In a new interview with Firing Line’s Margaret Hoover, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas expressed naive confidence about the prospect of war with Iran — a prospect that President Donald Trump’s top advisers seem intent on driving the country toward.
“Could we win a war with Iran?” asked Hoover.
“Yes,” said Cotton.
“That didn’t take you a second,” she said.
“Two strikes: the first strike and a last strike,” Cotton said.
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, on the other hand, had a much more realistic idea of what’s at stake in a possible war on Twitter: “Trump thinks our troops are toy soldiers he can just move around—but these are real men and women whose lives are at stake. Many are in my state. I’ve got a kid in the military. And I will do anything I can to stop this President from getting us into a war we should not be in.”
He similarly compared the rush to war with the George W. Bush administration’s disastrous bumbling into Iraq. And that’s much closer to how Americans should think about the prospect of an Iran war — a duplication of the Iraq war. That didn’t end when the U.S. took out Saddam Hussein, because it threw the country into turmoil. We were responsible for that chaos, and American leaders felt we would be at risk if they allowed the disaster to worsen. So we stayed, and American soldiers are still in Iraq 16 years later. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands — if not more — were killed as a result of the conflict.
That’s what Americans should expect if Trump brings us to war with Iran. And to be fair to Cotton, the interview suggests he’s not hoping for that outcome. He didn’t outright call for regime change, though he called on the regime to change its actions.
“War is never inevitable,” Cotton said. “War is always the product of human choices.”
It’s a good point, but one of those choices is underestimating the cost and the difficulty of war — and having a poorly defined sense of what “winning” would mean at all. And on that front, Cotton’s reckless assertion that a war could be won with “two strikes” only increases the likelihood of a conflict.
Watch the clip below:
Senator @TomCottonAR tells Firing Line if it comes to war with Iran, he is confident the United States would win, and would win swiftly. “Two strikes, the first strike and the last strike,” says the Senator. pic.twitter.com/twTdrFTwHu
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) May 14, 2019
Doctor fighting fraud charge cites Donald Trump in his defense of doling out COVID-19 drug
As President Donald Trump promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine, one California doctor took his recommendations to the bank.
According to the San Diego Tribune, Dr. Jennings Staley is being charged in what appears to be the first case involving the drug. The FBI is charing Staley with mail fraud as part of an effort hailing hydroxychloroquine as a "miracle cure" and the "magic bullet" to an undercover agent posing as a patient, court documents say.
The few police willing to join in solidarity with protesters
Reports of the protests across the country are focusing on the violence, clashes and property damage caused by a small few rather than the peaceful protest of those rallying against injustice and the police standing in solidarity with them.
A few captured positive moments of cities where officers support the protests and believe Black lives do actually matter.
There were moments of protesters fist-bumping police, hugs with police, and in one incident in New York City over the weekend, one officer was separated from his unit. Protesters surrounded him with locked arms to protect him from those being violent. In Miami, Florida and Seattle, Washington, police joined protesters in kneeling.
Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist
In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.
As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."