Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
John Bolton Should Be Ashamed Of Himself. But That Would Require A Sense Of Shame
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.
Because he has no shame.
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.
And we all should be ashamed.
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.