Iraq Iran Soleimani (copy)

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the military in Iraq in 2018. Iran fired ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops earlier this week in an escalation of tensions that brought the two longtime foes closer to war.

Donald Trump warned in an interview near the close of his campaign that Hillary Clinton’s policies as president would lead to World War III, arguing that she would draw the US into armed confrontation with Russia, Syria and Iran.

Trump called for a rapprochement with Russia in order to jointly resolve issues in the Middle East, claiming that taking a more aggressive posture would only draw the US into a larger war.

“You’re not fighting Syria anymore, you’re fighting Syria, Russia and Iran, all right?” he said. “Russia is a nuclear country, but a country where the nukes work as opposed to other countries that talk.”

President Trump was right. Yet, as we have seen, he followed the lead of his Democratic challenger anyway. This is yet another demonstration that in the big picture there is virtually no difference between these two parties that we’ve empowered. Two sides of one coin. Trump is Hillary, Hillary is Trump. Same hegemonic goals.

The problem with American politics today is it’s driven by emotions. If you don’t believe me just peruse Facebook. When the electorate is driven by emotion, politicians are freed to do as they please. In the emotional left, Democrats can do no wrong—and likewise in the emotional right.

It is more like the fanaticism rampant in sports. Checking our emotions, let’s take a quick look at the timeline leading to Trump’s attack.

In May 2018 Trump fulfilled the campaign promise to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal while our allies remained. Late that summer he imposed shipping, banking and oil sanctions against Iran. Such economic measures are historically the first aggression in conflict.

This past spring Trump designated the Iran Revolutionary Guards as terrorists, the new word for anyone a politician doesn’t like. Then we squeeze the sanctions tighter. These actions are considered provocative passive acts of war. With no restrictions remaining because of the broken deal, Iran increases production of enriched uranium.

This past May, despite denials from officials in Tehran and a lack of public evidence, Trump blames Iran for attacks on oil tankers. The same month US drones enter Iranian airspace and are shot down. Trump threatens retaliation, but wisely backs down. Meanwhile, Iran admits that it has exceeded its amount of enriched uranium allowed under the former agreement. Then, at the behest of US officials the Brits seize an Iranian tanker.

After that, all goes quiet, until this past December, when just over a week past the impeachment vote, activity begins again. Iran is blamed for an attack in Iraq with little or no evidence, which is used as a reason to drop bombs, killing 25 people. Iranian protesters react by attacking the US embassy.

This may all sound familiar to those putting their emotions on a shelf—hearkening back to December, 1998, when President Clinton did the exact same thing during his impeachment proceedings. Wow, they must think we are so stupid. But our government relies on our ignorance to maintain its control.

Think for yourself, not with your emotions. Because a government official says something does not mean it is true. Our emotions should not accept illegal assassinations nor provocations of war. Do we really want assassinations to be an acceptable practice? When did we begin to blindly trust the government?

War for profit doesn’t help anyone but the profiteers who finance political campaigns. If you are going to use emotion, use it to put encourage perspective—imagine a young loved one laying in the sand, dead, all to profit America’s corporate interests. Remember, the first casualty of war is always the truth.

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Timothy P. Cotton is the National Political Director of The Alliance Party. He resides with his family

in Culpeper.

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