According to New York Magazine, the Trump administration is preparing to respond to attacks that officials predict Iran will launch American forces in the Middle East. And while some are skeptical over the likelihood that such attacks will even occur in the first place, others such as Commentary’s Noah Rothman have aggressively defended preemptive mobilization of American forces.
“Those who accuse the Trump administration of engineering a military confrontation with Iran are asking you to ignore your own eyes and ears in service to their conspiracy theory,” he said.
He took the vague speculation of an attack from Tehran as a fact so undeniable that only those that oppose Trump could twist it to fit their anti-Trump agenda. But in reality, Iran’s threat is anything but absolutely certain—British major general Christopher Ghika, the leading British officer in the fight against ISIS, told reporters, “No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.”
Nonetheless, Rothman argued that the White House is already justified to launch a strike against Iran because Tehran likely was responsible for attacking two Saudi oil tankers, “taking them out of commission and causing global oil prices to spike by 2 percent. The threat to international commerce and global maritime navigation posed by this attack is more than enough to justify a retaliatory response.”
And, on Twitter, Rothman continued to declare that the attack on the Saudi tankers alone was enough to justify military action. “Yesterday, according to US assessment, Iran or its proxies bombed four ships--two Saudi, one UAE, and one Norwegian flagged--some of which were oil tankers, hiking oil prices up by 2% and threatening maritime navigation,” he said.” Casus belli [an act justifying war] by any definition.”
While the entity responsible for the attacks is still uncertain, what’s even more intriguing is the fact that Rothman’s justification for war is over a 2 percent “spike” in oil prices. In other words, he wants the U.S. to embark on a violent military campaign because it will cost roughly 30 cents more to fill a tank of gas. And not only did he say that this is enough to justify a military attack, he argued it’s “more than enough.”