John Bolton Accidentally Explains Why US Policy On Russia And China Is Wrong

Caitlin Johnstone
5 min readJul 7, 2023


Listen to a reading of this article (reading by Tim Foley):

Professional psychopath John Bolton has an article out with The Hill titled “America can’t permit Chinese military expansion in Cuba” which inadvertently spells out exactly what’s wrong with the way the US empire keeps amassing heavily armed proxy forces on the borders of its large Asiatic enemies.

Citing a Wall Street Journal report from last month in which anonymous US officials claim that Havana has entered negotiations with Beijing for a possible future joint military training facility in Cuba, Bolton argues that the US must use any amount of aggression necessary to prevent this facility’s construction, up to and including regime change interventionism.

“The potential of significant Chinese facilities in Cuba is a red-flag threat to America,” Bolton writes, arguing that such activities “could well camouflage offensive weapons, delivery systems or other threatening capabilities.”

“For example, hypersonic cruise missiles, already harder to detect, track, and destroy than ballistic missiles, are natural candidates for installation in Cuba, a prospect we cannot tolerate, along with many other risks, like a Chinese submarine base,” he adds.

All of which are arguments that could be made pretty much note-for-note by Russia and China about the ways the US has been threatening their security interests with war machinery in their immediate surroundings.

Arguing that the US is “bound by no commitment limiting our use of force,” Bolton advocates “Revoking diplomatic relations with Cuba; increased economic sanctions against both China and Cuba; and far stricter implementation of existing sanctions” as an immediate response to this reported development, advocating regime change interventionism as an ultimate solution to Cuba’s disobedient behavior.

“Had Presidents Eisenhower or Kennedy acted more forcefully and effectively against Castro, we might have avoided many perilous Cold War crises, sparing us decades of strategic concern, not to mention the repression of Cuba’s people,” Bolton writes, adding, “With Beijing’s threat rising, we should not miss today’s moment without seriously reconsidering how to return this geographically critical island to its own people’s friendlier hands.”

Bolton notes that Guantanamo Bay “remains fully available to us today” for any operations the US should choose to avail itself of to topple Havana.

This would be the same John Bolton who in 2002 falsely accused Cuba of having a biological weapons program in a bid to sweep the island up in the same post-9/11 war push he was helping the US construct against Iraq with extreme aggression.

Any time there’s the faintest whisper of a foreign power setting up a military presence in Washington’s neck of the woods, hawks immediately begin pounding the drums of war and exposing the hypocrisy of the US empire’s insistence on its right to form military alliances and amass proxy forces on the doorstep of its geopolitical rivals. Empire apologists always dismiss Russia and China’s claims that US military encroachments on their surroundings are an unacceptable security risk and say that no nation has a right to a “sphere of influence” which its enemies are forbidden to enter, yet we can plainly see that the US reserves a right to its own sphere of influence from its own doctrines and behaviors.

Earlier this year Senator Josh Hawley ominously asked an audience, “Imagine a world where Chinese warships patrol Hawaiian waters, and Chinese submarines stalk the California coastline. A world where the People’s Liberation Army has military bases in Central and South America. A world where Chinese forces operate freely in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.” Which is exactly what the US military has been doing to China.

The single dumbest thing the US-centralized empire asks us to believe is that the military encirclement of its top two geopolitical rivals is a defensive action, rather than an act of extreme aggression. The idea that the US militarily encircling Russia and China is an act of defense rather than aggression is so in-your-face transparently idiotic that anyone who thinks critically enough about it will immediately dismiss it for the foam-brained nonsense that it is, yet because of propaganda that is the mainstream narrative in the western world, and millions of people accept it as true.

The point of highlighting hypocrisy is not that being a hypocrite is some special crime in and of itself, it’s to show that the hypocrite is lying about their motives and behavior, and to dismantle their arguments defending their positions. If the US would interpret a Chinese military presence in Cuba as an incendiary provocation, then logically the far greater military presence the US has amassed on the borders of Russia and China is a vastly greater provocation by that same reasoning, and the US knows it. There exists no argument to the contrary that doesn’t rely on baseless “well it’s different when we do it” assertions.

Demanding that Russia and China tolerate behavior from the US that the US would never tolerate from Russia or China is just demanding that the world subjugate itself to the US empire. Those who argue that Russia should have tolerated Ukraine being made into a NATO asset or that China should just accept US military encirclement because something something freedom and democracy are really just saying the US should be allowed to rule every inch of this planet completely uncontested.

If what you really want is for the US to dominate every inch of this planet completely uncontested, don’t try and tell me that your actual concern is for the people of Ukraine or Taiwan or anywhere else. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. Just be honest about what you are and where you stand.


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Featured image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)