“Tell me what type of books he reads, I will tell you what type of person he is.” This is an equation that I believe true.
But, what if the person you wish to form an opinion about does not have a liking for books?
I would then change the equation into this one: “Tell me who his friends are, I will tell who he is.”
It is just absurd to think The US President Donald Trump may be an avid reader. Speaking of books, once he said: “Do have I time for reading?” Nevertheless, we see he recommends books once in a while among his countless of tweets.
It is possible to draw this conclusion even from titles of his recommended books: Trump loves himself, and recommends books written by his admirers. 9 of 11 of his recommended books belong to presenters and commentators of the news channel (Fox-TV), the only channel that he watches as he keeps reminding.
His recommended books are type of books which gush over him and curse at his rivals…
It is quite possible that people in security bureaucracies and research centers with close ties with administrative bodies in the countries that are in bad terms with the USA read incessantly Trump’s recommended books when conducting character analyses on him.
Friends of Trump
Such people in security bureaucracies and research centers may dig into those books; but, I am of the opinion that such attempts for character analyses are unnecessary. I don’t think Trump would have anything to do with his recommended books other than merely glancing at their book cover designs.
So, what is left to us is to have a look at his friends…
Donald Trump’s best friends are two figures closest to him in his administration: Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, the former CIA Director, and John Bolton, the National Security Adviser.
At present Trump seems to be impressed most by threat assessments provided by these two people who work in tandem. What is more, the US President appears to be taking a political line in conformity with their assessments.
Policies on the Middle East in particular. . .
Trump appointed John Bolton as his National Security Adviser recently, after having tried a few others. It seems Pompeo’s recommendation played some role in this appointment, too. It is likely that an article on Iran, written by Bolton who was once the former US representative at the United Nations, was influential in Trump’s choice. Bolton wrote that article when he worked in the American Enterprise Institute, known as a Neo-Con institute, and got it published by the Gatestone Institute, another Neo-Con institution.
Because, the recent policies on Iran are in a good harmony with the framework in that article of Bolton.
Let us read the brief “Conclusion” chapter of the article:
“This effort should be the Administration’s highest diplomatic priority, commanding all necessary time, attention, and resources. We can no longer wait to eliminate the threat posed by Iran. The Administration’s justification of its decision will demonstrate to the world that we understand the threat to our civilization; we must act and encourage others to meet their responsibilities as well.”
We are talking about someone whom the left-leaning British daily Guardian asked, “Is Bolton the most dangerous man in the world?” Even those a few lines above are enough to reveal this aspect of his personality.
During the process began with Bolton’s appointment as the National Security Adviser, Trump has been acting on the basis of the analysis in Bolton’s article titled “How to Get Out of the Iran Nuclear Deal?”
Trump announced a while ago that he didn’t recognize the nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration. Now, he pushes hard in order to bring the country to its knees, which Bolton considers as the greatest threat to the civilization.
His goal is, as stated in the article mentioned above, to ‘eliminate that threat’. . .
Iraq. . Syria. . Libya. . Now (is it) Iran’s turn
All the countries which were subject to threat assessments without usage of the word “civilization” were made ‘crippled‘ one by one in recent years. We all know what happened to Iraq. Libya and Syria as well. These three countries were made ‘crippled‘ through ‘wars‘.
Another method was used for Egypt in order to turn it into ‘unthreatening‘: The government that came to power through elections was overthrown by a military coup. . .
Now, we may conclude, it is Iran’s turn, declared as the ‘greatest threat’ by Bolton.
But, Iran is different from the others. It is a harder and bigger bite, not easy to digest. Nevertheless, it is an appetizing bite.
Even if an expected spark wouldn’t come from the Iranian regime, any action, perceived coming from the regime -even one made it look like an act of it- will function as the spark itself.
Last Sunday in the Gulf, four oil tankers belonging to Saudi Arabia (two), Norway and the United Arab Emirates were exposed to sabotage attacks, not far from the UAE coasts. The blaming fingers pointed at Iran soon after the incident. In fact, these sabotage attacks are shown as the reason for the increased mobility in the American navy heading toward the Gulf even though Iran stated strongly that it had nothing to do with the attacks.
Bolton and Pompeo, who are on the same page with one another, and Trump who appointed them to their present positions, believe that they could save the “civilization” in this way.
I was going to comment on the statements of Pompeo and Bolton on Turkey, the AK Party government and President Tayyip Erdoğan, but I don’t want my writing to be unnecessarily long.
I would do this at another opportunity.
Watch out these two men in order to understand what type of person Trump is, and what intentions he has…
[Translated by Bernar Kutluğ from the the article appeared in this site’s Turkish section on May 19, 2019]