Prelude to War?

Is this Iran’s “Gulf of Tonkin Incident?”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday (June 13, 2019) that Iran is behind the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz. Pompeo said:

“It is the assessment by the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today.”

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

No specific evidence was shown to back up these extraordinary claims.


National Security Adviser John Bolton said the ‘attacks’ on four tankers last month were also perpetrated by Iran.

“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo said during the briefing. “No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.”

The “maximum pressure campaign” Pompeo referenced are the sanctions the U.S. reimposed after President Trump reneged on the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) one year ago. These sanctions are hurting Iran’s economy, as well as the people.

Could this incident be the casus belli that war hawks like Pompeo and Bolton have been waiting for? What evidence does Pompeo have that Iran was behind this? Why would Iran even do something this dumb?

I’m not normally a conspiratorial person, but I’m having flashbacks to the 2002-2003 run-up to the Iraq War when the media and intelligence agencies told blatant lies to get the U.S. into that disaster.

War with Iran would be a titanic mistake for the U.S. and would devastate the Iranian population. It would kill thousands, potentially millions of innocent people, further destabilize the region, cost U.S. taxpayers trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of soldiers, and further erode what little diplomatic credibility the U.S. has left. Even if Iran is behind these attacks, a diplomatic solution to these tensions (which are solely the fault of the Trump administration (reneging on JCPOA, moving U.S.-Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, designating IRGC a terrorist organization, etc.)) could still be reached. It’s not too late to avoid war.