Who wants to read this book (John Bolton: “the Room Where it Happened") reading from A to Z, must know: I have many hours of pain ahead of me. Yes, the reading soon turns into masochism - because the reader knows: as until now, say up to the just completed page 150 or 200, it will continue to the last line on page 588.
What exactly? Meticulous rendition of conversations and encounters (Bolton recorded everything, really everything, at every meeting); summary disqualifications of almost everyone he encountered; concise justification of his own attitude and actions – and, clearly, at all times, delightfully captured, a “trite” remark about Donald Trump’s erratic nature, his whims, lack of expertise, and tendency to mix personal things with high politics into a Pesto.
Clearly, that this political accountant, well documented, could reveal that Donald Trump was not afraid to bring the Chinese President into his personal boat to secure benefits for the next presidential campaign is interesting and shocking. What if Xi Jinping had gone into it? The answer: pure speculation. Well, interesting that Bolton also clarifies (better than other sources) how Trump tried to wrap up the inexperienced Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Selenskyi, in order to get information about the family of John Biden. But much more interesting is something else – namely, the search for an answer to the question of how it was possible for a John Bolton, after all the mischief he had previously done, to be appointed by Donald Trump to the post of influential head of the US National Security Council.
Keywords: Bolton, who wanted to “solve” the so-called North Korea question by bombing. Bolton, who recommended bombing Iran. Bolton, who called for the Gordian knot of the Israel/Palestinian conflict to be broken with a policy in favour of the most radical forces in Israel. Bolton, who would have liked to have also dropped bombs on Venezuela and who did not believe in negotiations with individual Nato members-nor with the Russian leadership.
When I had tormented myself through the book for about two-thirds, a thought flashed through my mind that shocked me: how good that Donald Trump exists. Good, because Trump realized in a decisive Moment, hair-sharp, still in time: I have to get rid of this man (again). If I don’t, he will drag the United States, indeed the world, into a wide-scale war over Iran. And Donald Trump doesn’t want a war with weapons anywhere – he loves trade wars, economic wars (regardless of whether these millions of people are suffering, such as in Syria or Iran). And he loves to intimidate Europeans, Chinese or Russians. All this may end badly – but probably (?) never lead to a veritable war. If he had not fired John Bolton (or allowed him a halfway honorable termination), the whole Middle East would be on fire today. And the US had said goodbye to even more international treaties.
After all the reading, I take a short breath – and think that this is the most irritating thing: the “System” in the USA, a totally a-historical – thinking rabble, allows to come to the very top of the hierarchy-wrong decisions in previous years (provocation of the Iraq War 2003) or not.
The fact that Bolton is unwilling or unable to include historical processes in his thinking in any way is constantly revealed in the reading: not a word that Iran became (relatively) powerful across borders due to the misguided Iraq War of the US government of George W. Bush in 2003 (which Bolton had instigated as undersecretary of State at the time); not a word about the emergence of ISIS (terrorist organisation Islamic State) as a result of this war. No reflection on the reason for the conflict between the US/Nato and Russia – Bolton sees only violations of treaties with the West provoked by Moscow and the “necessity” to destroy the corresponding treaties.
That’s what remains: a plea to destroy.
Beyond that-at least as a guess: in ten, twenty years, historians will be very interested in this publication. Because it meticulously describes numerous decisions of the Trump Administration in detail. And because then, from a temporal distance, one can perhaps comprehend many things that remain obscure to us, the contemporary witnesses. Also-again perhaps-why we were able to slip past some global catastrophes. With and despite Trump, who drew Bolton into his spell, but “disposed of"him just in time.