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“There was a short-lived war scare following Iran’s Sept. 14 attack on Abqaiq, an important Saudi oil-production facility, and a nearby oil field. The scare faded as pundits concluded that underneath the chest-thumping, Donald Trump was more chicken than hawk—that for all his “cocked and loaded” bluster, he is ultimately willing to let Iran get away with mayhem in the Gulf and possibly even willing to cut a new deal with Tehran on its terms.
That’s a misreading of President Trump and his political base. Jacksonian America is certainly tired of “endless wars.” The president understands and shares that concern. America’s steady move toward energy independence also reduces public concern about the Middle East. But Jacksonian America is neither patient nor pacifist, and there are provocations that would transform Jacksonian opinion overnight. The widespread if erroneous belief that the USS Maine had been sunk by a Spanish mine in 1898 forced a reluctant President William McKinley into the Spanish-American War.
Iran’s recent provocations have not yet crossed the classic Jacksonian red lines. Iran has not attacked American troops, launched terror strikes against the American homeland, fired on American-flagged vessels, interfered with the oil trade enough to cause a price shock in the U.S., made such progress on its nuclear program that an Iranian bomb is imminent, or invaded the territory of a country the U.S. has promised to defend.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."
"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."
"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."
"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."
"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."
"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."
"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."
"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."