Swamp Critter Chosen by Trump
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Donald Trump loves catchy phrases. Most Americans have heard him insist on the need to “Make America Great Again.” How to attain such a worthy goal doesn’t require a painstaking search. A return to what made our country great in the first place is all that’s necessary. That means strict adherence to the still standing U.S. Constitution.
The document governing the nation’s affairs since 1789 created strong brakes on government power and meddling. Decades of drifting away from the Constitution has led to an array of both domestic and foreign problems. Still, the Constitution is the blueprint that made our country the envy of the world. Sad to say, however, reliance on the venerable document hasn’t been the primary focus on the current president’s agenda, or that of his numerous predecessors.
More recently, Mr. Trump has decided that “Drain the Swamp” is a better crowd pleaser. To most Americans, the “swamp” consists of those who don’t have America’s best interest at heart. The president has taken a few steps toward lessening the effect of the swamp denizens, but they’re still around and more needs to be done to lessen their influence.
One who most would consider part of the “swamp” is John Bolton. But this man has just been tapped by Mr. Trump to be our nation’s newest national security adviser. It’s troubling as Bolton is the direct opposite of Mr. Trump’s early claim to be a non-interventionist.
Described by many as an experienced diplomat who served our nation as Ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton should be known as a neoconservative war monger anxious to force the rest of the world to bend to America’s will. His bellicose urgings kept him from gaining senate approval for the UN post given him by President George W. Bush. When the Senate turned thumbs down on that appointment, Bush waited until that body was no longer in session to award Bolton what is termed a “recess” appointment, a tainted award if ever there was one. Numerous senators from both political parties were wary of the man and he couldn’t win Senate confirmation so Bush gave it to him in a legal but underhanded way.
John Bolton has long been a member of the sovereignty-despising Council on Foreign Relations. It would be difficult to find anyone more committed to unnecessary war. He partnered in wanting a second war against Iraq after the lightning quick removal of Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait in 2001. As a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) dreamed up by neocons Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Perle, and Armitage, he joined with his PNAC internationalists to have Iraq invaded again. After the first President Bush lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, these bellicose internationalists tried to get President Clinton to attack Iraq. But Bill had other concerns to deal with and other ideas about how to create the New World Order.
After Clinton’s eight years in office, Bolton called on President George W. Bush to wage preemptive war against Iran. He has lately insisted that our nation should conduct cyber warfare against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and any other nation accused of this new form of warfare.
The Constitution isn’t being relied upon by the Trump administration. If it were guiding the President and his policymakers, America’s troops would be brought home from endless wars such as those in Afghanistan and Syria. There would be widespread closing down of U.S. military presence in the 130 nations where American troop contingents are currently posted.
But expecting John Bolton as the president’s national security adviser to change Washington’s reigning militarism is unrealistic. John Bolton should be scorned, not elevated to a very sensitive post.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Rubio Adopts Neoconservative Foreign Policy
by JBS President John F. McManus
The George H. W. Bush administration (1989-1993) included foreign policy hawks Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, and others. These men arranged the 1991 “Desert Storm” attack on Iraq, that half-forgotten UN-authorized campaign that lasted only a few weeks. Saddam Hussein’s forces were ousted from Kuwait while Mr. Bush was proclaiming the emergence of a “new world order” and a “reinvigorated United Nations.” No sooner had this operation ended than these same men were laying plans for a second war against Iraq. But Bill Clinton got in the way by besting Bush in the 1992 election. The men who wanted more war had to exit their government posts.
Four years later in 1997, these same individuals helped to form the Project For the New American Century (PNAC). Its stated purposes included 1) increased defense spending to carry out “global responsibilities,” 2) forming alliances to “challenge regimes hostile to our interests,” and 3) recognition of our nation’s “unique role in preserving and extending international order.” Summed up, PNAC called for the U.S. to be the world’s policeman and to become leader of a new American empire in cooperation with the United Nations. No longer in office, however, these world planners and 20 of their colleagues at PNAC actually sent letters to President Clinton and House Speaker Gingrich urging another full-scale attack on Iraq. Clinton didn’t bite and neither did Gingrich.
But when George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, he brought many of the PNAC’s war-mongers back into power. Led by Cheney and Rumsfeld now Vice President and Secretary of Defense, the PNAC’s empire builders actually called for another foray into Iraq before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. They soon got their wish for further war, not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan.
Leading neonconservative William Kristol of The Weekly Standard moved in to become the top dog at PNAC and soon abolished it in favor of a new organization, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) which he now leads. FPI simply repeated all of what PNAC had stood for. Which brings us to the newest open champion of neonconservative goals.
During his speech at the March 2014 CPAC convention, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned about threats from the world’s major totalitarian regimes. He pointed to China’s moves to control Pacific sea lanes, North Korea’s potential to detonate a nuclear bomb over California, Iran’s ability to nuke Israel and the U.S. east coast, and Russia’s moves in Ukraine. What to do about these rogue nations and their leaders? Rubio laid it out straight in unambiguous terms. He insisted, “There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying the free people on earth to stand up to totalitarians. The United Nations can’t do this. In fact, they can’t do anything…. Without American engagement, the world I just described to you is not just a possibility; it is a real probability.”
Chalk up one more advocate of neoconservatism’s call for worldwide involvement by the United States, even advocacy of war. Because of his speech, Rubio remarkably improved his stature within the Establishment and the FPI. It remains to be seen whether his stock amongst grassroots Republicans will grow or decline.
Read more about neoconservatives in The New American‘s article, Neocon Control (not affiliated with the Project For the New American Century (PNAC)).