The illegal 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq has, thus far, left approximately 1 million Iraqis dead. That is roughly 5 percent of the total population of that country.
If a foreign military superpower invaded and occupied the US and annihilated 5 percent of the total population here, that would be 16,300,000 dead US citizens.
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President Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, John Bolton, still thinks the mass destruction of Iraq was a good idea.
I witnessed the carnage firsthand in Iraq. I walked through freezers full of decayed bodies that were the detritus of Bolton’s US empire project.
“We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction [WMDs] and production facilities in Iraq,” Bolton said in 2002 while he served as President George W. Bush’s under secretary of state for arms control and international security. He did everything he could to prompt the launch of the US invasion — under the pretext of WMDs that never existed.
Then, 12 years later, with 5 percent of the total population of Iraq dead, thousands of US troops dead and trillions of dollars of taxpayer funds bled away, he told the Washington Examiner that he still thought the Iraq War was worth it. He even commented that “the worst decision made after that was the 2011 decision to withdraw US and coalition forces.”
I witnessed the carnage firsthand in Iraq. I saw the destruction of an entire country. I watched women, children and the elderly slaughtered in Fallujah by the US military. I walked through freezers full of decayed bodies that were the detritus of Bolton’s US empire project.
The fact that this individual is about to become national security adviser feels like a true nightmare about to revisit us.
Two Peas in a Pod
In their refusal to acknowledge reality, Bolton and the president are just alike. They share a disdain for anything that contradicts their fabricated versions of reality — and they both actively work to undermine whatever happens to challenge their positions.
Bolton has shown an open disdain for diplomacy, advocating military solutions at every turn.
Bolton was rightly accused of manipulating US intelligence about WMDs during the buildup to the invasion of Iraq. But that didn’t slow him down. Bolton claimed, “We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material — whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability — it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year.”
This deceitful strategy went beyond Iraq: In 2002, Bolton had his staff prepare a speech for the president that alleged that Cuba had an active biological weapons program, which was patently untrue. The lead bioweapons analyst for the State Department at the time refused to sign off on the preposterous claim.
Now, he has already openly argued for attacking North Korea, and has spoken out publicly against diplomatic efforts, including the upcoming talks in May between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Similarly, Bolton has repeatedly called for bombing Iran. He has a record of favoring unilateral solutions to delicate issues such as these — “solutions” that would almost guarantee the loss of another million lives, for starters.
We don’t have to guess what John Bolton’s “national security” strategy would be. I saw it with my own eyes on the streets of Iraq.
Meanwhile, he has consistently disparaged the UN and shown an open disdain for diplomacy, advocating military solutions at every turn.
“There’s no such thing as the United Nations,” Bolton has said. In 1994, he also said that if the United Nations Secretariat building in New York “lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.”
And let us not forget about the so-called “Axis of Evil” — North Korea, Iraq and Iran: Bolton claims this “axis” went beyond rhetoric, and that there was “a hard connection between these regimes — an ‘axis’ along which flow dangerous weapons and dangerous technology.”
One would think that this kind of man would have made himself irrelevant by now, and beyond disqualified for any sort of public office. But in the world of Trump, where truth does not matter — and is often viewed as an inconvenience — Bolton has become the perfect man for his job.
We don’t have to guess what Bolton’s “national security” strategy would be. I saw it with my own eyes on the streets of Iraq.
This time, when the US goes on the attack — against North Korea, Iran or someone else — there will be even less slowing it down.