A reader writes:
The BBC interview with John Bolton illuminates the several inconsistent agendas and fantasies of the people who pulled the trigger on this war.
Now Bolton tells us that all he ever wanted us to do was go in quickly, knock out Saddam, and get out fast, let the Iraqis figure out how to then govern themselves - and who should step in after Saddam. Never mind what State Department wusses thought about Sunni/Shia divides, possible civil war, etc. Not our problem. These bad guys only understand the language of force, of brutality (and apparently torture) and death.
Even if any of this were largely true from his vantage point on things it goes to show how de-centered or multi-focused the whole mess was even as it unfolded in the White House and Pentagon - how at odds with one another were so many of the key players in terms of ultimate goals, agendas, and tactical plans. The interview also hints at inconsistencies of huge importance: that these war-mongers recognized that Iraq had no cultural basis for decent political governance after the dictatorship but no matter: we should decapitate it anyway and let them arrive at good governance on their own in quick time.
Bolton seems to say that he'd rather live in that failed state than a dictatorship. But he doesn't live over there now does he? This "failed state" is currently on a par with Dante's hell. As an external threat, we had already defanged Saddam. This whole thing seems to have been about projecting our power and fantasizing about hitting a home run turning up a good, functioning, state democracy, friendly to the US, out of that cauldron. Who pays? Mostly the Iraqi people.