Monday, June 06, 2005

Bolton and Bustani: A Tale of Bush Thuggery Foretold

This week comes news that UN ambassador nominee John Bolton orchestrated the firing of Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2002, as part of an orchestrated effort by the Bushist faction to eliminate all possible diplomatic solutions to the "crisis" they had engineered to advance their pre-determined goal of invading Iraq. Bustani's crime was wanting to bring Iraq under the OPCW's inspection regime -- which of course would have revealed that Saddam had no chemical WMD.

I covered this firing -- and the real reasons for it -- in a Moscow Times column on April 26, 2002. (See Pack Men: Bush Thugs Go Global.) It's good to see that the corporate media have finally got a whiff of the story -- which was hardly a secret at the time. I took all the relevant facts from a story in The Guardian (a publication not unknown to American reporters, I believe) and drew the obvious conclusions based on all the other known facts in the public realm at that time about the Bush-lust for Iraq.

It's true that the name of John Bolton didn't come up in the original stories. That's because he was -- and is -- just a waterboy, a minion, a blustering nobody sent hither and yon to do the bidding of the Bush Faction's masters. What's important is the actual policy this scuttling blowhard carried out on behalf of the White House. That was the real story -- but the mainstream media didn't care anything about it when it might have meant something, when revealing it might have helped derail the ruthless push toward a war of aggression.

But now they're interested! Now that it can be slotted into the meaningless, personality-driven "horse-race" template they love so well -- "Who's ahead? Who's behind? Who's 'winning' on this issue, the GOP or the Dems? Does this help Harry Reid or Bill Frist?" -- they've condescended to notice this perversion of American diplomacy.

Better late than never? No. As with so much else surround this godforsaken, misbegotten war crime, being late with news that you could have easily reported before the invasion is tantamount to complicity in Bush's mass murder.