John Bolton should be ashamed of himself for the reckless decisions he made in the run-up to the Iraq War and for his chickenhawk mentality, but that would require a sense of shame.
Next month, Bolton will once again be back in the White House, this time as President Donald Trump's national security adviser, having in the past served as President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations.
Should we be worried? Yeah, we should.
We should be worried about tens of millions of civilian and U.S. military deaths in the opening salvo of a potential war with North Korea, of which Bolton argued for late last year in The Wall Street Journal, where he reasoned that a pre-emptive strike against Pyongyang was an acceptable military option.
That is not a view shared by the Pentagon.
"I would suggest that we will win," Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress last year of war on the Korean peninsula, though he cautioned that "it would be a war that fundamentally we don't want" that would be "more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we've seen since 1953."
We should be worried about getting bogged down in another, and far deadlier quagmire in the Middle East, since Bolton in 2008 called for striking inside Iran at the same time that 158,000 American troops were in Iraq, and in 2015 pushed for the United States to bomb Iran — a move that would predictably lead to a traditional force-on-force war that would slowly morph into another long slog of insurgency.
And what of that insurgency, spurred by the regime change after the invasion of Iraq? Bolton, a man who loves regime change, has at least that one in his pocket — and how did that turn out?
Under President Bush, Bolton was among a number of chickenhawks feverishly pushing the lie that Saddam Hussein needed to be stopped right this minute, lest he use his non-existent nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction against us. Bolton was credibly accused of manipulating intelligence. And he told us the Iraqis would greet Americans as liberators, and would quickly exercise their newfound freedom and establish a functional democracy.
He was incredibly wrong. John Bolton should be ashamed of this fact.
His and the decisions of others during the period helped destabilize much of the Middle East, led to the deaths of more than 4,400 American troops, wounded nearly 32,000 others, and killed anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 Iraqis.
He's not a serious thinker. He is a Fox News blowhard who wrote the foreword to a book written by two of the most-prominent Islamophobes in the United States; a man who favors force over diplomacy in just about every instance.
He is a man dangerously unqualified for the position he is about to hold. He is a man who, in Donald Trump's own words, "should have zero standing" after being an advocate for the Iraq War and its "waste of blood and treasure."
But he will be Trump's national security adviser on April 9.
NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.
The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.
Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.
Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018
How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."