“I think it’s absolutely fucking hilarious! 🙂 Rapey, Neo-Con King, John Bolton is in London… ready to beat to death any Lefty Liberal Brit that opposes him, with a 12 inch rubber dildo!” 😀
“You made this bed Your Majesty’s Government… LAY IN IT!”
I WANT TO SEE THE UK PEOPLE FUCKING SUFFER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!
(sick little twisted, depraved, fucking animals that they are)
Anything I can do for Washington and Langley that makes the British ever more pathetic and subservient to Washington… I’m your guy! 😀
John Bolton doesn’t want a trade deal with the UK – he wants to colonise us
Simon Tisdall Trump’s national security adviser wants the UK to be beholden to the US for its daily bread, making the country a timid American outpost
John Bolton doesn’t do free trade. He does regime change in countries such as North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba. He does military interventions, notoriously in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011. He does punitive sanctions and embargoes. He does spite.
Bolton’s speciality is tearing up multilateral agreements, such as the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, which he claims undermine US national sovereignty. For the same reason, he reviles the very idea of the UN, international law and the international criminal court (ICC).
So when Bolton, whose actual job is national security adviser to Donald Trump, came to London this week to meet Boris Johnson and senior ministers, the real focus of his visit, despite the Whitehall briefings, was not on a post-Brexit bilateral trade deal. It was on regime change in the UK. Bolton, a lifelong neoconservative ideologue, Muslim-baiting thinktanker and erstwhile Fox News commentator, does not give a hormone-filled sausage or chlorine-rinsed chicken wing for a free trade pact, fair or otherwise. Midwest wheat and soya exports are not his thing. What Bolton really does care about is exploiting the UK’s recent governmental upheaval, which almost anywhere else would be described as a rightwing coup, to America’s, and Trump’s, advantage. In short, the former colonies are out to colonise the UK.
Supposed American trade concessions will be tied to extraneous US foreign policy objectives
Bolton has three main aims. The first is purely transactional, in keeping with the Trump administration’s arm-twisting style. Although he says the US is content to wait until after Brexit on 31 October before pressing its demands, it’s already pretty clear what they will be. If Johnson wants a quickie sectoral trade deal on, say, the car industry, then Bolton’s price could be the UK’s withdrawal from the hard-won, US-trashed 2015 Iran nuclear agreement and the abandonment of fellow signatories France and Germany. In truth, Johnson and Dominic Raab, his neophyte foreign secretary, are already halfway down this road, having agreed to join a US-led maritime force in the Gulf rather than support a Europe-wide initiative initially proposed by Jeremy Hunt.
This U-turn is rightly seen in Tehran as evidence that the UK is falling in behind the aggressive, failing Trump-Bolton “maximum pressure” campaign. The risk of war with Iran is acute. The costs would be incalculable. But Brexit Britain, it seems, can be bought – a nation of shopkeepers after all, and mercenary to boot.
Other supposed American trade concessions will be similarly tied to extraneous US foreign policy objectives, although there will be a face-saving pretence that this is not so. In the name of helping “our British friends”, the US will seek support in ostracising China’s Huawei telecoms giant and, maybe, backing for its trade war with Beijing. The list of politely framed, slightly menacing American “requests” could go on and on. How about British acquiescence in Israel’s proposed, Trump-backed annexation of West Bank settlements, in defiance of UN resolutions hitherto backed by London? That could be seen as helpful, even necessary, in the UK’s new world of weakness.
Bolton’s enthusiasm for the “incredibly valuable” role that an “independent” UK could play in Nato, a regular target of Trump’s anti-European spleen, suggests an ever-greater degree of subservience. Will the price of market access soon include uncritical support for Trump’s renewed nuclear arms race with Russia and China, now he has scrapped the intermediate nuclear forces (INF) treaty? And whatever you do, chaps, don’t mention the words “climate crisis”. That sends Trump nuts.
The dire prospect raised by Bolton’s gleeful, hopefully premature Whitehall victory tour is one of the UK’s foreign and security policy outsourced to Washington, subordinated to the Trump-Bolton global agenda, and in hock to rightwing nationalist-populist ideology. Brexiteers promised a return of sovereignty. What’s coming is a sellout – a fire sale at the altar of America First.
Bolton’s second aim is to drive a wedge between the UK and Europe, and then use it as a sort of Afghan war-style forward operating base from which to disrupt, subvert and weaken the EU, whose very existence offends him. Throughout the Brexit negotiations, the official UK position has always been that whatever future EU trading relationship emerged, close cooperation on foreign and security policy would be maintained wherever possible. Yet that sort of continuity doesn’t suit Bolton’s purposes. For him, regime change means root-and-branch destruction of the status quo. If the UK, ever more beholden to the US for its daily bread, can be used to foil Emmanuel Macron’s ideas about integrated European defence, or undermine EU regulations covering digital multinationals, so much the better. Advertisement
On this trajectory, the UK’s new best friends in Europe will not be Angela Merkel or Donald Tusk but Trump’s far-right chums, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
Freed from EU shackles, the UK, Bolton said, “will be pursuing UK national interests as it sees them”. For UK in that sentence, read US-approved. The UK will not even enjoy the equivalent position of one of the 50 US states, whose rights are protected by the federal constitution. On offer, if and when Johnson caves, is the status of mere satrapy – a tame, timid outpost of the American empire.
For this is the third Bolton aim: to enlist a radically repurposed and realigned UK in pursuit of his singular vision of American global hegemony, of the truly exceptional nation whose power and dominion know no limits and whose enemies quail before its unrivalled might. In Bolton’s imperious worldview, the pre-eminent, muscular and righteous US republic rises above all others, sustained by the ultra-conservative, libertarian, populist-nationalist preconceptions and prejudices that only those with commensurately tiny minds can seriously entertain.
Never mind that the shining city on a hill is now “an ugly pile of rubble”, as the US commentator, Maureen Dowd, sadly noted at the weekend. This is the recycled project for the new American century to which Johnson and his blindly buccaneering Brexiteers, trading time-honoured principles for quick bucks, are about to sign up. It will not make us prosperous or safe. It will make us ashamed.
• Simon Tisdall is a foreign affairs commentator
Of course the US supports a no deal – it makes a minnow out of Britain
Gaby Hinsliff After Trump security adviser John Bolton’s visit it’s clear the price of US backing will be paid both in trade and foreign policy
If you thought it was bad enough when Donald Trump held a reluctant Theresa May’s hand, then look away now. For things are about to get sweatier.
The president’s clammy embrace of the British right continued this week with the arrival of his national security adviser John Bolton in London, to declare the most isolationist US regime in living memory would “enthusiastically” support a no-deal Brexit.
A weakened country, desperate for a trade deal and in no position to refuse Donald Trump’s demands not just to lower our stringent standards or hamstring our car industry but on foreign policy too? Step right this way, sir! No wonder Bolton talks of us being at the front of the queue for trade talks, a line every bit as clearly crafted to help Downing Street as President Obama’s suggestion during the 2016 referendum that Brexit would push us to the back of it. And if these presidents can’t both be right, then arguably neither can the two very different British Conservative administrations responsible for ghostwriting their respective lines.
We risk exchanging what leavers are fond of calling diktats from Brussels for diktats from Washington or Beijing
To some leave voters, all this will sound like sour grapes from people who can’t bear to admit that there might be life after Brexit. Many will actively share the Trump administration’s rejection of open borders and its distaste for rules-based international organisations, from the United Nations to Nato to the World Trade Organisation, which require sovereign nations sometimes to compromise or subjugate their own interests to the greater global good.
But as the former foreign secretary Jack Straw pointed out on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, those organisations exist to check the potentially overwhelming clout of the biggest superpowers, in the interests of medium-sized and small countries who would otherwise be vulnerable. Brexit is rooted in a refusal to accept that Britain is now in the latter category not the former, and that we consequently risk exchanging what leavers are fond of calling diktats from Brussels for diktats from Washington or Beijing. Only this time we may not get a veto.
All trade negotiations naturally involve both sides trying to re-engineer things to their own advantage, of course. But the risks are heightened for small countries negotiating with bigger and more powerful ones – one reason EU countries banded together to do trade deals in the first place – and this time big foreign policy as well as economic principles are at stake.
After his meeting with Boris Johnson, Bolton insisted that touchy issues like the Iran nuclear deal (which the US would like us to follow them in walking away from) or contracts with the Chinese tech firm Huawei (essentially ditto) could be left until “after Brexit”. But it’s naive in the extreme to imagine that they will be left until after trade negotiations have taken place – a process that is likely to take years. There is likely to be early pressure too to ditch practices that inconvenience American companies, such as Philip Hammond’s planned digital-services tax targeting tech giants who pay scandalously little in Britain. And Britain after a no-deal Brexit would be a beggar, not a chooser; a panicky minnow “negotiating” with a shark whose sole stated purpose is making sharks great again.
The real surprise isn’t that the White House actively favours a chaotic divorce between Britain and its European allies, irritatingly sceptical as the latter can be about US power that serves us up on a plate to Washington. It’s that the British government seems so trustingly inclined to go along with it.
• Gaby Hinsliff is a Guardian columnist
John Bolton the warhawk wants a no-deal Brexit and a UK-US trade deal – don’t take the bait
The US national security advisor is a hungry jackal who preys on anyone he perceives to be weaker than the US – which is probably why Donald Trump has sent him over to London this week
You know that old adage about trusting a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Well, the same rule applies when that wolf is dressed up as a 19th century cowboy prospector ready to clear out a village of Native American children to make way for a new, air-polluting railway line. Drop your guard for six seconds, and that wolf will chew you up, spit you out and convince you to nuke Iran – which is why we should all be absolutely terrified of John Bolton and his putrid brand of nationalistic snake oil.
Not familiar with John Bolton or his signature moustache? Consider yourself lucky, because he’s probably the most dangerous man on the planet.
Bolton is Donald Trump’s (fourth) national security advisor, which means he basically just buzzes around the president’s face all day and whispers scary ideas directly into Trump’s ear canal. According to America’s fearless commander in chief, “if it was up to John, we’d be in four wars now”.
Bolton’s been trying to bomb Iran for 20 years, openly jokes about the collapse of the UN headquarters and is currently eyeing up three Latin American countries he’s confident are ripe for regime change. The man isn’t interested in diplomacy or international cooperation. John Bolton is a warhawk in every sense of the word. He’s a hungry jackal who preys on anyone he perceives to be weaker than the United States – which is probably why Donald Trump has sent him over to London this week as a “foreign trade envoy”.
On Monday, America’s scariest Poirot impersonator sat down with Boris Johnson and assured the new Tory administration that Britain had nothing to fear crashing out of the EU without a deal on Halloween. Why? According to Bolton, America’s standing by to save the British economy with a series of sector-by-sector free trade deals. No strings attached.
Nancy Pelosi and her vow to block anything that would compromise peace in Ireland? Don’t worry about it. World Trade Organisation rules and new tariffs? No big deal. The way Bolton tells it, America’s got Britain’s back and is asking for nothing in return. For the love of god, we’d better hope Number 10 doesn’t trust him.
There are a lot of layers to peel back here, so let’s just cast aside the fact that a warhawk security advisor has been sent over here to promise Britain a series of bilateral trade agreements (because that’s totally normal, right?). Even if America did save BoJo’s skin with a free trade deal and Tesco started selling us chlorinated chicken and pink slime for tea, Donald Trump and his minions don’t give anything for nothing.
This is a transactional administration, and the cost of Trump’s alleged kindness will likely mean pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, declaring war on Huawei and probably docking a warship or two in the South China Sea – but all of this is hypothetical anyway, because John Bolton doesn’t deliver treaties or trade deals. He burns them.
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If Washington gossip is to believed, it was John Bolton who pushed George W Bush to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 and the Agreed Framework between the US and North Korea. It was John Bolton who piloted America’s exit from the International Criminal Court. It was Bolton who convinced Donald Trump to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1988. It was John Bolton who egged Trump on and got America out of the Iran nuclear deal. The guy hates deals and he hates globalisation.
But that’s just John Bolton, by the way. Let’s not forget the wider Trump administration has also abandoned the UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO, the Paris Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership and more. That’s probably why the president gets on so well with his kooky national security advisor. They aren’t interested in free trade or international cooperation, and they don’t give a damn about Britain. All they like is money, looking tough and pretending they’re the smartest guys in the room.
At the end of the day, John Bolton is nothing but a scary deal-breaker who’s been sent by Trump to prey on a weak partner and drown us in rhetoric and empty promises. Please, Britain: don’t take the bait. This guy is dangerous, and a free trade deal with America is not the Get Out of Jail Free card we all want it to be.