“Iran made a very big mistake!” That’s what Donald Trump tweeted this morning after Iran shot down a drone that the Trump regime appeared to have been using to try to provoke Iran. This comes just days after the Trump regime falsely accused Iran of attacking an oil tanker, and it’s led plenty of observers to conclude that war with Iran is inevitable. But there’s an aspect to this that everyone is overlooking.
Yes, it’s entirely possible Donald Trump is indeed gearing up to invade (or bomb) Iran in some desperate, likely-to-backfire, last ditch effort at saving his dying presidency. Trump just might be desperate enough to do something that stupid, and we know that some of his top advisers are warmongers who are begging him to do something that stupid. But in the hours after Trump’s tweet, he told reporters that he had a feeling the drone incident was a “mistake” on Iran’s part, suggesting Trump doesn’t want a war at all. In fact his track record says as much.
Remember back when Donald Trump had so many Americans convinced that he was about to take us into a disastrous war in Venezuela? Remember before that, when Trump was threatening to nuke North Korea, and plenty of Americans bought into it? One of the more consistent things about Trump is that when he publicly threatens to do any horrible thing, he doesn’t end up doing it 98% of the time. Maybe he’s bluffing, or maybe he really does think he means it, before backing down. But either way, this is a guy who almost never does what he threatens to do.
In fact, Donald Trump’s track record says that when he plans to do something horrible, he almost never talks about it. For instance, when he began kidnapping immigrant children and putting them in cages, he kept it a secret as long as possible. In fact, Trump likes to use phony threats, such as war with Iran, to distract everyone from the awful things he’s actually doing.
The trouble here is that because the specter of Iran is indeed so horrible, we have to take Donald Trump’s threat seriously, and we have to push back against the possibility that he might actually go through with it. But we should also keep in mind that Trump almost never goes through with these things – and that Iran is likely a distraction from some other nightmare thing he’s doing to us behind the scenes.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report