Gulf of Tonkin is it?

Is Trump hoping to start a war with Iran?

Are they working on the pretext even now? There’s a hole in a Norwegian oil tanker anchored off the UAE.

The damage appeared relatively minor, and no one has been officially blamed.

And yet, there are growing fears that this mysterious, obscure incident could become a catalyst — accidental or otherwise — that inflames the already knife-edge tensions between the United States and Iran.

Or, rather, between Trump and those scary Mooooslim guys over there in the hot place.

Since his election in 2016, President Donald Trump and his team have consistently taken a more hawkish stance toward [Iran] than the Obama administration.

The president withdrew from a landmark deal designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program last year. Trump complained that, although Iran was complying, the agreement was too soft.

Then the U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf last week to counter alleged threats from Tehran.

And then settled down to wait. It didn’t take long.

What worries some experts in Europe is the bellicose rhetoric being exchanged between the U.S. and Iran.

Never mind who was behind Sunday’s attack, it is the mere uncertainty surrounding it, combined with the warlike words exchanged by both sides, that escalates the risk for some misunderstanding leading to war, so this theory goes.

“Regardless of whether these ships got hit by Iranians or not, the Americans and the Iranians have gotten themselves into this cycle where neither seems to be able to back down from making belligerent statements,” according to Michael Stephens, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank.

The tough talk employed by Trump, Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton carries significant and perhaps unintended and unforeseen risks, Stephens said.

Or perhaps intended and foreseen and hotly desired.

As the New Yorker magazine pointed out Monday, the U.S. does have “a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats.”

Perhaps the most famous of these were the disputed Gulf of Tonkin attacks in 1964 that led to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Disputed? I think the correct word there is “wholly discredited.”

War with Iran would not be a good thing.

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