Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Trump is Our Best Hope for Peace in the Middle East

Bolton is the neocon whom every other neocon dismissed as a paleocon fantasy. (Of course, that all changed when he was appointed Trump’s foreign policy advisor. Boltonism, the most extreme variant of neoconservatism to date, is now becoming orthodoxy among the foreign policy establishment. But I digress.) It’s not only that he hates Iran more than ISIS—which is itself insane, given that the vast majority of American casualties from terrorism have been inflicted by Saudi-style Salafists, not aspiring ayatollahs.

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!]

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