John Bolton tutored Vladimir Putin on the meaning of the Monroe Doctrine:
"This is our hemisphere. It's not where the Russians ought to be interfering."
After Venezuela's army decided not to rise up and overthrow Nicholas Maduro, by Sunday night, it was Iran that was in our gun sights.
Bolton ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln, its carrier battle group and a bomber force to the Mideast "to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force."
What "attack" was Bolton talking about?
According to Axios, Israel had alerted Bolton that an Iranian strike on U.S. interests in Iraq was imminent.
Flying to Finland, Pompeo echoed Bolton's warning:
"We've seen escalatory actions from the Iranians, and … we will hold the Iranians accountable for attacks on American interests. … (If) these actions take place, if they do by some third-party proxy, whether that's a Shia militia group or the Houthis or Hezbollah, we will hold the … Iranian leadership directly accountable for that."
Taken together, the Bolton-Pompeo threats add up to an ultimatum that any attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, or Iran-backed militias — on Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE or U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria or the Gulf states — will bring a U.S. retaliatory response on Iran itself.