The White House Press corps wanted to know what being put “on notice” entailed, and Spicer responded by claiming that Iran’s government took actions against a U.S. naval vessel, which would be an act of war. “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our navy vessel [bold mine-DL] are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take,” he said.
Spicer has managed to combine Flynn’s nonsensical statement blaming Iran for the attack with the garbage analysis I mentioned earlier in the week that the attack had been intended for a U.S. ship, and he has produced something even more divorced from reality. No U.S. ship was attacked or targeted by anyone, Iran wasn’t responsible for the attack that did happen, and yet according to the Trump White House Iran took “hostile actions” against one of our ships. This is as blatant a lie as any that Spicer has told over the last two weeks, and it is on a matter of the greatest importance. The Trump administration is conjuring up “hostile actions” against a U.S. vessel out of thin air, and they appear to be doing so for no other reason than to stoke tensions and make conflict with Iran more likely.
It would be easy to dismiss these statements from Flynn and Spicer as ignorant babbling were it not for the fact that they are coming from the top levels of our government. The administration is lying about Iranian “hostile actions,” and it seems to be trying to cook up an excuse for increasing tensions with and possibly military action against Iran. Hawks have repeated Saudi propaganda about Yemen uncritically for years, and their pervasive exaggeration of Iran’s involvement in Yemen has helped pave the way for the administration’s lies about Iranian “hostile actions” that never happened. The longer that the U.S. keeps backing the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the worse this is likely to get.
Although, I generally approve of Trump’s efforts in building a stronger America economically with his emphasis on jobs and fair trade, I worry about his judgement when it comes to foreign policy. It seems obvious that the Administration’s claim that Iran showed hostile actions to a U.S. vessel were inconsistent with many other reports that describe the attackers as a Houthi attack on a Saudi vessel. Even that questionable claim has been upgraded by the White House Press Secretary into an even more provocative false claim that the provocateurs were Iranian and the targeted vessel, a U.S. ship.
We known that Trump is looking for any justification to back out of the nuclear deal Obama made with Iran and he is angry at the ballistic missile test the Iranians conducted in violation of the U.S. Iranian nuclear deal, but care needs to be taken to insure we are not viewed as another foreign policy bumbler like Obama with his reliance on poor advise and intelligence.
If there is information not being shared with the American people on this matter that justifies the over reaction of the U.S. toward Iran, we should be aware of it. Or perhaps the truth is somewhere in between.