The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the damaging of 4 oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Earlier this year, President Trump threatened to block Iranian exports of oil. Iran shot back with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Navy Force, stated, “If we are prevented from using it, we will close it.” The attack on the oil tankers is the most recent development in a situation that is constantly escalating. The American government’s official stance is that the oil tankers were intentionally attacked due to mines placed in the gulf. The Japanese owner of one of the liners stated that it was not a mine but rather a flying object that struck the ship.
This incident is eerily familiar to several events throughout U.S. history, namely the Thornton Affair, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the explosion of the USS Maine. While these events seem unconnected at face value, these three episodes of history plunged the US into bloody wars that would cost thousands of lives only to expand the American empire.