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The always obnoxious John Bolton, now working in a plum job as a fellow at the American Interprise Institute, has polluted The Guardian with his imperialist braggadocio. I'm not going to bother refuting his article's 5 major lies, since that was already done 10 years ago by kos, Atrios, billmon, Meteor Blades, and everyone in the Berkeley phone book, except that he begins by implicitly stating how much better Iraq is now than under Saddam. Surprisingly, he offers no data to verify this assessment. Instead, he deflects to calling critics commusociafascists:

1. Iraq is worse off now than under Saddam. This charge could come only from people with a propensity to admire totalitarianism. Iraq has certainly gone through a hard decade, and its future is far from secure, but that uncertainty derives from long-standing historical tensions and animosities among its major confessional and ethnic groups which were suppressed under Saddam. One might as well pine for Stalin or Tito. Iraq's inherent defects as an artificial nation may yet bring it to grief, but not because of the US-led invasion. To the contrary, Iraqis now have a chance, denied them under Saddam, to forge a new society, as Germany and Japan did after World War II. But we didn't wage war after Pearl Harbor to do nation-building for our enemies. And, in any event, the issue was never about making life better for Iraqis, but about ensuring a safer world for America and its allies.
Bolton does not seem to be familiar with the word 'projection.' "I know we may be responsible for some atrocities, dontcha know, but you must be an admirer of Stalin to point it out!"

What Bolton does not address is that Iraq is at best a 'mixed' regime and for all intents and purposes an authoritarian state. Remember Nouri al-Maliki? What has he been up to lately?

Heba al-Shamary (name changed for security reasons) was released last week from an Iraqi prison where she spent the last four years.

"I was tortured and raped repeatedly by the Iraqi security forces," she told Al Jazeera. "I want to tell the world what I and other Iraqi women in prison have had to go through these last years. It has been a hell."

Heba was charged with terrorism, as so many Iraqis who are detained by the Iraqi security apparatus are charged.

"I now want to explain to people what is occurring in the prisons that [Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki and his gangs are running," Heba added. "I was raped over and over again, I was kicked and beaten and insulted and spit upon."

Heba's story, horrific as it is, unfortunately is but one example of what a recent report from Amnesty International refers to as "a grim cycle of human rights abuses" in Iraq today.

So in absence of Bolton's quantitative data we have to do a qualitative assessment. Iraq is in no way a state befitting eight-hundred billion U.S. dollars. It rounds up ethnic and political enemies and rapes, tortures and then executes them without any form of due process. Its political economy is more crooked than a scrub oak. The Jewish community in Iraq is extinct. One of the oldest Christian communities in the world has been slaughtered and dispossesed. At the National Museum of Iraq, countless artifacts now destroyed or stolen by looters will never yield to us information about the history from which Europe, Asia and Africa derive. Depleted uranium is stalking and killing civilians. LGBT are being kidnapped, tortured and burned to death.

Four thousand, seven hundred and seventy five American military men and women died.

The ten-year anniversary of the vernal human sacrifice is on the 20th. And Bolton is in a position to celebrate. For these events which flow from Bolton's crimes he should seek forgiveness. For the crimes he committed he should be writing for clemency from a cell.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Storm Clouds/Cantata (6+ / 0-)

    Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

    by Nulwee on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:02:58 PM PDT

  •  It's too bad we couldn't do anything (22+ / 0-)

    about John Bolton. Or any of the war pimping liar Bushies for that matter. It being completely impossible to even try to hold any of these people accountable? I'm sure it won't come back to haunt us at all.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:03:36 PM PDT

    •  I'm betting (6+ / 0-)

      he has a real shot at being Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense in the next Republican Presidential administration.

      Hopefully Hilary Clinton is a two-term President, and runs out the clock on him having the chance.

      I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

      by LeftHandedMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:05:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't Senator Clinton support war against Iraq? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, Avila, Nulwee

        Furthermore, let's not ignore how the current authoritarian regime in Egypt is treating Christians.

        Finally, can anyone really dispute that if the current rulers of Syria fall, that the Christians will be slaughtered?

        Yes, Iraqi's are worse off today than they were 10 years ago.

        But Egyptians are worse off as well, as are Libyans, compared to a couple of years ago.

        And if the current government of Syria falls, Syrians will be worse off as well.

        Some battles are worth fighting.

        Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria do not meet that threshold.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:23:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  here's a cheery thought: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avila, Jaimas, YucatanMan, Nulwee

        even if that is the case, the Democrats aren't going to hold the White House forever, and even now there's some twisted neophyte coming up thru the ranks right now who looks up to the Walrus and thinks he's a Great American etc etc....

    •  There are probably only two scenarios (5+ / 0-)

      in which the US government would prosecute those vermin, and in both it would merely be to forestall what they would consider worse:

      1.  International war crimes prosecutions going forward.

      2.  Domestic vigilantism.

      But since no one is in any hurry to do the former - complicity in the Iraq War and torture plots extends worldwide, to most of the powers - and no one wants to go to jail to make some lame gesture, I'm not holding my breath.

      Ask me if I'm afraid. I say, "Of course not. I'm a fool, and fools never die."

      by Troubadour on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:37:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When our elected leaders lack the courage or (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, 207wickedgood, Troubadour

        morality to prosecute criminals, it is pretty hard for the citizenry to force the issue in today's world.

        What's remarkable about the Steubenville rape case is that Anonymous was able to arouse public outrage to the point that prosecutors were forced to act. It is remarkable partly because it is so rare.

        The public has not been outraged by revelations about lying us into war, torture, black prisons, or banking fraud. Perhaps there are simply too many worries at the national level, primarily feeding your family and holding onto or finding a job.

        In Ohio, prosecutors were either lazy or not paying attention.  In the case of our national crimes, the head prosecutor seems to have been specifically chosen so that he won't go after the war criminals and banksters.  He said as much in his recent testimony before Congress.

        That makes the bar much higher for the public to overcome in a push for action.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:57:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I first read the diary's title, (9+ / 0-)

    my first thought was, "well, that's obviously about Cheney".   But it wasn't, it was John Bolton.

    Which just goes to show that the Bush administration was the proud home of more than one war criminal who brags about the rape, death and torture during the Iraq war.

    George Bush: Bet you can't regret just one . . . .

  •  This comment in the excerpt... (23+ / 0-)

    ...from the Bolton piece was primo BS (in an "essay" jam-packed with manure.

    But we didn't wage war after Pearl Harbor to do nation-building for our enemies. A
    Not so subtle attempt at once again connecting Saddam to 9/11, in my opinion. Obviously, although I am sure 30 or so percent of Americans still think Saddam was Osama bin Laden's lieutenant, he had zero to do with the attack on U.S. turf. But these guys will be arguing otherwise until they're dead.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:09:45 PM PDT

  •  Didn't Bolton lead the riot that stopped the (9+ / 0-)

    ... Bush/Gore recount in Florida?

    “I used to be disgusted....Now I try to be amused" --Elvis--

    by PlinytheWelder on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:11:56 PM PDT

    •  Yes, he incited riots across state lines (6+ / 0-)

      with the Brooks Brothers Riots.

      Texas is Texas, you know. The second you think you got it figured out, it will switch on you. Just ask Rick Perry in 2012.

      by Patience John on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:29:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe that was a bunch of Young Republicans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, Buckeye Nut Schell, Nulwee

      bused in along with the legal beagles that the Bush team sent to Florida to file suit in the FL State judiciary, prior to filing with the SCOTUS court in Bush v Gore.

      IIRC it was one of Karl Roves shit-polishing moments in American History, as contrived as many of his maneuvers over the years since he became an active back-room #GOP operative in the 1980s.

      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

      by Angie in WA State on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:31:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  John "Profile in Cowardice" Bolton (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, nota bene, YucatanMan, Nulwee

      From his Wikipedia entry:

      Bolton supported the Vietnam War and enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard, but did not serve in Vietnam. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy. I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."[16] In an interview, Bolton discussed his comment in the reunion book, explaining that he decided to avoid service in Vietnam because "by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from."[17][18]
      Cowardly, hypocritical and incoherent-- the GOP hat trick.
      Another one who went to Yale while my cousin went to the rice paddies.  The other three were in the Navy, with my father and my uncles.

      "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity" -W.B. Yeats

      by LucyandByron on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  commusociafascists, hard to fit on bumper stickers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Avila, Nulwee

    If one were to find a Communist who was also Socialist who was also a Fascist, you would find the most self hating person in Europe.

    I doubt such a creature exists here in States.

    That being said, history will decided poorly for ol' Bolton. The Iraq War was a an epic battle of two bureaucracies who bluffed themselves into battle.

    Saddam did not want UN Weapons Inspectors because of W. He did not want Iran to he had no weapons of mass destruction.

    W's bureaucracy needed a war to cover a whole-scale looting of the middle class that made his daddy's Savings & Loans scandal look like taking candy from a baby.

    They decided to go for the whole candy factory.

    And thus we invaded the wrong country, but did keep the oil to the dollar, so there is that.

    But no matter how hard Bolton tries, he will not get to write History.

    Texas is Texas, you know. The second you think you got it figured out, it will switch on you. Just ask Rick Perry in 2012.

    by Patience John on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:27:04 PM PDT

  •  "There is no United Nations" (5+ / 0-)

    ...just some group that gathers from time to time and, if its policies suit our purposes, we support.

    I bet Bolton has not spent more than 5% of his life being non-loathsome. At least the fates have done us the justice of making him look the part.

    Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:36:47 PM PDT

    •  I wonder if people remember that full comment (4+ / 0-)
      There is no United Nations... there is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that´s the United States, when it suits our interests, and when we can get others to go along.
      This is a guy who W picked to be America's ambassador to the UN, who loves to talk about Pearl Harbor and WWII, and makes soothing noises about nation building and democracy and blah blah blah, but thinks that the United Nations isn't real.
  •  Actually, I do pine for Tito N/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 12:50:22 PM PDT

  •  I can't click thru to read that Guardian piece (6+ / 0-)

    I'll start throwing things. Bolton would be a laughingstock if what he's wrought wasn't so fucking horrible. And then the media treats him like a Very Serious Person who has Important Things To Say.

    This is the world we live in, folks; where people like Bradley Manning and Don Siegelman are in jail and this smug son of a bitch struts around as a free man, spreading his pathology ideology to anyone gullible (or eager) enough to believe it.

  •  Thank you, Nulwee, for highlighting this. (5+ / 0-)

    Bolton got his start in the spilling of blood in Central America during Reagan's Contra Wars.

    It's amazing how many war criminals resurfaced in the Bush administration, which was simply a harder-edged Reagan administration in many ways.  And that's hard to fathom for people who thought Reagan's program cuts were pretty harsh.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 01:50:33 PM PDT

  •  Well,he's a republican, a neocon, a war criminal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and it's a darn shame he's not rotting in prison.  Maybe someday we'll be able to talk about democrats and their wars.  Actually people are, just not here.
    Let's talk Libya and you'll hear the same damn things from the democrats.  

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:23:03 PM PDT

  •  Bolton and Reagan Admin involvement in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PatriciaVa, marina, Nulwee

    Drug Money to Contras:

    In 1987, the Senate Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations, led by Senator John Kerry, launched an investigation of allegations arising from reports, more than a decade ago, of contra-drug links. One of the incidents examined by the "Kerry Committee" was an effort to divert drug money from a counternarcotics operation to the contra war.

    On July 28, 1988, two DEA agents testified before the House Subcommittee on Crime regarding a sting operation conducted against the Medellin Cartel. The two agents said that in 1985 Oliver North had wanted to take $1.5 million in Cartel bribe money that was carried by a DEA informant and give it to the contras. DEA officials rejected the idea.

    The Kerry Committee report concluded that "senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the Contras' funding problems."

    Boston Globe 5/15/86
    Kerry agrees to give Contra Data to US
    By Globe Staff Writer Stephen Kurkjian

    "In response to a request from the Justice Department, Sen. John F. Kerry has agreed to provide the government with information compiled by his staff that some leaders of the Nicaraguan contras and their American supporters have engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

    In a letter to Kerry, Assistant Attorney General John R. Bolton said any evidence developed by Kerry's staff, 'will be vigorously and expeditiously investigated.' Bolton assured Kerry that the information would be treated as 'highly sensitive' and all measure taken to protect the sources' confidentiality.

    Kerry promised his staff's cooperation in a return letter to Bolton yesterday. Three members of Kerry's staff initially outlined their charges in a meeting May 6 with officials from the Justice Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Department.


    In an April 17 letter to Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said his staff has accumulated 'first-person evidence and documentation' on allegations regarding drug trafficking, gunrunning, conspiracy to murder, violations of the US Neutrality Act and fraud in the spending of $27 million in nonlethal aid to the contra guerrillas, who are fighting the Nicaraguan government."

    Of course, Bolton deep-sixed the information and did nothing on it, other than perhaps try to obliterate the evidence trail.

    Derailing the Florida Vote Count in 2000:

    Bolton was in South Korea on an AEI assignment when he received a call from long-time mentor James Baker, who was leading the charge on the Florida recount in 2000. Baker told him to get on the next plane, which he did. After working as a lawyer with the Republican team in Florida, he grabbed reporters’ attention when he burst into a Tallahassee library announcing ”I’m with the Bush-Cheney team, and I’m here to stop the count.”
    Contra Investigations:

    Iran-Contra, 20 years later, looking back

    Just plain mean and evil:

    A major component of Bolton’s foreign policy agenda has focused on a strict advocacy of structural market reforms meant to further enrich multinational corporations at the expense of efforts aimed at significantly improving basic living standards in developing countries. His position on the subject is starkly evident in a June 25, 1995 Op-Ed published in the Washington Times in which he criticized the Clinton administration for continued funding of “programs on international population control and environmental matters rather than fundamental economic policy reforms in developing countries” and further assailed then Vice-President Al Gore for his “preference for condoms and trees instead of markets.”
     Bolton’s past actions and public record have demonstrated that he is either oblivious to or unconcerned with the root causes for Latin America’s many ills, such as its pressing need for socioeconomic and governmental reforms and its possessing the most skewed wealth distribution in the world.

    Bolton has otherwise focused on counterproductive quick-fix solutions that usually end up only responding to Washington’s narrow self interests, such as blind adherence to neoliberal reforms, while leaving a majority of Latin Americans worse off than before.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:17:59 PM PDT

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