Nate Jackson / May 14, 2015

John Bolton Is Not Running for President

Former UN ambassador John Bolton made his presidential campaign anti-announcement today, saying he would not seek the GOP nomination. Bolton fueled speculation as a solid hawk alternative in the field. But in announcing his non-campaign, he fired this shot regarding the recent kerfuffle over the “should we have invaded Iraq?” question: “Absolutely we still should have overthrown Saddam. … The idea that the decision to intervene Saddam led to the current situation in Middle East is inherently flawed. American forces were in Iraq a little over nine years. The use of force to remove Saddam took less than three weeks. Now, after that, a lot of mistakes were made. Those mistakes did not follow naturally because of the initial decision to invade. A better question might be: Did you favor Obama backing Nouri al-Maliki over Ayad Allawi in 2010? Did you favor, as he favored, pulling all the troops out? There’s never been a period in anybody’s life where they make one decision and everything else for the decision can be blamed on that. One thing Jeb Bush should have said is that Obama can blame George W. Bush for a lot of things, but he can’t blame him for decisions made after January 20, 2009.” Given the current condition of Iraq after Obama abandoned it, it’s perhaps easy to say we shouldn’t have gone in. But Bolton’s on the right track with a very complicated issue.

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