Who is John Bolton and why should we worry?
Last Thursday, the president announced new changes in his cabinet, writing on Twitter that he would replace H.R McMaster with the former ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, in the position of National Security Adviser.
"War Hawk", "Virulent Anti-Communist" and "Constant Warmonger", are several of the adjectives with which the international press has recapped John Bolton and his career in foreign policy.
President Trump's announcement of incorporating Bolton into his work team has triggered alarms and concerns in the media, especially given the challenge the United States will face with North Korea in upcoming negotiations.
As reported by the Washington Post, "Bolton's appointment, which does not require confirmation in the Senate, could lead to dramatic changes in the Administration's approach to crises around the world."
Likewise, The Guardian reported that "Bolton has made a career of deriding diplomacy as a sign of weakness, and has disparaged both the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and even the current administration’s use of sanctions as means of pressuring the North Korean regime to give up its nuclear arsenal."
But there is much more behind Bolton’s persona.
As Village Voice recalled in a 2005 article, "Bolton entered public life in the Reagan Administration, arriving at the White House first and then the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in 1982 as general counsel."
Bolton did not have experience in foreign policy and still got promoted to assistant administrator of the organization.
After a brief experience as a lobbyist in 1985, Bolton became the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs under the supervision of Ed Meese, and by 1988, Bolton had already earned a reputation as "abrasive and combative", which “cost him friends on Capitol Hill.”
As the media recalls, "Bolton seemed to think that being an asshole was essential to his job."
During his time at the Department of Justice, Bolton championed the Reagan Administration's positions of denial of financial recompense to the Japanese-American survivors of the concentration camps during World War II, and the design of "a draconian anti-illegal immigrant bill as an essential drug war measure,” as explains Village Voice, despite the DEA data that argued that" less than 5% of drugs entering the United States came through illegals. "
In another 2005 article, USA Today explained the complicated situation of Congress at Bolton's confirmation as ambassador to the United Nations, after a scene of mistreatment against a woman was made public.
"Lynne Finnel, a former USAID legal advisor sent a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif), describing that Bolton ‘screamed that I was fired' when she refused to lobby for the weakening of restrictions on the sale of infant formulas in the developing world".
Finney added that her refusal was because "studies showed that the use of formula was killing babies in the developing world because it was overly diluted or mixed with dirty water."
Likewise, and during 1988, Joan Bernott - a veteran of the Justice Department - requested the extension of her maternity leave, something that Bolton "not only denied, but threatened Bernott with dismissal and legal action," Village Voice continues.
"Mr. Bolton's approach to maternity leave is: get pregnant, get interrogated, get fired," Democratic Representative Pat Schroeder told former Attorney General Ed Meese in a letter.
In his speech as a commentator for Fox News, Bolton has made it clear that "a preemptive war would likely be the only way to stop North Korea from obtaining the capability to attack the United States with a nuclear missile," the Washington Post explained.
In an article for the Wall Street Journal on February 28, Bolton wrote:
"Pre-emption opponents argue that the action is not justified because Pyongyang does not constitute an ‘imminent threat’. They are wrong. The threat is imminent, and the case against pre-emption is based on the misinterpretation of a standard that derives from prenuclear, pre-ballistic missile times. Given the gaps in US intelligence about North Korea, we should not wait until the last minute. That would risk striking after the North has deliverable nuclear weapons, a much more dangerous situation."
And that columnist is now in charge of carrying the agenda of national security of the United States.