Bolton keeps trying to goad Iran into war

By May, events were bearing out the Pentagon’s fears. “In private meetings,” the Times noted, “military officials have warned the White House that its maximum-pressure campaign against Iran is motivating … threats to United States troops and American interests in the Middle East.” Former Bush administration official Kori Schake observed that, “Every single European government believes that the increased threat we’re seeing from Iran now is a reaction to the United States leaving the Iran nuclear agreement and trying to force Iranian capitulation on other issues.”

This was the plan: Provoke Iran until it provides a pretext for America to strike. (What comes after such a strike is something Bolton has not publicly discussed as National Security Adviser. In his previous writing, he has generally breezed by the subject while vaguely suggesting that an attack might help foment regime change.)…

Now Bolton and Pompeo are accusing Iran of attacking ships carrying oil out of the Persian Gulf. Even American allies have viewed these claims skeptically, and for good reason: In the Bush administration Bolton was notorious for being, in the words of one former colleague, “cavalier not just with intelligence, but with facts,” and “impervious to information that goes against his preconceived ideological views.”