President Donald Trump hit back at critics who have denounced America’s increasingly hostile relationship with Iran.
Trump bemoaned the coverage his administration’s increasing tension with the Middle Eastern nation has received in the domestic press, saying that “fake news” coverage was “hurting” the United States.
“The Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran. It is scattershot, poorly sourced (made up), and DANGEROUS. At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing,” he wrote on Twitter.
Many media outlets have been critical of Trump, arguing that his administration has been “manufacturing” a potential war with Iran. According to The BBC, the Trump administration has blamed Iran for reported attacks on Saudi and UAE oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz over the weekend. Citing threats from Iran, the U.S. has deployed warships and planes to the Gulf — and has withdrawn diplomatic staff from Iraq — giving rise to fears that the U.S. is ready to take military action, and turn simmering hostility into a full-fledged conflict.
However, some pundits are not impressed, likening the accusations made by the United States against Iran to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. This comparison refers to the “fabricated” incident pushed by President Lyndon Johnson as the main reason for military aggression against Vietnam back in 1964, according to Common Dreams.
Journalist Gareth Porter of The Wall Street Journal has been vocal about the move, saying that the United States has not provided concrete proof for judging Iran to be a threat.
“We are in grave danger of being sleepwalked into military confrontation with Iran over an incident that is blamed wrongly on Iran.”
Similarly, The New Yorker also came down heavily on Trump, stating that the “war hawks” within his administration — namely National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — were pushing for a war on flimsy reasoning.
“[The United States] has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats,” read an article by Robin Wright.
“Today, the question in Washington — and surely in Tehran, too — is whether President Trump is making moves that will provoke, instigate, or inadvertently drag the United States into a war with Iran.”
NEW: Trump administration hawks have spent the last two weeks screaming about an increased threat from Iran. But U.S. intelligence officials assess that Iran’s aggressive moves came in response to the administration’s own actions. https://t.co/APOPtTttPO
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) May 17, 2019
Despite limited evidence of Iranian aggression being provided by America’s intelligence services, the Trump administration currently maintains a belligerent stance towards the Middle Eastern nation. Owing to the country’s checkered history in the region, experts are worried that Trump’s willingness to create an enemy in Iran is a pretext to boost his re-election campaign.
The president, however, has maintained that he doesn’t intend to start a war with Iran.
It’s obvious that Bolton and Pompeo are trying to create a Gulf of Tonkin incident with Iran. When that happens, will media fall in line and amplify whatever false victimhood story this administration pushes to drag us into war?
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 14, 2019