Back   OpEd News
Original Content at
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

May 11, 2019

Bolton Playing Trump Like a Fiddle on Iran

By Ann Wright

For a person who claims to be a deal maker and business guru, President Trump is getting rolled by John Bolton and Bolton's long-standing regime change and war agenda, which runs in opposition to what Trump may have envisioned when he appointed Bolton as his national security adviser. For decades, Bolton has railed against Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba and now Venezuela.


Map from
Map from
(Image by Juan Cole)
  Details   DMCA

For a person who claims to be a deal maker and business guru, President Trump is getting rolled by John Bolton and Bolton's long-standing regime change and war agenda, which runs in opposition to what Trump may have envisioned when he appointed Bolton as his national security adviser.

For decades, Bolton has railed against Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba and now Venezuela. He was a major voice for the disastrous invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush One administration.

Now, almost two decades after leading President Bush down the war path, Bolton has become the voice of President Trump on very important and dangerous issues. Bolton, not Trump, is seen more and more on international networks on issues of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.

Most recently, Bolton preempted Trump on announcing the U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf "to defend U.S. interests and its allies." Trump might wish to double check Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statements on the threat coming from Iran's actions against interests of the U.S. and its allies. Even the Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hooks on CNN May 9, 2019 said that "the U.S. defensive actions of deploying an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf area is for actions of Iran from 2009 to 2016." When challenged by the CNN anchor Becky Anderson, Hooks was unable to name any threats from Iran for the past three years from 2016-2019, instead repeating Bolton's talking points for the day that there were "threats that U.S. must defend itself against."

However, should the U.S. or its proxy Israel attack Iran, the U.S. installations in Iran's region that Iran could target in retaliation are many:

-Twenty major U.S. military installations and a large U.S. Embassy compound in neighboring Afghanistan;

-The enormous Green Zone that contains the largest U.S. Embassy complex in the world in neighboring Iraq;

-17 U.S. military installations in the northern part of neighboring Syria.

There are U.S. targets for Iran in every country along the Persian Gulf:

-The forward headquarters of the U.S. Central Command located in Qatar:

-Homeport of the U.S. Fifth Fleet in Bahrain;

-U.S. contractors and U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia;

-U.S. military installations in Djibouti, the UAE and Somalia.

Bolton, Pompeo and Trump should be reminded that various groups in the region have retaliated against U.S. policies in the past:

In April 1983, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was blown up and 63 Embassy staff were killed. Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah claimed responsibility.

-In October 1983, the U.S. Marine and the French military barracks were blown up in Beirut, Lebanon on the same day killing 241 U.S. service personnel and 58 French military. The bombing was traced to Hezbollah.

-In June 1996, 19 Americans were killed when the U.S. Air Force Khobar Towers barracks were blown up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The U.S. government said Iran was responsible and Iran said that al-Qaeda was responsible. In 2006, a U.S. District Court held that Iran and Hezbollah were responsible although Iran had no representation at the trial. ...

- In 2000, the USS Cole blown up in Aden, Yemen with 17 US sailors killed. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.

Bolton was part of the Bush advisers that orchestrated the lies about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002-2003 and the lies that the Saddam Hussein's army had thrown babies out of their incubators during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait that triggered President Bush One to bomb Iraqi cities and send an armored force into Iraq in 1991 in Gulf War One. Bolton and his gang demanded that President Clinton have land and air blockades on Iraq. The U.S. blockade caused over 500,000 Iraqi children to die and the 400,000 air strikes on Iraq in the next eight years targeted every important military installation. The events of September 1, 2001, provided Bolton and his Neocon gang the opportunity to push President Bush Two to invade an occupied Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq two years later in 2003.

Bolton is part of the swamp that I think Trump thought he was draining, yet Trump has allowed himself to be taken in by advisers who wanted Bolton, the swamp monster, into power again to wreak havoc on the world.

I resigned 16 years ago from the Bush administration in opposition to Bush's war on Iraq. Tragically another administration led by the same swamp monsters are propelling the U.S. into an unnecessary and horrific military confrontation with Iran.

President Trump probably does not know that Iran is a country of 80 million people that has withstood 40 years of sanctions from the U.S. after the Iranian revolution in 1979 and it has a military that has as much battle experience in Syria as the U.S. has. Iran is a country that battled a U.S. sponsored war from Iraq from 1980-1988 and doesn't remember Donald Rumsfeld handing chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein. Iran suffered over 1 million deaths from that war.

Trump probably does not know that Iran is a large country, definitely not the small geographic and population size of countries that U.S. is normally attacks, invades and occupies.

Iran is no Grenada that had 96,000 persons when the U.S. invaded in 1983.

Iran is no Somalia that had a population of 6 million in 1993 when the U.S. invaded.

Iran is no Panama that had 2.5 million inhabitants in 1989 when the U.S. invaded.

Iran is no Afghanistan that had 20 million in 2001 when the U.S. invaded.

Iran is no Iraq that had 20.6 million persons in 2003 when the U.S. invaded.

It is no Libya with 6.2 million citizens when the U.S. and NATO bombed it in 2011.

Iran is no Syria with 20.5 million citizens in 2011 when the U.S. began its war on the Assad government.

Looking at the Western Hemisphere, Trump's advisers have put him in a situation with Venezuela, a country with a population of 32.7 million in 2019, that should remind him of the disaster that John F. Kennedy endured when his advisers told him in 1961 that the invasion of Cuba with a population of 7.2 million in 1961 would be a "cakewalk" to borrow a phrase from Bush One's advisers on the invasion of Iraq 16 years ago.

President Trump probably does not realize that the country of Cuba that seems to be a massive threat to the U.S. (or to the wealthy, influential Cuban-American exiles in Miami and South Florida) has a population in 2019 of only 11.3 million and a land area 89 times smaller than the U.S., about the same land area of Florida and has been under the most severe sanctions and blockade the U.S. has put on any country -- for almost 60 years.

President Trump's advisers, headed by John Bolton, are taking over and orchestrating his policies that have quickly destabilized the world and has jeopardized the security of the United States.

Authors Website:

Authors Bio:
Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book "Dissent: Voices of Conscience." She has written frequently on rape in the military.