The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday that former U.N. ambassador John Bolton advised Tory delegates in Britain this weekend that they should press for “pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities” in Iran.
“Because life is about choices, I think we have to consider the use of military force,” Bolton said. He added that any strike “should be followed by an attempt to remove” the “source of the problem,” Iranian President Ahmadinejad.
Fleshing out his hawkish dreams on British television, Bolton suggested that the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was a model for the “policy of regime change” he would like to see done in Iran:
Q: It’s not of the course the policy that worked in Iraq though, did it? I mean, that was the policy of regime change.
BOLTON: No, but I think it did work in Iraq. … Knowing everything we know today, I think it’s unquestionably the case that we were right to overthrow Saddam. We achieved our strategic objective. I think the world is better off for it. [...]
I don’t think you should conflate what happened in the post-Saddam period. And whatever happened and however bad it’s been, doesn’t change the fundamental analytical point that we’re better off without Saddam.
There is no “strategic objective” that has been gained through the Iraq war. Rather, it has fueled the spread of terrorism, overstretched our ground forces, caused the unnecessary death of thousands of soldiers and Iraqi civilians, and fundamentally made the world a more dangerous place for the United States.
A military conflict in Iran is likely to produce the same effects as the Iraq war. Moreover, a military attack on Iran “would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program. It would almost certainly speed it up.”
Bolton’s unquenchable appetite for war is easy to espouse given that he seems to care little about the disastrous consequences that follow.