platform has been largely neutralised by UK security services fearful of being exposed further.”

  • RandomComment

    It’s an interesting scenario. Your Trump Derangement Syndrome has been hyped past endurance, and an event comes along which conflicts it (not you Craig)

    Bolton was the hawk, the neo-con, the-everything-you-hate-about-the-US. He was also everything I hated about the US, and everything most of the people who voted Trump into power, ALSO hated about the US

    All of you should be celebrating his departure. It is a step back from more war. Yes – loads still about, but a significant indicator.

  • Ort

    Thanks for this trenchant commentary, Craig.

    I happen to share the sentiments you expressed in the passage beginning “I know that my failure to see Trump as the incarnation of pure evil upsets some people…”

    You’re probably aware of the term “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. I was appalled to see it arise like a national epidemic in the US during the 2016 presidential campaign; when Trump was actually lawfully elected, it was like living on the stage of an updated performance of Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros”.

    It is a real pathology which is both rooted in and induces archaeocortical (aka “lizard-brained”) binary thinking, and it persists. Thus, the welcome news of Bolton’s departure from Trump’s administration was met with a TDS chorus of cynical, tenebrous comments scorning this development as a silver lining that must perforce arise from some Trumpian black cloud.

    Put less extravagantly, the bitterly anti-Trump “resistance” refused to take comfort from Bolton’s removal, and instead found fault with it by confidently positing and predicting various ominous consequences, e.g. that surely Trump will choose a replacement who is “even worse” than the odious Bolton. To this sociopolitical bloc, even conditional approval of any Trump statement or action is proof of the approver’s madness or badness.

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