Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is not interested in waiting for clear answers to the confusing details and conflicting accounts of what happened to a few tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week.
According to cotton watch, it is time to attack Iran.
"Iran for 40 years has engaged in this kind of attack dating back to the 1980s, and in fact, Ronald Reagan would again flag many ships through the Persian Gulf and ultimately take military action against Iran in 1988, "said Cotton on Sunday at CBS Face the Nation. "These unconscious commercial freight attacks justify a recurring military strike."
The comments should not come as any surprise. Cotton's watch broke on "attacked Iran today" years ago, and he has never replaced it. The bellicose senator has long been eager to see American weapons bursting parts of the country, where his interventionist predecessors targeted a coup nearly seventy years ago. And he is far from alone by jumping on thought explosions as confirmation of a conclusion he had already come to long before they happened.
But the right authenticity that Cotton, State Secretary Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump have moved to claim that Iran is finally behind the tanker, should be the reason why others are pumping the brakes. And experts outside the administration have reservations about the crucial way in which this information is portrayed ̵
"There are at least three other countries that have the capacity and the motive to hit Iran or not to hit Iran at least to exacerbate further tensions with Iran and between Iran and the United States," said former CIA officer and Center for Security Studies, Paul Pillar, BBC on Saturday. "I refer specifically to Iran's cross-border golf rivals, Saudi Arabia and UAE, and certainly Israel. All these governments have an incentive to keep Iran excluded, punished, abominable, and to prevent anything that might look like a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran. "
In the same interview, pillar agreed that Iran is the most likely culprit for tank damage, but said evidence so far" does not … add up to a decisive case. "
Night vision footage released by the United States shows A vessel conforming to some of those used by the Iranian revolutionary guard, it seems to show people aboard the small ship that removes a kind of object from the hull to Kokuka Courageous . allegations that the ship and crew were Iranian military, and that the object was a limpetmine requires at least modest leap forward for what the public intelligence has proven.
the head of the company that operates Kokuka Courageous said his ship was not damaged by a static explosive device such as a limpet mine, but rather a missile or torpedo.
Pompeo himself has been a little more careful about leveling prosecutors in Iran as the National Iranian American Council founder and foreign policy commentator Trita Parsi listed in a column for NBC News. Pompeo attributes the view that Iran definitely attacked Kokuka this week for a "state rating" instead of the intelligence community specifically, Parsi observed. And the State Secretary's continued claim that tank injury incidents earlier in the spring were consistent with Iranian military activity is at best questionable. With some security experts arguing for these explosions, was inconsistent with the kind of attacks they have seen on such vessels in their careers.
Iran and US officials have also made contradictory claims that rescued the forty-five sailors aboard the two tankers that were damaged this week. On the contrary, the details and lingering questions suggest that it is unwise to give final opinions on what was done, by whom and at what end.
Cotton has never subscribed to such cautious consideration when it comes to attacking Iran. His comments on Sunday were consistent with the long-standing fascination of high-hawk hawks – most prominent John Bolton, who now has an important white-house post and has shown willingness to massage and manipulate intelligence reports in the service of war-handlers in the past – has held open military renewal conflict with Iran.
"We can make a military response to a time and manner in which we choose it," said cotton, "but yes, unconscious commercial freight assurances guarantee a retaliatory military strike against the Islamic Republic of Iran."  The war drums must do better than this to get in the way of the international community that will inevitably be drawn into such a conflict. As a pillar noted for the BBC, this particular president faces a significantly higher bar to legitimize the use of US military force.
"Let us be honest, the Trump administration has a genuine credibility problem, especially with regard to the president himself, who is to say it all, a serial liar," Pillar said. "I think it would be very difficult for it US government with its own production of videos or statements to produce something that would suffice to persuade the rest of the world to what happened. "