We sort of just declared war on Iran. Right? The State Department would not claim that Iran more or less tried to start a terrorist war in DC for no good reason. After all, we do not just toss that sort of casus belli out there without having a hell of a lot of confidence in the source.
By ‘we’ I mean the people in charge right now. Not the last bunch, who did do that. A bunch of times. And who Obama is a lot better than.
Since everyone asked, the plot is not to blow up a bus. That would be bad enough. The idea of murdering the Israeli and Saudi ambassadors in DC, plus maybe sorta blowing up an embassy, is seriously over the top. It is a political act specifically targeted to create the maximum international chaos for us. Assuming that an IRGC link exists and can be proved, it is ipso facto an aggressive act in which the ‘proxy’ part of proxy war is thin enough to read through. As someone at TPM said, via the comments here, John Bolton’s boner can be seen from space.
Not all acts of war become a war. In this case (again, taking the allegations at face value) it won’t. The costs vastly outweigh any possible benefit even if decent military options existed, which they do not. We will talk some more and strengthen sanctions some more and maybe demand some accountability from whoever in Iran cannot manage to wash their hands of it. But seriously. The allegations paint a serious effort to damage America’s international standing through violence on our soil. No dancing around it, that is a casus belli. Even if, like me, you hope like hell that the Iran issue never comes to blows, that is disturbing.