Tony Piel reminisces:
Anyone interested in understanding where our nation is headed internationally under the leadership of President Donald Trump, with the influence and incitement of his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, will do well to read Dexter Filkin's "On the Warpath" in the May 6, 2019 issue of The New Yorker.
I had the occasion to meet with John Bolton when he visited the World Health Organization back in the 1990s, intending to straighten us out for promoting international cooperation to control malaria and other communicable diseases. Bolton's view was that international collaboration and agencies like the UN, UNICEF and WHO were unneeded and wasteful. All that was needed, said Bolton, was for "the US to take the leadership, and have all the other countries just to fall in line."
In the first thirty seconds, I could see we were talking with an arrogant, born "Neo-Dictator," defined as an unalterable opponent of social democracy, one who seeks to employ a violent ideology to promote disunity and create a "Me First" political state, to rule America, and indeed the rest of the world. As National Security Adviser he had no respect for diplomacy, and faced with enemies abroad, Bolton would bomb first. (No matter that, like Cheney and Trump, Bolton dodged the Vietnam war draft. He didn't want to "die in a swamp." That's for other people.)
"On the Warpath" confirms our initial impression of Bolton, and probably yours too. To pick a single example: Bolton once made an impromptu entry to the office of Jose Bustani, then heading the US involvement in the International Convention to Ban Chemical Weapons, and demanded that Bustani resign. Why ? Because, said Bolton, the job was NOT to ban chemical weapons, but to ban the ban! Sure enough, the White House cut short Bustani's term. Result? Last year Bustani was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Trump wasn't.)
Trump's extreme unpredictability combined with Bolton's extreme predictability makes for a highly combustible mixture, with serious future risk of chemical and nuclear disaster for our country and the entire world. The choice is between War and Peace. It couldn't be clearer.