Trump might face jail, but Bolton and Kissinger? Never!

John Bolton recently made a stunning confession. Speaking to Jake Tapper of The News earlier this month, Bolton denied that what Donald Trump tried to do after the election was a “carefully planned coup”. When Tapper replied that “you don’t have to be brilliant to plan a coup,” Bolton backed off and relied on his credentials as Trump’s national security adviser and ambassador to Trump. George W. Bush at the UN. “I disagree with that,” Bolton said, “as someone who helped plan coups, not here, but, you know, somewhere else. It takes a lot of work…”

When Tapper followed, Bolton refused to “go into specifics” of any successful coup. He mentioned the unsuccessful attempt to install Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela.

Venezuelan officials are furious with Bolton’s flippant reference to trying to overthrow their government. But in the United States, his confession barely caused a stir. Why would it be?

This is a country where Henry Kissinger is still treated as a respected former statesman. Three days before Bolton casually confessed to plotting coups, the New York Post published an article about the seemingly outrageous fact that President Biden has yet to invite Kissinger to the White House “for foreign policy conversations and discussions.” Every other president, from Nixon to Trump, the Job reminds us, issued this invitation.

Other than his failed attempt in Venezuela, we don’t know what “other places” Bolton was talking about. But we do know that Kissinger was intimately involved in the overthrow of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile. Allende was a democratic socialist who experimented with economic planning.

Had Allende won an election? We do not care? “I don’t know why we have to sit idly by and let a country go communist,” Kissinger famously said, “because of the irresponsibility of its own people.”

When he made the comment, Kissinger was Nixon’s national security adviser — the same job John Bolton had in the Trump administration. And every subsequent president, Democrat or Republican, has invited him “for conversations and discussions on foreign policy.”

If Biden breaks the streak, will it be because of a deep principled objection to the crimes in which Kissinger was implicated “not here, but, you know, somewhere else”? Does Biden shudder when he thinks of the tens of thousands of Chileans tortured and murdered by General Pinochet, or the notorious instructions Kissinger passed on to the military after his conversations with Nixon during the illegal bombing of Cambodia – “everything that flies …anything that moves”?

I would like to think so. But it’s entirely possible that Kissinger is being snubbed not for the long list of offenses for which any half-decent society would have long since tried and imprisoned him, but for his support for peace talks in Ukraine.

Most of our bipartisan foreign policy establishment is opposed to any sort of compromise to end this war. After all, as former President George W. Bush reminded us in May, Vladimir Putin is a monster that must be defeated. The war in Ukraine, Bush said in that speech, is entirely the result of “a one-man decision to launch a totally unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq – I mean, Ukraine”.

Bush seemed at least slightly embarrassed by the slip. He can be heard at the end of the video muttering his age (“75”). But that is almost drowned out by the warm, affectionate laughter of the crowd.

Judging by the reaction in the room and how quickly the sneers died down in the country at large, you might think that the offense that Bush had committed and admitted to was something like smoking a joint when he was in Texas Air National. Guardian. A little naughty, maybe, but who really cares?

It’s not as if he ordered the “shock and awe” bombing of Virginia’s suburbs. And whatever else happened during Henry Kissinger’s last visit to the White House, I seriously doubt that he and National Security Advisor John Bolton discussed plots to kidnap and assassinate the Governor. from Michigan. And that’s why Bush and Bolton and Kissinger and a hundred more like them can walk free and make jokes about their crimes.

Did these people start wars based on nonsense? Did they massacre civilians? Overthrow elected governments? Sure. But not here.”

It all happened, you know, “other places”.

So that doesn’t count.

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