I have to say, the recent news that the Democratic Party is gunning for John Bolton as an alleged ‘Russian Spy’ … has me feeling seriously “confused”, to say the least.
It is not because I believe there is any worthwhile evidence establishing Bolton as an agent of Russia. But rather, for two other reasons.
First, because I am genuinely, almost *painfully* perplexed as to how somebody could *possibly* cast the *literal* Cold Warrior LARPer extraordinaire that is John Bolton as an ideological cohort of the Kremlin.
Bolton has been remarkably consistent in his (regrettably) vocally expressed views over the years. Anything which seeks to constrain American unipolar hegemony is not just “bad” but outright evil; and whether the United Nations (which he memorably suggested ought to lose a few levels from its New York headquarters), the Russian Federation (whom he accused just a few months ago of carrying out an “act of war” against the United States through alleged ‘election interference’), or the Islamic Republic of Iran – if you’ve ever presented so much as a paper-tiger road-block to the violently unilateral exercise of American hyperpower, in his view you’re a part of the problem.
Not for nothing has it been said of Bolton that he never met a war he didn’t like.
But seriously, can you imagine the conversation in Washington about all of this?
Bolton: “I WANT A WAR WITH IRAN”
Democrats: “You see? Clearly a Russian agent provocateur!”
Republicans: “…wait what?”
Democrats: “Only a RUSSIAN SPY could POSSIBLY have the vision and foresight to further RUSSIAN POWER by having America attack the key Russian ally in the Middle East”
Now to be fair, there is a rather good argument to be made (hence why I have, previously, made it) that the ongoing and unbridled flexing of America’s international bully-streak will weaken the US’s geopolitical position over time. And, as we are already seeing in direct relation to Iran, will considerably aid and avail the Iranian return to a stable and ordinary position within the global community of nations.
So I guess you could say that the more America is encouraged to act like the bull in the proverbial china-shop – dashing and crashing against any red rag which might perceivably bear a yellow hammer-and-sickle ensign upon it – the more that it buries itself in the porcelain … and the more that its potential rivals for influence, by which I of course mean competing models for the distribution of international power rather than just simply states, will in relative terms ascend.
Yet the notion that Bolton is deliberately weakening the United States of America in order to intentionally advance, say, Russia on a global scale or Iran on both a global and regional stage … does not stack up. For the very simple reason that Bolton is not doing or saying anything now that he has not been vomiting forth for the previous several decades.
In other words, it may be *idiotic*, but he genuinely believes it.
But the second reason I am feeling confused about this most recent bizarity, is because I am genuinely unsure as to whom I “want” to “win”. On the one hand, the ongoing ‘Reds Under The Bed’ style silliness in American politics should not be supported nor encouraged; for reasons that ought be patently obvious, but which also include the fact that the longer the US Democratic Party indulges in this nonsense, the lesser the chance it actually stops, takes a step back, and looks at itself and realizes just why it lost in 2016.
Yet on the other … it is truly easy, and more to the point, *justified* to DESPISE Bolton and HIS antics on both the domestic and the international stages for just about as long as he has been an identifiable figure upon either.
If he were to find himself the solitary scalp to land detached – from head, from White House position, from whatever – as a result of the ongoing paranoia about Russian “infiltration” in American politics, I’d have to say that I’d be hard pressed to oppose this consequence from occurring.
The World – and, for that matter, America – would be inarguably better off as a result of his removal.
In any case, it is utterly peculiar that Bolton has now found himself the target of these sorts of lurid accusations.
Still, there may yet be another positive to the situation as a consequence of this later example of rather drastic over-reach.
During the course of the McCarthy ‘campaign’ against “Soviet” subversion in American politics more than half a century ago, that interminable antagonist – McCarthy, I mean, not the Soviets – saw his fortunes and his witch-hunt finally unravel when he found himself effectively accusing the United States Army of being (or, at the very least, consciously harbouring) a pro-Soviet organization.
Now I do not, for a moment, seek to compare Bolton to an actual body of fighting men. Even though his frequent enthusiasms for “strikes”, “invasions”, and other such employments of said forces would surely put even the most jingoistic General Ripper to shame.
But just as it was patently absurd for the US Army to be tarred with the accusations of pro-Communist sympathies, given it had just fought a particularly bloody war against same in Korea at the time; it is also incipiently ridiculous for Bolton to be slandered with the “Russian stooge” label.
Wait, I think I shall have to amend that:
It is also outrageously slanderous for Russia to be defamed with the allegation that they might be working with Bolton.
There. Much better.
Anyway – here’s hoping this is the ‘high water mark’ on the ongoing efforts at employing the de-witchifying ‘ducking stool’ in American politics.
Although it almost certainly won’t be.