The prospect of Donald Trump with his grubby little finger on the nuclear button horrified millions when he was elected.
That fear factor rose still further when he made John Bolton his National Security Adviser in April last year.
Bolton is a dangerous ultra-nationalist who believes that the USA has exclusive power to do anything it wants to advance its geopolitical interests. He sees the principal vehicle for that as war.
A psychopathic warmonger, Bolton was a major mover behind Bush junior’s disastrous invasion of Iraq which unleashed a Pandora’s Box of evil from which the region is still far from recovering. His term under Trump saw the US leaving the UN Human Rights Council because in Bolton’s mind respect for human rights was a roadblock in the way of total US power.
In spite of America still being embroiled in several conflicts worldwide, Bolton wanted more wars against targets which included Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and even China.
Bolton did everything he could to push the Trump administration into war against Iran in particular and nearly succeeded last June. However, Trump called off an air strike against Iran in response to their shooting down a US drone with ten minutes to spare.
“John Bolton is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon,” said one of his right wing Republican mentors at the start of Bolton’s political career.
Yet Trump doesn’t fancy going to Armageddon just now — at least this side of next year’s Presidential election. He still believes he has a chance of winning and avoiding the jail time which could result from the various investigations into him and his clan if he loses.
Bolton was appointed in the first place to undo the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Obama. Once that was achieved two choices were available — war with Iran or a new Trump style deal.
A major plank in Trump’s 2016 campaign was to extricate the US from foreign entanglements. To give his re-election bid a chance he is now flailing around for a magical deal with one or more of American imperialism’s long standing adversaries.
Obviously unfit for high office even by bourgeois standards, Trump runs his foreign policy as if it were a TV game show. It’s all about “making the deal”. He’s trumpeted up his love fest with murderous Stalinist tyrant Kim Jong-Un as a great foreign policy achievement and this seems to be a kind of template for similar arrangements with others.
The rapprochement with Kim was anathema to Bolton whose own “solution” to the North Korea problem was to nuke it. Then there was the prospect of the Taliban coming to tea at the presidential retreat of Camp David on the eve of 9/11, where a deal could be concluded allowing the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan. Bolton was pulling his grey hair out at the very idea of such a get-together.
So Bolton’s ouster ushers in a period where Trump seeks to shake hands with enemies and announce “breakthrough” deals. Things could of course all go belly up again if deals fail to materialise and Trump decides to bangs the war drum again as an alternative way of energising his base.
American socialists must resist Trump’s warmongering antics and redouble their efforts to remove this dangerous mountebank from office.
Their war must be against poverty, ill health and inequality, in a country which is now more receptive to socialist ideas than it has been since the late 1940s.