Tuesday, May 27, 2003

John Bolton, who is Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs in the Bush Administration, not to mention one of the PNAC ideologues and a signatory of the warmongering January 26, 1998 letter on Iraq to President Clinton, has given a speech at a luncheon hosted by the National Defense University Foundation. In this speech, he extends the justification for the attack on Iraq to the breaking point. Referring to the lack of WMD found in Iraq, he said: "There has been a lot of misunderstanding as to exactly what it was we expected to find and when we expected to find it." He continued: "The most fundamental, most important thing that was not destroyed [by international weapons inspectors] was the intellectual capacity in Iraq to recreate systems of weapons of mass destruction." He said that U.N. and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors:

". . . could have inspected for years and years and years and probably never would have found weapons-grade plutonium or weapons-grade uranium. But right in front of them was the continued existence of what Saddam Hussein called the 'nuclear mujahadeen,' the thousand or so scientists, technicians, people who have in their own heads and in their files the intellectual property necessary at an appropriate time . . . to recreate a nuclear weapons program."

He claimed that the United States was justified in attacking Iraq because of this capacity. I have two comments:

  1. In the light of the failure to find WMD, Bolton has changed his tune. In a Radio Sawa Interview on April 17, 2003, not so very long ago, he responded to the question "Do we have a specific plan to locate Iraq's chemical and biological agents after the end of the war?":

    "We have a very detailed plan to try to locate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction storage areas, chemical agents, biological agents, warheads, production facilities, the files and records of the weapons programs, so that these can be exposed to the world so that everybody can see the extent of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and also so that we can begin the process of destroying them finally; so when a new Iraqi government comes into power, representatives of all the elements of Iraqi society committed to not pursuing weapons of mass destruction, that we will be able to say that in fact Iraq is completely free of such weapons and therefore should be a full participant again in the international economy and political scene."


  2. The so-called 'Bush doctrine' is that the United States can preemptively use war in self-defense against countries that may pose a threat to the security of the United States. As it stands, this doctrine is of highly questionable validity in international law, and should be limited to cases where: 1) the threat is real and imminent; 2) war is the only possible alternative; and 3) there is no time to consult the United Nations. If we add to the 'Bush doctrine' the idea that the threat does not even have to be real, but can just rest on the American view of the potential threat sometime down the road due to the imagined capability of scientists and engineers in the target country, the whole 'Bush doctrine' is revealed as a sham. Just about any country in the world has the 'intellectual capacity' to begin a program of creating weapons of mass destruction. The doctrine has become simultaneously so wide and vague that it is transparently simply a way of rationalizing the complete destruction of the sovereignty of nations if the United States should decide it would like to take the assets of any given country through a unilateral attack. People have tried to compare the 'Bush doctrine' to the geopolitics of Hitler, but Bush is far worse than Hitler, for Hitler at least tried to come up with some justification for his predations. The Americans can destroy a country and steal its assets based solely on their imagination that something bad might happen at some indeterminate time in the future if nothing is done to stop it. The failure to find the promised weapons of mass destruction, and the scrambling of the PNAC philosophers to rationalize the attack on Iraq in the absence of such discovery, has revealed the 'Bush doctrine' for the thuggery which it truly is.


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