March 23, 2018 – The world became rather more dangerous last night with the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Adviser to Donald Trump. Bolton is an uber hawk, one of the original US neo-cons who has been urging intensification of war for the past two decades. His appointment by Trump spells out all too clearly that Iran is clearly in the White House sights and that the deal with over Iranian nuclear development is hanging by a thread.

While Trump utilised widespread opposition to the 2003 Iraq War amongst many people in the US to help him win the election in 2016, he now has no qualms about having as one of his closest advisers a man who continues to justify this most disastrous of wars. A man who would clearly do the same again if required. Bolton does not restrict his warmongering to Iraq, however, but sees all sorts of other opportunities to test his military prowess.

According to the Financial Times:

‘In a series of opinion pieces published in the Wall Street Journal over the past three months, Mr Bolton has argued to ignore Pyongyang’s peace overtures in favour of a pre-emptive strike, to defund the UN, and to leave the nuclear deal with Iran, impose additional sanctions and secure regime change in Tehran before the end of next year.’

Bolton is nothing if not ambitious in this regard, but the rest of us should be very afraid at the potential consequences. We know that within the Middle East there is growing conflict region wide between Saudi Arabia and Israel on the one hand, and Iran on the other. The scrapping of the nuclear deal will further isolate Iran and make conflict more likely – a conflict already being played out in the Syrian war.

Further conflict seems to be what Trump and Bolton want. In this they can count on new Secretary of State and former CIA director Mike Pompeo, another hawk. There is talk of Secretary of Defence James Mattis being more cautious and dovish about these issues – but given his nickname of Mad Dog this is perhaps all relative.

While there is a great deal of talk about how Russia is a threat to world peace, it is undeniable that there are some highly dangerous and politically motivated individuals in charge of the world’s one superpower, the country which remains by far the largest military power, and which intervenes both directly and indirectly in other countries far more than any other.

Any idea that Trump represented a retreat from such intervention should be abandoned after this appointment. Bolton will mean more intervention and more conflict. With the latest news of a growing trade war between the US and China, we are entering a new era of potential conflict.

Bolton likes to quote the old Roman adage that if you want peace you have to prepare for war. Our response should be that if you want peace you have to get rid of the warmongers.

Stop the War was founded in September 2001 in the weeks following 9/11, when George W. Bush announced the “war on terror.” Stop the War opposes the British establishment’s disastrous addiction to war and its squandering of public resources on militarism.