People, let this be very clear: The appointment of Bolton is essentially a declaration of war with Iran.— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) March 22, 2018
With Pompeo and Bolton, Trump is assembling a WAR CABINET.
If we want peace, Pompeo MUST be blocked in the Senate. A vote for him is a vote for war. https://t.co/6TF2pdhJAG
President Donald Trump has selected John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, two of the most notorious war-prone Republicans in Washington, D.C., to serve in his administration, prompting a series of commentators and journalists to question whether Trump is readying for more bloodshed in the Middle East.
As Vox reports, both Pompeo and Bolton have ties to Americans who are at the forefront of the “counter-jihad” movement. These writers and activists take pride in being extremely prejudiced against Islam as a whole.
One of them is blogger Pamela Geller, the sponsor of the "Draw the Prophet" cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.
But to the anti-Islam crowd that Bolton and Pompeo are reportedly involved with, Islam is intrinsically violent, making anyone who follows he world’s fastest-growing religion a menace.
To the Center for Security Policy, which is run by President Ronald Reagan Defense Department official Frank Gaffney, another radical anti-Islam activist with ties to the hawkish duo Pompeo and Bolton, 80 percent of mosques in the United States “are incubators of, at best, subversion and, at worst, violence and should be treated accordingly.”
While neither of Trump’s newest hires went as far as endorsing this view publicly, they came very close, with Pompeo telling Gaffney that Muslims were creating a conspiracy to defeat America.
“There are organizations and networks here in the United States tied to radical Islam in deep and fundamental ways,” Pompeo said, according to Vox. “They’re not just in places like Libya and Syria and Iraq, but in places like Coldwater, Kansas, and small towns all throughout America.”
Bolton and Pompeo have demonstrated they are just as rabidly anti-Islam as the president.
But even worse than simply having anti-Islam views, Bolton and Pompeo are also well-known for their hawkish persona, The Washington Post reports, and for always advocating for more wars in the Middle East.
As far as Bolton is concerned, his long support for using the U.S. military to go after North Korea and Iran could push the country to become embroiled in a preemptive campaign that would undoubtedly cost many lives, an idea that Pompeo agrees with, as he’s described Iran as “a thuggish police state” and a “despotic theocracy.”
If both Bolton and Pompeo are able to persuade the president, we could soon see the Iran nuclear deal unraveling. As such, we could end up pushing Iran to become aggressive against the United States.
McMaster is out. Trump’s choice of John Bolton to replace him, following his pick of Pompeo, continues the extreme warhawk neocon takeover of the White House. Bolton helped build the case of WMD lies that was used to invade Iraq. Bolton still champions that war today.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) March 22, 2018
So far, we have seen no attacks perpetrated by Iran or Iranian forces against Americans or U.S. forces. But with the threat of Trump standing tall before Iran and acting as if he wants war, we could say that, perhaps, things might change.
But even if they are not able to provoke Trump into preemptively triggering Iran, the pair could affect Trump’s coming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
While they are scheduled to meet in May, Bolton said that Trump must demand the country denuclearize and let international officials inspect its facilities with absolute freedom. But experts, The Washington Post has explained, say that North Korea will not follow that route. That’s when troubles could begin, as Bolton might pressure Trump to reject any other offer.
In this case, diplomacy with North Korea won’t stand a chance.
If Trump wanted to make sure that his administration was packed only with people who would reinforce his beliefs about the world, we can say that he has been quite successful by bringing Bolton and Pompeo on board. But if he were a truly exemplary leader, he would dare to bring in people who were able to give him another perspective, one that does not put America as the world’s most intrusive military force there is and that does not dictate what religions Americans should or should not adopt.
After all, the president’s job is not to regulate or dictate morals, nor is it to declare unconstitutional wars.
The way things are going, Trump might end up trying to do both.