Fox News host Sean Hannity began his weekday FNC program Thursday by warning that President Donald Trump “will bomb the hell out of” Iran unless it gets its act together.
“In coming days, we will know if the mullahs [in Iran] are smart enough to take the opportunity [for peace], which is a small window; it may not even exist within five minutes,” he said.
“Because if they don’t, the president will have no choice. He will bomb the hell out of them. No need for a long, protracted boots-on-the-ground kind of war. We have the greatest military, thank God, on the face of this Earth. We have the most advanced weapons systems, and a strong message needs to be sent that a huge price will be paid if you take on the United States of America. Simple peace through strength, and it works.”
He cautioned though that, one, the president “doesn’t want war,” and two, the president is patiently “giving the mullahs an opening to pick up the phone and come clean.”
Listen via FNC’s “Hannity“:
The stunning threat was made not too long after the media began reporting that the president had approved a military strike against Iran but allegedly backed down at the last minute. If you’re confused over his response to Iran’s aggression, you’re not alone.
After Iran shot down an American drone in international airspace late Wednesday evening, the president initially responded Thursday morning by posting a threatening tweet warning that the rogue nation had “made a very big mistake!”
Iran made a very big mistake!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2019
Shortly thereafter, he seemed to backtrack by suggesting that the downing of an unmanned U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk drone had been an unintentional error.
“I think probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down,” he said during an Oval Office meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they did. … I find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth. It could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”
Hours after this meeting, a hash of mainstream media outlets led by The New York Times began reporting that the president had approved a military strike against Iranian targets as late as 7:00 pm but that the operation had been put on hold at the last minute.
“Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries,” the Times reported, citing its usual anonymous sources.
“The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.”
Within an hour, ABC News, The Washington Post and the Associated Press reportedly confirmed the story via their own anonymous sources.
Keep in mind, however, that their reporting contained notable differences:
NEW: NYT’s report & AP’s report on Trump approving Iran strike appears to differ:
NYT: “top Pentagon officials cautioned that such an action could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for American forces in the region”
AP: “the strikes were recommended by the Pentagon”
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) June 21, 2019
As of Friday morning, neither the Pentagon nor the president had confirmed or denied the media’s reporting, so it still remains unclear whether any of this ever actually happened.
What seems clear is that the president doesn’t intend to rush to action. Nor is he overcome with a lack of confidence, as some have suggested he might be.
If anything, the president seems to know exactly what he’s doing.
Questioned earlier this week by Hannity about the situation in Iran, he pithily said, “Don’t worry about a thing.”
“Let me ask you about foreign policy, if I may. … I worry about Iranian hegemony,” Hannity had said in an interview with the president that aired Wednesday evening.
“I worry about Iranian proxy wars and terror. I about their alliance with Vladimir Putin. And I’m not sure where China shakes out in all of this. As you look at the geopolitical workup there — Iran, Russia, China — tell me your concerns.”
“Don’t you worry about a thing. Everything’s under control. Don’t worry about a thing,” the president had responded.
Dovetailing back to what allegedly happened Thursday evening, some people suspect the alleged strike may have been purposefully leaked to inspire the fear of God in Iran’s rogue leaders.
“This seems like a purposeful leak to rattle the Iranians. It’s more evidence that Trump is not in a hurry to go to war with Iran, and would rather intimidate than use force,” one social media user theorized.
It’s certainly possible.
Look at this and other similar theories below:
This seems like a purposeful leak to rattle the Iranians. It’s more evidence that Trump is not in a hurry to go to war with Iran, and would rather intimidate than use force.
— Lost In LA (@lost_in_la) June 21, 2019
You can get the same measured effect by not actually following through. It is sorta like death by a thousand cuts type situation. The intended target gets the psychological torture of having to constantly look over shoulder for the short, medium, and long term. #HeadGames2020
— Alex Beaton (@apbeaton) June 21, 2019
So many possibilities: Planted story in the guise of a leak to trigger & monitor Iran’s defense response & sigint; likewise, a rope’a dope to keep their defense troopers on alert for long period; feint to give Iranian people something to think about; testing suspected leaker; …
— Tired O’Crap (@tiredofthecrap7) June 21, 2019
Interesting to consider that ‘go’ and then ‘cancel’ is an effective way of scaring Iran
Trump is all about a ‘carrot and stick’ strategy
Launching and then cancelling is a subtle way of showing strength
He’s saying ‘I have the power to destroy you- or not’
Jaw jaw not War war
— All_on_Red (@All_on_Red) June 21, 2019
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