Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Bolton — the quartet of neocon war hawks who brought us the unnecessary 15-year Iraq War. These four easily swayed George W. Bush to avenge the planned assassination of his father, George H.W. Bush. What did we get out of it? Thousands of dead and maimed U.S. service people, hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed civilians, $1.7 trillion wasted that could have been better spent at home, and the loss of a credible counter to Iran in the region.

We did gain control of the oil, which was the real reason for the war, just as suspected oil fields in the Gulf of Tonkin were the real reason for the Vietnam War. By an unexpected backroom maneuver by ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson convinced the new leader of Iraq to ignore the oil commission created by the U.S. government to fairly award oil concessions to major oil corporations, and to instead enter a monopoly deal with ExxonMobil.

Cheney and Rumsfeld have been prominently discredited, Cheney rightly accused of being a war criminal for his authorization of torture. Wolfowitz has managed to stay under the radar and few Americans would recognize his name as one of the principal architects of the war.

Bolton, having been demoted to Fox News commentator, has now resurfaced as vacuous Donald Trump’s new National Security Advisor. What could possibly go wrong?

Well for starters, Bolton believes in bombing North Korea and Iran. He has also characterized Russia’s meddling in our elections as an act of war.

As Trump enters the desperation phase of the investigations of his cabal, Bolton will be his primary adviser. What better way to deflect our attention from Trump’s misdeeds than starting war fever.

Paul W. Dutram

Waterville

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