ACTION: Bye-bye Bolton: Time to Challenge the Pentagon Warhawks

September 11th, 2019 - by CODEPINK & Tim Mak / National Public Radio

ACTION: Bolton’s Gone. It’s Time to Stop the Yemen/Iran Warhawks


 (September 10, 2019) — Four months ago in May, we cajoled Donald Trump into sending out an email [see below] about firing John Bolton. We collected close to 5,000 signatures and traveled to Bolton’s home in Maryland to deliver them — and carry out a citizens arrest of the warhawk!

Though Bolton refused to come to the door and accept our citizens’ arrest, we knew we were on the right track. Today the wonderful news came in: Bolton has been fired! 

Bolton’s position in Trump’s cabinet was contrary to Trump’s campaign promises to bring troops home and to have a less interventionist foreign policy than his predecessors. Bolton played a key role in the collapse of Trump’s North Korea talks with Kim Jong-Un and was determined to see the US carry out regime change in Venezuela and war with Iran. Now, as he is leaving, peace lovers around the world are emitting a sigh of relief. 

As we celebrate Bolton’s departure, we are also aware of all the work ahead of us to turn around the dangerous and destructive policies that Bolton — and Trump — champion. 

ACTION: Send a message now to Senators Reed and Schumer, Rep. Adam Smith, and Speaker Pelosi to make sure the amendments to prevent and end wars make it into the final version of the National Security Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The people of Yemen, Iran, Korea, Afghanistan, and more can’t wait. 

The best way to celebrate Bolton’s departure is by working for peace,
Ann, Ariel, Caroline, Carley, Clara, Jodie, Maya, Mark, Medea, Megan, Nancy, Paki, Ryan, Rose, Teri, Tighe, Ursula, and Zena

An Email to John Bolton from Donald Trump (via CODEPINK):

(May 19, 2019) — For once the fake news is reporting the truth: I am pissed at The Mustache, aka John Bolton. For months he has been telling me it would be easy to oust Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro, but Maduro turned out to be a tough cookie and this Guaido guy turned out to be a dud.

The only coup Guaido and The Mustache have actually pulled off is right here in Washington DC, where we sent in some cops to raid the Venezuelan Embassy and arrest four “I-don’t-like-war” protestors so we could hand the place over to the coup guys. But in Venezuela, the coup is nothing, nada, and now The Mustache and the South Florida crazies want me to do it all for them by sending in the Marines? Uh, I don’t think so.

The Mustache is not just gunning for war in Venezuela; he seems to be working overtime to push me into a war with Iran. He’s talking nonsense about sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East!!! Is he crazy? After all, I’ve said about getting us out of stupid wars? I know my buddies in the Middle East — Brass Balls Bibi and Prince Bone Saw Bin Salman — would like me to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, but my generals tell me that would be a VERY BAD idea.

You know what else I don’t like about The Mustache? He’s getting too much publicity. He acts like he’s the President and I don’t like that one bit. You know I love to fire people and The Mustache has been hanging around too long for my taste but I need your opinion: Is it time for me to say, “John Bolton, You’re Fired”? Click here and CODEPINK will deliver his pink slip.

I’ve been told countless times by US intelligence that Iran isn’t a threat, but The Mustache has been whispering all kinds of crap in my ear: Iran has a nuclear weapons program, Iran sabotaged Saudi oil ships, Iran is responsible for the war in Yemen, Iran is ready to attack us. Does he think that just because I don’t read intelligence briefings, I’ll be so stupid as to believe him? I keep telling him and Mr. Boeing at the Pentagon, Patrick Shanahan, that I really don’t want to go to war with Iran. But The Mustache is not listening.

I don’t mind being a tough guy. I was happy to tear up Obama’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. I’ve been imposing all the sanctions The Mustache says I should — on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and probably on countries I don’t even know about. But I’m starting to think The Mustache is implementing his own agenda — his cockamamie Project for the New American Century instead of my “Make America Great Again.” Even with North Korea, whenever I try to talk with my pal Kim Jong Un, he steps in to sabotage it. So whadda you think? Should I fire his ass? Click here if you want me to fire Bolton and CODEPINK will deliver his pink slip.

Even I know that the war in Iraq was a HUUUGE mistake, the single worst decision ever made. I’m not gonna be the same dummy George Bush was, letting The Mustache and his chickenhawks take me to war — especially not in an election year. But he could very well stage a false flag incident that would force my hand. What do you think? Is it time for The Mustache to get the boot?

From the best president this country (and world) has ever had,
President Donald Trump

We Can Stop the War in Yemen and Prevent a War with Iran: Reform the Pentagon Budget Plan


As we celebrate Bolton’s departure—fired on September 10, 2019—we are also aware of all the work ahead of us to turn around the dangerous and destructive policies that Bolton — and Trump — champion. Send a message now to Senators Reed and Schumer, Rep. Adam Smith, and Speaker Pelosi to make sure the amendments to prevent and end wars make it into the final version of the National Security Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Among the most important foreign policy amendments to have included are:

•  #339 to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen;

•  #270 to prevent a war with Iran;

•  #419 to block Trump from executing 22 “emergency” arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE;

•  #473 to impose a one-year prohibition on the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia and the UAE;

•  #35 to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Reed, Smith, Schumer, and Pelosi are in a position to see that these amendments are included in the final NDAA that lands on Trump’s desk. Send them a message now!

John Bolton encourages the Russian people to load up on guns.

John Bolton’s Curious Appearance In A Russian Gun Rights Video

Tim Mak / National Public Radio

(March 22, 2018) — Incoming White House national security adviser John Bolton recorded a video used by the Russian gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms in 2013 to encourage the Russian government to loosen gun laws.

The episode, which has not been previously reported, illustrates the common cause that Russian and American gun rights groups were forming in the years leading up to the 2016 election through former National Rifle Association President David Keene. Keene appointed Bolton to the NRA’s international affairs subcommittee in 2011.

Russian politician Alexander Torshin helped establish The Right to Bear Arms and cultivate ties with American gun rights groups including the NRA. As a Putin ally, Torshin served as the deputy speaker of Russia’s parliament for more than a decade and also spent time on Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee, a state body that includes the director of Russia’s internal security service.

The Bolton video appears to be another plank in a bridge built by Russia to conservative political organizations inside the United States. It’s unclear why Russian leaders wanted to curry favor with the NRA, but Torshin and Keene appeared to have developed close ties in the years prior to the 2016 election.

It’s a relationship that has outsize importance now that the FBI is reportedly investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money to the NRA to assist the Trump campaign in 2016, as McClatchy reported in January. The NRA has denied wrongdoing.

Russian gun laws are relatively strict, and there is no fundamental right to own a gun. In the video, Bolton urges the Russian people to adopt gun rights as part of their constitution — in much the same way that the United States has a Second Amendment. At the time, he was a member of the NRA’s international affairs subcommittee, a position Keene had appointed him to. The two have known each other since 1972, when Bolton interned for Keene.

“Thank you for this opportunity to address the Russian people on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Russian Constitution,” Bolton said in the video, which has previously been unreported. “Were the Russian national government to grant a broader right to bear arms to its people, it would be creating a partnership with its citizens that would better allow for the protection of mothers, children and families without in any way compromising the integrity of the Russian state. That is my wish and my advice to your great people.”

Keene is a central player in the links between the American and Russian gun rights movements, and fall 2013 was a key moment in the development of this relationship.

A few days before Bolton’s video was posted online, in November 2013, Keene was in Moscow for The Right to Bear Arms annual conference, delivering a speech. More than 300 gun rights advocates across the globe gathered in an upscale hotel to hear arguments for loosening of gun rights. There was even a concealed-carry-fashion show.

There were signs that the Russian government had given its approval that the conference take place. Russian politicians, such as Torshin, were present, made speeches and were presented with honorary memberships to The Right to Bear Arms.

“One would have to make an assumption that in Russia, which is a fairly closed society, that if someone was doing this, the government wasn’t upset by it and knew what was going on,” said conference attendee Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the U.S.-based Second Amendment Foundation. “The feeling was that it was sanctioned by the powers that be, so to speak. Otherwise, I would have doubted if it were to have taken place.”

Gary Burris, another attendee, recalled “two or three high-ranking government officials there” who represented the Russian legislature. “They were people who had some political sway.”

Bolton was not present at this conference. But the issue the former ambassador raised in his 2013 video — changing the Russian Constitution to guarantee gun rights — was a major theme.

“Amending the Russian Constitution to include a right to keep and bear arms provision, like our Second Amendment, was definitely a high priority for the attendees at the conference,” Gottlieb told NPR.

At the conference, Keene said that it was a “great honor to be here today, partly because over the course of the last three years, I’ve hosted your senator Alexander Torshin at the National Rifle Association’s annual meetings.”

Torshin regularly tweeted and posted photos of his visits with Keene over the years. Keene had once reciprocated and posted a photo of Torshin on his personal website.

But with the report of an FBI investigation, as well as a preliminary inquiry into the NRA, times have changed — that photo was removed from Keene’s website. However, he did not delete the reference from his Facebook page, where it remains.

Neither Torshin nor Keene responded to multiple requests for comment.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.