A story published in Axios has revealed the full extent of president Trump's idiocy when it comes to America's foreign policy. Due to an obsession with blowing up Iranian boats, Trump quite literally almost started World War III, and was only prevented from doing so by then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Here's the crux of the story:
Acting on an obsession that went back to the campaign, Trump repeatedly asked his national security team for plans to blow up Iranian "fast boats" in the Persian Gulf during the first year of his presidency, according to two sources who directly heard Trump's requests and three other former senior officials briefed on them.
Trump appeared incredulous that the U.S. military hadn't sunk these small Iranian attack boats, and he viewed it as a humiliation and sign of weakness.
"So these boats, they get in, they come in really fast, they come in really close ... and they might have explosives on them and we don't even know," Trump said, repeatedly, in the recollection of a source who heard the president directly in the Oval Office.
"Can you believe this? And we don't do anything?"
As Axios points out, there was a minor problem with Trump's analysis of the situation. The "fast boats" were actually "harassing U.S. navy vessels less than in previous years," meaning any dramatic response from Trump would have pulled America into a catastrophic confrontation with Iran and potentially embroiled the entire region in a deadly conflict.
A matter of perspective
Furthermore, the notion that the Iranian "fast boats" were the ones doing the harassing/provoking is also highly contentious given the U.S. navy vessels are operating in what Iran regards as their territory. But of course this nuance is lost on Trump who views the rest of the world as a vast resource for America to bully, exploit or steal from. The Iranian "attacks" were in fact part of standard war games played by nation states designed to keep enemies and allies alike in check. No one dies, but both sides understand that the other is willing to use lethal force should anyone decide to upend the status quo too dramatically. Given Trump's astonishing ignorance when it comes to history, international relations and American foreign policy, he did not understand this and wanted to use America's military to prove how tough he was.
Thankfully, the Iranians stopped the harassment early in Trump's presidency, and Trump's team did everything they could to distract and mislead him whenever he pressed the issue. Had they not, it is quite possible he would have been responsible for starting the last war in human history. If Trump had followed through with his threats, the series of events likely to have unfolded are, as experts in the region conclude, nothing short of apocalyptic. Oil blockades, escalation of tensions in Syria, attacks on Israel, Israel's attacks on others, terrorist attacks, an assault on Iran's nuclear capabilities, ground invasions -- the possibilities for death and destruction are endless.
No more checks and balances
The fact that both Mattis and McMaster are now gone should be of great, great concern to Americans and the rest of the world. Without experienced operators reigning in his worst instincts, an unrestrained Trump is possibly the most dangerous threat to global stability on the planet. While the military, intelligence agencies and other branches government have managed to prevent any major catastrophes thus far, it only takes one wrong move to plunge our deeply interconnected world into complete chaos. The Iran fast boat story is just one example of Trump's predilection for needless aggression and political turmoil. There are countless others, all of which are equally terrifying (for example, he just threatened to decimate Turkey's economy on Twitter).
If this isn't proof that a dramatic intervention is needed to end this ridiculous farce of a presidency, it isn't clear what is.