US arch-hawk explains why Russia’s attack of Ukraine was unlike America’s invasion in Iraq
John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor to US President Donald Trump, spoke to RT’s Oksana Boyko about why he believed Russia’s behavior in Ukraine was unjustified, unlike the many military campaigns the White House has waged over the years.
Bolton, the recurring joke goes, has never seen a US war that he didn’t like. At various points of time he advocated military actions against Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, to name a few. As part of the George W. Bush administration, he was instrumental in making the case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq under the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
“Certainly, acting in self-defense is a legitimate use of force, nobody questions that. And I think the pre-emptive use of force against a real threat to the United States or its friends and allies in order to prevent devastation of innocent civilians is also justifiable,” he said during the interview.
He refused to apply the same logic to Russia’s attack against Ukraine, which Moscow said was meant to prevent creeping NATO expansion into Ukraine and disrupt Kiev’s plans to use force against the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk. Russian statements were a “pretext” for an unjustified act of aggression and attempted conquest, Bolton asserted.
“I think what [Russian President Vladimir Putin] thinks he is doing is making good on what he said in 2005 about reversing the breakup of the Soviet Union,” he said.
It was not clear which statement Bolton was referring to. In 2005, Russian leader Vladimir Putin famously called the collapse of the Communist superpower “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century” in the sense that it brought economic devastation and human misery to millions of its citizens. Putin has stated on several occasions that there was no way to restore the USSR.