Donald Trump wants war.
In fact, he wants it so badly, he actually requested the Pentagon provide military options for sinking Iranian ships.
Fortunately, “cooler heads prevailed,” as the saying goes.
According to the Washington Post on Wednesday, defense officials had since last spring been discussing how to address Iranian aggression. Things finally came to a head in May when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had been for weeks resisting White House requests for military options.
Trump said he wanted the Pentagon to deliver plans including strikes against Iranian ballistic missile factories or Iranian speedboats frequently taunting U.S. Navy ships.
Trump would sometimes ask:
“Why can’t we sink them?”
National Security adviser H.R. McMaster deferred the president’s request to Mattis during a conference call, but Mattis refused the request. McMaster then reportedly took Mattis off speaker phone and cleared staff from the room.
Marine Gen. James Cartwright, who served as the Obama administration’s vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said of Mattis:
“I’m trying to think of a guy who could do the job better than Mattis. There might be . . . but I can’t think of one.”
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, reported a conversation he had with Mattis about the new defense secretary’s vital role in preventing Trump’s top advisers or aides from doing anything regrettable.
“I called him and said, ‘Trump has no idea what he’s doing but isn’t afraid to do it. You’re across the river, and they’re across the hall.’ Your job is to make sure these morons don’t get up in the morning and advance some lamebrained idea.”
Of Mattis, former defense secretary Leon Panetta said:
“His biggest challenge is trying to make sure that this president [Trump] doesn’t make a careless decision that could really jeopardize our national security, and to that extent, he’s constrained in terms of what he’s able to do.”
It’s ironic we are relying on someone nicknamed “Mad Dog” to prevent the president from starting World War 3.
Might the real “mad dog” be at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
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