Trump is Moving Us Closer to War with Iran
His words and actions have created greater risk that we could wind up in direct military conflict with our four-decade rival.
Throughout his tenure, President Trump has directed rhetorical barbs at Iran’s regime, including in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, during which he said: “My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, the radical regime in Iran. . . . To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.”
That’s mild compared to last year’s tweet putting Iran’s president on notice:
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Taken on their own, his words aren’t a total departure from those of other politicians: In his 2002 State of the Union speech, President George W. Bush marked Iran as part of an “axis of evil.” In 2007, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) quipped, “Bomb Iran? Bomb, bomb, bomb. . .” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”