The US has had an expansionist agenda for 200 years. Every US war in the past has begun with a story of someone's aggression against us. Every war is presented as "defense", even as the pretenses have become more ludicrous and transparent over the years.
So now we are the world's lone superpower with hundreds of military bases around the world, spending more on defense than our next 10 nearest competitors. (And that doesn't count the black budget, which might be 5 to 10 times larger than the Pentagon budget that is passed by Congress. link to Forbes; link to TheNation; video of Mich State Prof Mark Skidmore). We have been threatening Iran verbally and diplomatically for at least 20 years. We have a history of having overthrown (1953) the only democratically elected government in Iran's history because they were unfriendly to US and British oil interests. Trump unilaterally abrogates a treaty to which our country is bound by international law. We fly our fighter jets and spy drones over Iran, and then when they shoot down the unmanned drone as a warning to the manned fighter, Iran is the "aggressor." The Administration, D's and R's alike and our mainstream press on the left and the right are all "shocked, shocked" by Iran's audacity!
In last night's Democratic candidates' forum, Tulsi Gabbard, the only candidate to actively oppose the American militarist/imperialist project, was taunted about Iranian "aggression", "Where would you draw the red line?" Her response was wise and measured, focusing on ways that belligerence makes us much less safe. In her allotted 30 seconds, she didn't try to tell the whole, sordid history of American tactics to taunt other countries into war when we wanted a new conquest.
The Mexican-American war was started when Pres. Polk sent troops to Texas, then used the Thornton Affair as an excuse to attack Mexico.- Advertisement -
The Spanish-American war was started when our government falsely accused Spain of sinking the Battleship Maine
The US justified entry into WW I by taunting the Germans with the Lusitania, a munitions cargo for England disguised as a cruise ship.
FDR goaded the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor (David Swanson explains) after promising America that he was committed to keeping our country out of WW II.- Advertisement -
LBJ fabricated the Gulf of Tonkins incident as an excuse for war against Vietnam. (recounted by FAIR)
The first Bush Administration in 1992 sent diplomatic signals to Iraq that we wouldn't mind if they annexed Kuwait, then used their incursion into Kuwait as an excuse for a brutal attack. (Full text of exchange released by Wikileaks in 2011: WSWS article)
The whole world has our number. "Adversaries" Iran and Russia and China, our allies in Europe, all know exactly what the US is up to. Only in America have so many people been convinced by our corporate-controlled media that America's power is a force for good in the world.
initiation is really tough"
Patrick Clawson speaking to the Washington Inst for Near East Policy
"Throughout its history, America
has attacked countries that did not threaten it. To carry out such
wars, American leaders have contrived pretexts to justify American
aggression. That's what Donald Trump's administration-and
especially its national security adviser, John Bolton-is doing now
Peter Beinart in The Atlantic: Bolton is Goading Iran into War