President Trump seems to be impatiently racing toward at least one disastrous war. Maybe two. The big question is who will be first? North Korea or Iran?
Over the past several days President Trump has sent two nuclear-capable B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula to send a clear message that he is ready to attack North Korea. On Saturday he blamed China for North Korea’s refusal to cease its missile tests. He Tweeted: “I am very disappointed in China… they do nothing for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue.”
One press report from an unnamed Pentagon source claimed that President Trump “is to order a military strike against North Korea within a year,” after this weekend’s North Korean test of a longer-range missile.
Iran, which along with North Korea and Russia will face new sanctions imposed by Congress and expected to be signed into law by Trump, is also in President Trump’s crosshairs. He was reportedly furious over his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s certifying that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal – even though Iran was in compliance – and he seems determined to push a confrontation.
Twice in the past week the US military has fired at Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf. On Tuesday an Iranian military ship in the Persian Gulf was warned off by machine gun blasts from a US Naval vessel. Then on Friday the US Navy fired warning flares toward another Iranian ship operating in the Persian Gulf.
Imagine if the US Navy had encountered Iranian warships in the Gulf of Mexico firing machine guns at them when they approached the Iranians.
Facing new sanctions, the Iranian government announced that it will not end ballistic missile testing even under US pressure. The missile program is not a violation of the P5+1 Iran deal unless it is specifically designed to carry nuclear weapons.
So whom will Trump attack first? Let’s hope nobody, but with continuing pressure from both Democrats and Republicans over the unproven “Russiagate” allegations, it increasingly looks like he will seek relief by starting a “nice little war.” If he does so, however, his presidency will likely be over and he may end up blundering into a much bigger war in the process.
Although Trump’s bombastic rhetoric on Iran and North Korea has been pretty consistent, the American people voted Trump because he was seen as the less likely of the two candidates to get the US into a major war.
A recent study by the Boston University and the University of Minnesota concluded that Trump won the most votes in parts of the country with the highest military casualties. Those most directly suffering the costs of war were attracted to the candidate they saw as less likely to take the US into another major war. These are the Americans living in the swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that surprised the pundits by voting for Trump over Hillary.
Will Trump’s legacy be blustering us into one or two wars that will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like cakewalks by comparison? Millions dead? It’s time to make our voices known before it’s too late!