Rather, it’s Bolton’s unabashed conviction that we can use the U.S. military to redesign the Middle East from top to bottom. His ambitions go far beyond regime change: he wants to reshape every individual Arab into a democrat, a secularist, a consumer capitalist, and a Zionist. The Boltonized Arab loves and trusts the American hegemony—enough to fight and die for whatever government we impose on whichever state’s borders happen to encompass him. Whether that state is Iraq or “Sunnistan” is a matter of pure indifference to the Boltinized Arab. He knows that America has his best interests at heart.
Iran, of course, has no place in the Boltonized Middle East. There are no known conditions that Iran could meet where the Boltinists would determine that they no longer pose an “existential threat” to the United States; it’s literally inconceivable. Bolton and his cronies have some sort of animus against Persians, or else a purely sectarian dislike of Shiites.
Those are the only quasi-rational justifications for the airstrikes the president authorized, and then, in a fit of common sense, canceled. Trump’s about-face is the only evidence to date that the president himself hasn’t succumbed to Bolton’s mindless prejudice against Iranians.
[Excerpted from The American Conservative. Read more!]