Following the death of three service members in Syria last weekend, for which the U.S. government alleges Iran was responsible, one of Texas’ U.S. Senators has proposed a novel solution.
Cornyn’s evidence-free assertion, in which he calls for “target[ing]” the Iranian capital, comes at a time when the U.S. government has been propping up the Ukrainian government’s war efforts for nearly two years and at a time when the national debt has topped $34 trillion. This translates to over $100,000 per citizen.
An examination of history illustrates why sensationalistic claims about alleged foreign adversaries made by Texans in the nation’s capital merit skepticism.
In 1964, Texan Lyndon B. Johnson claimed that North Vietnamese torpedo boats had attacked the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson’s declaration was marshaled to pass the so-called “Gulf of Tonkin resolution” authorizing the Vietnam war, in which over 50,000 Americans were killed. Declassified documents subsequently revealed that the Johnson administration’s attestations were a bald-faced lie.
In 2003, Texan George W. Bush claimed that the Iraqi government possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, which they were planning to use against American targets. As everyone over the age of 25 remembers, Bush’s pronouncement turned out to be, at best, a massive exaggeration. Thousands of American service members perished during the Iraqi endeavor.
Neither is this the first time Texans in the nation’s capital have made dubious claims about the Iranian government.
In 1980, following a populist uprising against a CIA-installed puppet government, Texan George H.W. Bush, who was running for vice president at the time, brokered a deal with the Iranian government whereby the latter would continue holding American hostages past 1980 in exchange for weapons sales from the new administration. This so-called “October surprise” is widely credited with swinging that year’s presidential election to the GOP.
George H.W. Bush subsequently went on to become the primary driver of the Iran-Contra scandal, whereby proceeds from weapons sales to the Iranian government were laundered into support of Latin American death squads.
While the deaths of American service members are obviously tragic, the credibility of Texans in D.C. over this subject was squandered a long, long time ago.
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