In 2006, I succumbed to a moment of hubris and announced the death of neo-conservatism, broken on the wheel of ruinous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The horrific experiment that erupted from the Project for the New American Century had seemingly, blessedly derailed. There was hope that sanity and prudence might return to America as it had in the wake of the Viet Nam war disaster.
The Project (PNAC) promoted a vision of a world under America's thumb. It advocated the use of American military force, pre-emptively if necessary, to thwart any nation or group of nations that might rise to challenge American dominance economically or militarily. Their America would ride roughshod over the world, friend and adversary alike, through the threat and use of military force.
If you're not familiar with PNAC, here's a pretty good documentary:
PNAC was a gathering place for the bellicose right, a rogues' gallery of extremists, including Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Frank Gaffney, Scooter Libby, Norman Podorhetz, Elliot Cohen, Elliot Abrahams, and Richard Perle.
Oh yeah, and John Bolton, Trump's new national security advisor.
In recent months Trump has been busy purging moderates from his White House team. Gary Cohn, gone, replaced by "Wrong Way" Kudlow. H.R. McMaster, gone, replaced by John Bolton. Rex Tillerson, gone, replaced by "uber-hawk" Mike Pompeo. Pompeo replaced at the CIA by Gina Haspel, a.k.a. Ilse She-Wolf of the SS, "a CIA loyalist who ran a torture site for George W. Bush and authorized the destruction of videotapes documenting what the CIA was doing."
Harvard prof, Stephen Walt, doesn't think the Bolton appointment is going to advance Trump's agenda.
Instead, whether Trump knows it or not, putting Bolton, Pompeo, and Haspel in key positions looks more like a return to “Cheneyism,” by which I mean a foreign policy that inflates threats, dismisses serious diplomacy, thinks allies are mostly a burden, is contemptuous of institutions, believes that the United States is so powerful that it can just issue ultimatums and expect others to cave, and believes that a lot of thorny foreign-policy problems can be solved by just blowing something up...
I’m not trying to “normalize” this appointment or suggest that it shouldn’t concern you. Rather, I’m suggesting that if you are worried about Bolton, you should ask yourself the following question: What sort of political system allows someone with his views to serve in high office, where he helps talk the country into a disastrous war, never expresses a moment’s regret for his errors, continues to advocate for more of the same for the next decade, and then gets a second chance to make the same mistakes again?
So by all means worry. But the real problem isn’t Bolton — it’s a system that permits people like him to screw up and move up again and again.Trump's picks are hard line neo-cons, each a fitting tribute to the Project for a New American Century. The Rampaging Right Rides Again. This is not the crew you should want whispering into the president's ear, especially this president's ear, in a time of superpower transition. This is the crew you absolutely don't want in the White House.