We are not at the point of the 3:00 A.M. phone call in the residence of the White House which is often a talking point in presidential campaigns. But we are probably well past two in the morning. And that is most concerning, given what now sits in the Oval Office.
The explosions yesterday which has ratcheted up tension in the Middle East is particularly troubling given the fact Donald Trump has sought to confront and contain Iran since he took office. He has made deals with the Saudi Kingdom which underscores the larger game plan in the region. The international community is breathing tightly to see how the most unhinged and erratic holder of the White House will respond to this latest episode. There was a determination yesterday to assign blame for the explosions on Iran amid skepticism about what really happened. That mindset continues today.
But that is not the whole story, obviously. While Trump wants to sell his version of events, it is necessary to know what actually happened.
The Japanese owner of a tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman states that it was struck by a flying projectile, thereby contradicting reports by U.S. officials and the military on the source of the blast. U.S. Central Command said the two vessels were hit Thursday by a limpet mine, which is attached to boats below the waterline using magnets. Central Command released video it claimed showed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps patrol boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers, the Kokuka Courageous.
But the owner of the Courageous said sailors saw something flying toward the vessel just before the explosion and that the impact was well above the waterline. “We are absolutely sure that this wasn’t a torpedo,” he said. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship.”
This is all most serious. And history is proof as to why there needs to be strict attention to facts. The international community is most mindful of Washington’s exaggerations and outright misrepresentations of intelligence leading up to the Iraq war. All have seen the fast and loose nature of how the Trump Administration abuses the truth and is disdainful of facts.
That last point is something I have long stressed on this blog. The absence of truth on a daily basis from this White House is dangerous when events occur where the integrity and confidence in their leader matters. No citizen can claim they have trust in what Trump says. And the clock is ticking towards that morning phone call.
Hard evidence which can be shared with constituencies worldwide is the only way to proceed. Nothing short of that will be tolerated by voters as a whole. Not after the invasion of Iraq which was predicated on lies.
War fever warms parts of the Trump base, and there can be a political rationale as to why bombastic moves by Trump on the military front will find much appeal with that segment of the electorate. I readily admit that as a reason the Trump reelection campaign would salivate over such a policy move.
But such a drastic and costly move must not be made on anything other than absolute facts. This time we must not allow for a war based on gut feelings or a messianic complex.