Tucker Carlson: John Bolton a "Bureaucratic Tapeworm," Periodically Remerges To Cause Pain And Suffering


Tucker Carlson criticizes neoconservatives like Bret Stephens, Bill Kristol, John Bolton and others who are calling for the U.S. to bomb Iran.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Just 24 hours ago, this country stood on the brink of cataclysm. After weeks of slow escalation and without a single vote from the Congress, the United States came within minutes of war with Iran. In response to the destruction of an unmanned drone, American forces nearly launched an airstrike on Iranian targets. According to some reports, our planes were literally in the air. But in the end, it didn't happen. The President pulled back. This morning, he explained why.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: They came and they said, "Sir, we're ready to go. We'd like a decision." I said, "I want to know something before you go, how many people will be killed?" In this case, Iranians. I said, "How many people are going to be killed?" "Sir, I'd like to get back to you on that." Great people, these generals, they said, came back and said, "Sir, approximately 150."

And I thought about it for a second. I said, "You know what, they shot down an unmanned drone plane," whatever you want to call it. "And here we are sitting with 150 dead people." That would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said, "Go ahead." And I didn't like it. I didn't think it was -- I didn't think it was proportionate.


CARLSON: "How many people will be killed?" The most basic of all questions, but a question that is too rarely asked by leaders contemplating war. A hundred and fifty people wiped off the planet in retaliation for a broken drone. Every one of them the President reminded his staff last night, someone with a family.

The whole thing in the end offended his sense of decency. He said it seemed disproportionate, and it was. Moreover, airstrikes would have led to a wider conflict with Iran. That of course was the entire point of it. Policymakers in Washington crave a war with Iran.

Last night was supposed to be the first domino. At the last minute the president toward their plans. For that, he is being vilified. Watch CNN's 36-year-old national security analyst attack the President for not killing enough people yesterday.


SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: This is kind of a worst case scenario. The President is showing that since we made a decision at a National Security Council meeting and wasn't willing to follow through. All in all, this shows gross disorganization and a President who can't seem to make up his mind, even on something as important as a military strike on Iran.


CARLSON: Only in foreign policy circles do people say things that stupid. In fact, last night was a high point in the Trump presidency, bombing Iran would have ended his political career in a minute. There'd be no chance of reelection after that.

Ill-advised wars are like doing cocaine, the initial rush rises your poll numbers, but the crash is inevitable. And in this case, it would be horrible. The hangover from an Iraq war with last years. Iran is not Syria or Iraq. It's a big, rich, sophisticated country with an ancient culture and a cohesive population.

In some ways, it's an impressive place, not at all like the chintzy prefab capitals of the Arab world like Riyadh or Dubai. We could beat Iran, but it would not be easy. It would cost trillions of dollars, many thousands of Americans likely would die. China would love it. They'd be the only winners in that conflict.

Donald Trump was elected President precisely to keep us out of disasters like war with Iran. So how did we get so close to starting one? Simple. The neocons still wield enormous power in Washington. They don't care what the cost of war with Iran is. They certainly don't care what the effect on Trump's political fortunes might be. They despise Donald Trump.

Now, one of their key allies is the National Security adviser of the United States. John Bolton is an old friend of Bill Kristol's. Together they helped plan the Iraq war.

When Bolton made it to the White House, the neocons cheered. Left-wing "New York Times" columnist Brett Stevens took a break from attacking Donald Trump to celebrate his hiring. Stevens assured MSNBC viewers that John Bolton was a great choice because he would push the President toward war.


BRETT STEVENS, COLUMNIST, "NEW YORK TIMES": He is not the sort of caricature-ish hawk that he has been made out to be in some corners of the press.

I think someone like Bolton is going to restrain the isolationist impulses that have been really at the heart of Trump's foreign policy thinking.


CARLSON: Got that? John Bolton is going to restrain Donald Trump from avoiding war. And of course, that's exactly what he has tried to do from the very first day.

Shortly before Bolton took his new job, we invited him on this show and asked about some of his many, many previous foreign policy positions. Watch as Bolton denies being wrong, ever, about anything, not even a little bit.


CARLSON: So you've called for regime change in Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In the first two countries, we've had regime change, and obviously it's been, I'd say disaster, I think we agree.

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No, I don't agree with that. And let me --

CARLSON: You don't think it's been a disaster?

BOLTON: No, I think you need to understand --


BOLTON: Is that life is complicated in the Middle East. And when you say, well, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a mistake is simplistic.

CARLSON: I would argue that I'm the one who understands how complicated it is, but it's just my view.

BOLTON: It's your long experience in foreign policy, I know.

CARLSON: Better record than yours, I would say.


CARLSON: Got that? Hillary Clinton's toppling of the Libyan government was not a disaster, says John Bolton. Keep in mind there are literally slave markets operating in the streets of Tripoli right now. No problem though. Bolton is fine with that. He is fine with the outcome in Iraq, too. That wasn't a disaster either.

According to John Bolton, it was a raging success. We killed hundreds of thousands of people, lost thousands of our own troops spend more than a trillion dollars all to eliminate a WMD threat that despite John Bolton's assurances never existed in the first place.

Bolton is glad we did all of that. Really happy about it. That's demented. Normal people don't talk like that. There's nothing normal about John Bolton. Check out this piece of tape recently uncovered, in which Bolton promises that we're going to overthrow the government of Iran.

Keep in mind that this was filmed long before the Iranians shot down a single drone.


BOLTON: I have said for over 10 years since coming to these events that the declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullah's regime in Tehran. And that's why before 2019 we here will celebrate in Tehran. Thank you very much.


CARLSON: In other words, last night has been in the works for years. John Bolton is that kind of bureaucratic tapeworm. Try as you might, you can't expel him. He seems to live forever in the bowels of the Federal agencies, periodically reemerging to cause pain and suffering, but critically, somehow never suffering himself.

His life really is Washington in a nutshell, blunder into obvious catastrophes again and again, refuse to admit blame, and then demand more of the same. That's the John Bolton life cycle. In between administration jobs, there are always cushy think tank posts, paid speaking gigs, cable news contracts.

War maybe disaster for America, but for John Bolton and his fellow neocons, it is always good business.

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