This is not a drill. A new Middle East war is coming, perhaps soon. Only dramatic political action by the American people and their political leaders can stop it.
President Trump says he does not want war with Iran. Perhaps the entire war scare is just another neurotic impulse. Or he may believe that he is deftly executing a “fire and fury” feint, as with North Korea earlier, where he threatens war and “the end of Iran” only to back down and offer talks. His latest dismissal of the alleged attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf as “very minor” would indicate that this is indeed his game.
But the deeper he gets in, the harder it becomes to get out. Don’t bet on all this blowing over. Trump’s closest allies (and business partners) in the region—Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel—urge military attacks. “The next logical step,” a prominent Saudi paper editorialized, “should be surgical strikes.” His closest Washington advisors in the White House, the State Department, and Fox News also want war and have said so repeatedly. They link it explicitly to “40 years of Iranian aggression.” They skillfully feed reporters sound bites and cherry-picked intelligence to convince them to report Iran’s “malign activities” in the region. With Trump’s approval or ignorance, they have taken a series of steps, beginning with the ill-advised and unnecessary abrogation of the Iran anti-nuclear accord, to provoke a conflict.