Update (1130ET): Everybody who was squawking about "World War III" four months ago is apparently too preoccupied with defending the dignity, wisdom and good name of Bill Gates to realize that the clouds of war are once again forming along the horizon, so to speak.
The Vice Chairman of the JCOS just told the press that a recent satellite launch out of Iran might as well have been a missile test in disguise. It demonstrated capabilities showing that Iran's capacity to threaten American allies (aka Israel and Saudi Arabia) in the region.
He denounced the launch as "another example of Iranian malign behavior."
NEW: @POTUS and #Iran— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) April 22, 2020
"The president issued an important warning to the #Iran|ians" per @DeptofDefense Deputy Sec David Norquist
"The president's message was crystal clear" per @thejointstaff Vice Chair Gen John Hyten "I think the Iranians understand that"
Would drive-bys by #Iran|ian gunboats - as the US saw recently - merit a lethal response?— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) April 22, 2020
"I would have to be the captain of the [US] ship to make that determination" per Gen Hyten
"We watch every rocket&missile that comes off the face of the earth" per @thejointstaff's Gen Hyten on #Iran satellite launch "It went a very long way...which means it has the ability once again to threaten its neighbors, our allies"— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) April 22, 2020
"Another example of Iranian malign behavior"
That actually sounds...kind of concerning.
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Update (0900ET): Nothing like the hint of war with Iran to rescue oil prices...
Trump using twitter to punch oil shorts in the nose and trigger a massive covering...there are few oil analysts more dangerous than the president.
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Ever the showman, and a practiced master of distraction, President Trump has just lobbed another smokebomb at the MSM by tweeting that he has ordered Navy ships to fire on Iranian gunboats if they "harass" US ships.
I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2020
The Iranian military has on occasion harassed US servicemen station in the area, and back in 2016, there was a brief but intense international when Iran detains US sailors and 2 ships, one of which had reportedly broken down. Both ships had accidentally floated into Iranian waters, according to the Iranians.
So far, Trump's tweet doesn't appear to be getting too much attention. The Iranian regime is struggling with a brutal coronavirus outbreak that has forced the regime to start reopening its economy for fear of an all-out collapse. The US's push to enforce sanctions and add further strain has appalled some European allies, who have moved to try and shore up the regime via a facility that bypasses the dollar-based financial system to transact directly with the Iranians.
For everybody wondering 'why now?', Trump's command follows the release of footage showing Iranian ships harassing Navy warships.
Matt A US military statement condemned what it called "dangerous and harassing" approaches of six American vessels in international waters by nearly a dozen Iranian fast boats.
Watch the video of that incident below: