Two Navy vessels experienced mechanical difficulties yesterday and drifted into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. The crews of the two vessels were briefly detained by the Iranian military before being released, along with both ships. Iran determined the act was not intentional, the United States apologized for accidental incursion, and what looked like a possible escalation between the two countries ended peacefully.
This obviously came as a huge disappointment to Republican politicians here in the U.S. who saw this as political ammunition. The GOP has long advocated for severe sanctions on Tehran, and many members of the party will settle for nothing other than outright conflict with Iran. Part of this is likely due to ties to the defense industry which would profit from another war, as well as the fact that Iran and Saudi Arabia are regional rivals.
Then there are the people like Texas congressman Louie Gohmert who think the solution to everything is bombing, especially when it comes to Iran.
Via Right Wing Watch:
Rep. Louie Gohmert appeared on Dana Loesch’s television and delivered a predictably Gohmertian response to the situation by declaring that the United States should put our armed forces on high alert and inform Iran that we will begin destroying its naval fleet if the sailors are not immediately released.
“When our Navy ships have problems, we don’t call Iran,” Gohmert blustered, “we call the rest of the Navy, we can call the Air Force, the Army, the Marines, the Coast Guard. We don’t call Iran!”
“For the Iranians to even issue a statement at all saying, ‘We are going to release them soon,’ tells you that they control whether or not they can leave,” he continued. “That situation should not be allowed to happen … We should demand that Iran let these people go, our Navy men or women, whatever they are, let them go or we’re going to start taking your ships out one at a time.” (Source)
This is a typical response from Louie Gohmert, along with other far-right Republicans who believe that a massive conflict in the Middle East is necessary in order to facilitate the return of Jesus Christ. It isn’t a huge secret that the fringe religious elements are heavily invested in End Times Prophecy, and political figures like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee regularly court this segment of the GOP base.
Simply Google the phrase “End Times Prophecy” and you’ll discover a treasure trove of websites, videos and blogs designed to appeal to the religious right (click any of them at your own risk). Some of these sites are right-wing media sources that make a living catering to these ideas, and others are “true believers” who write blog after blog ranting about President Obama being the anti-Christ or RFID chips being the Mark of the Beast.
It would be nice to simply consider these people to be harmless, but they vote and also donate money to causes like Christians United for Israel which they believe will facilitate the Second Coming. Louie Gohmert will never pass up a chance to go to war with Iran, and while it is tempting to write him off as a lunatic, let’s not forget that Ted Cruz would almost certainly propose the same conflict if he were to be elected president.
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