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Is War With Iran Coming? Two Tankers Attacked In Gulf Of Oman

Mike Pompeo Iran
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid the blame on Iran for what he called a "blatant assault" on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman early Thursday morning.

In a news conference Thursday afternoon, Pompeo said: “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

Secretary Pompeo’s comments came shortly after a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News the U.S. Navy saw an unexploded mine attached to the hull of the Panama-listed, Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous ship, one of the two ships attacked. It's the same type of mine used to damage four oil tankers last month in the same area - an attack senior Pentagon officials also blamed on Iran.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan also weighed in via Twitter, Tweeting “Iran’s continued unprovoked attacks in the region are a threat to international security and peace and an assault against freedom of navigation on the open seas.” According to reporting by Lukas Mikelionis of Fox News, Shanahan also stated that the U.S. was not looking for armed conflict but "will defend our forces and our interests around the world."

Mr. Mikelionis reminds us that U.S. officials have repeatedly warned that the Iranian regime is posing a credible threat in the Middle East, prompting the Trump administration to beef up security in the region in the form of additional bombers and troops.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the head of American forces in the Middle East, warned during a recent trip to the region of an unspecified “imminent” threat from Iran.

Jakob P. Larsen, head of maritime security for the international shipping association BIMCO, told the Associated Press that the incident brings the region closer to an armed conflict.

“The shipping industry views this as an escalation of the situation, and we are just about as close to a conflict without there being an actual armed conflict, so the tensions are very high,” he said according to Mr. Mikelionis of Fox News.

However, even if the shipping industry believes we are close to being in an armed conflict with Iran the path to war is anything but clear for those who believe now is the time to strike the Islamic Republic.

During Wednesday’s marathon mark-up of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act an interesting back and forth took place between Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-1), Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) and former House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (TX-13).

Seemingly lost in the debate over Rep. Thornberry’s motion to increase the defense authorization from $733 billion to $750 billion, and the perennial issue of how to handle sexual assaults in the services, was Rep. Khanna’s proposal of an amendment to this year’s NDAA saying President Trump must come to Congress before going to war with Iran.

Democratic Rep. Anthony Brown (MD-4) jumped to say the rhetoric coming from Trump administration officials suggests they think they have authority to go to war with Iran. The Khanna amendment clarifies that the Administration does not have that authority, he said.

In the course of what Bloomberg’s senior reporter Travis Tritten called “a healthy forty minute debate” Mac Thornberry said the 2001 post-9/11 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that is used to authorize all our current military action (in the Middle and Near East) does not authorize war with the state of Iran.

After withdrawing his amendment, Rep. Khanna took a victory lap of sorts on Twitter, tweeting, “This was the biggest admission of the night thanks to @mattgaetz and my back and forth. Mac Thornberry and other top Republicans admitted that the 2001 AUMF doesn’t authorize war in Iran, and Trump can’t go to war in Iran before coming to Congress.”

The Khanna amendment suggests that Democrats have already made up their minds to cast President Trump as a warmonger and to politicize whatever decision he makes to respond to Iranian action in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.

However, Rep. Thornberry, one of the smartest and most sober minded national defense thinkers among the House Republicans is right, the 2001 AUMF doesn’t authorize war with the state of Iran, and Trump shouldn’t go to war with Iran without coming to Congress – a constitutional constraint, we should add for the record, that in no way prohibits us from defending our people or our interests should they be attacked.

It remains to be seen if President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan have decided this is the time and place to settle things with Iran and that war with the Islamic Republic is imminent, but what clearly is imminent, even as tankers blaze in the Gulf, is a Democrat attack on the President and his constitutional authority as Commander-in-Chief.

George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for former Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for Rep. Mac Thornberry former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

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Congress (the people's representatives) declare war

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. The President, meanwhile, derives the power to direct the military after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section 2, which names the President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Our Founding Fathers provided that the legislative branch (with representatives closest to the people) has the sole responsibility for declaring war. This is an intentional departure from the Old Order our revolution intended to separate us from.

Pres. Trump (with or without war hawks Pompeo and Bolton) does not have constitutional power or cause to declare war on Iran. Hopefully, the Prez will remember how he won the South Carolina primary.

Is war with Iran coming?

What if one of our allies declares war on Iran? Like Japan. Aren't we bound by treaty to go to war.

Keep poking the Bull ( US Navy) you will soon get the horns

The Iranians still think they are dealing with the fraud and usurper barack hussein obama ! They have rude awakening coming ! President Donald J. Trump does not draw a line in the sand and then not back it up . I expect a number of Iranian ships to be sunk if they keep attacking oil tankers in the Gulf .

Is war coming?

Hopefully, it is past time to destroy those bunch of democrats!