On Friday in Pensacola, Florida Donald Trump said he would attack Iran and create an international incident.
“With Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water,” Trump said.
The remark is in response to an incident last month when Iranian patrol boats approached US vessels in the Persian Gulf.
Trump’s comment is a contradiction of his earlier “unabashedly noninterventionist approach to world affairs,” as The Washington Post described it.
Trump does not address why “our beautiful destroyers” are in the Persian Gulf in the first place. He does not say what his response would be if Iran parked its warships a few miles off the coast of the United States.
The US Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. The fleet consists of numerous task forces, including carrier, submarine, amphibious, and expeditionary strike forces. It is stationed less than 500 miles from Iran.
Now imagine the response if a comparable Iranian force was based in Bermuda, about six hundred mile off the coast of North Carolina. Forget that Iran does not have a naval force anywhere near as advanced or deadly as the United States.
Also imagine Iran had imposed economic sanctions on the US similar to sanctions imposed on Iran. In 2014 Bloomberg estimated Iran had suffered $130 million a day in lost sales as a result of sanctions imposed for nuclear weapons it did not have and was not developing.
Do you think President Trump would sink every Iranian ship within reach and bomb Tehran?
Trump’s remark in Florida is further evidence of his decision to embrace the neocon agenda. As his position shifts away from noninterventionism, neocons are increasingly flocking under his wing.
Earlier this week the grand daddy of the neocon movement, Norman Podhoretz, said he backs Trump.
“With his endorsement in an interview this week in the Times of Israel, the former editor of Commentary magazine parts ways with the many neoconservatives who say they cannot support the Republican nominee because of his foreign policy views,” Forward reported.
Trump has modified his foreign policy views over the last few weeks.
He is now nearly indistinguishable from other Republicans.