Dr. Barrett, a founding member of the Scientific Panel for the Investigation of 9/11, made the remarks during an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a recent Trump statement about the Iraq war.
At a closed-door event with Republican donors in Florida this weekend, Trump called the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq the “worst decision ever made” by Washington.
“That was Bush. Another real genius. That was Bush,” Trump said, referring to former US President George Bush. “That turned out to be wonderful intelligence. Great intelligence agency there.”
In early 2003, the US, backed by the UK, invaded Iraq under the pretext that the regime of Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.
The invasion plunged Iraq into chaos, resulting in years of deadly violence and the rise of terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIL), while leaving more than one million Iraqis dead.
Dr. Barrett said that “Trump has repeatedly attacked the decision by then-President George Bush to invade Iraq, and once again he has said that ‘it was the worst decision ever made.’”
“Even allowing for hyperbole which is very much a normal practice from Trump, this statement is quite accurate in this sense that is the US has been decimated by the moral and economic cost of this failed war on Iraq – failed from the American standpoint anyway, not so much from the Israeli standpoint,” he added.
“The biggest cheerleaders for the war in Iraq were the neoconservatives who are essentially operatives of the extremist Likudnic wing of the Israeli government. And they have made no secrets of their joy about the American debacle in Iraq which destroyed Iraq as a potential adversary to Israel,” the analyst said.
“And it’s so interesting that Trump gets along so well with Benjamin Netanyahu, the extremist prime minster of Israel, and yet they have such completely opposite views of the war in Iraq,” he continued.
“Trump says ‘it’s the worst thing that has ever happened to America,’ whereas Netanyahu said that it’s the best thing ever happened to Israel. Specifically about ten years ago Netanyahu told an Israeli newspaper that ‘We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.’ Netanyahu also insisted that this had ‘swung American public opinion in our favor,’ meaning in Israel’s favor,” the scholar noted.
The US war in Iraq cost American taxpayers $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, according to a study called Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.