Another Stupid Hawkish Panic About Iranian Ships

Treating this as if it were anything more than a port call is phenomenally stupid even for Iran hawks.

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While their preferred policies have brought war closer in the Middle East, it is not surprising that Iran hawks want to talk about something else. The Wall Street Journal editors fume about two (count them, two!) Iranian ships docking in Brazil:

The arrival of two Iranian warships in Brazil on Sunday is unsettling for democracies in the Western hemisphere. Worse is that the Biden Administration seems to have been complicit in trying to bury the news.

The editorial goes on to claim that “President Biden’s domestic political agenda trumped security in the Americas.” That would be a damning charge if it weren’t devoid of merit and made in bad faith. No one seriously believes that the presence of two Iranian ships in our hemisphere threatens “security in the Americas.” This is nothing but cynical fearmongering designed to fault Biden for alleged “weakness” and to sour relations with a Brazilian government that hawks already despise for other reasons. There is no news to “bury” because there is nothing more to the story. We are all stupider now for having listened to the hawks’ arguments.

Ted Cruz was the first out of the gate with his own ridiculous overreaction to the news, calling the docking of the ships a “direct threat to the safety and security of Americans” and threatening Brazilian firms with sanctions. It would almost be funny if Cruz weren’t trying to demagogue this non-event into an excuse for damaging relations with one of our largest hemispheric trading partners. Threatening Brazilian firms with sanctions over nothing is a useful reminder of how unhinged hardliners are by even the slightest hint of Iranian influence. It is no wonder that so many other governments resent U.S. sanctions overreach.

Read the rest of the article at SubStack

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

9 thoughts on “Another Stupid Hawkish Panic About Iranian Ships”

  1. They are within their rights to slowly cruise up the eastern seaboard of the USA 12.1 miles offshore. We call this “freedom of navigation”

    1. And this is like a hair on a gnat’s ass in comparison to what we do in the Tawain straits.

      1. And what the U.S. does in the Middle East, mainly by proxy and supplying weapons to all the wrong countries and groups.

  2. It is bad enough that we have these ridiculous politicians, but our media constantly echo chamber these jerks and give them the mic. We are a doomed echo chamber where any anti war is snuffed out and censored.

  3. They wouldn’t fear monger if it didn’t sell, but you still have to wonder what the sheeple imagine two Iranian ships are going to do. Actually, I expect the real fear among the PTB is that people will notice that Iranian sailors don’t actually have horns and a tail.

  4. This reminds me of the Cold War where we and the USSR were always upset at each other over shipping chokepoints. A lot of proxy wars were done over Suez, tip of Africa, Panama canal, ect. to name a few and now we are going to hear bluster over the Panama canal which is where they announced they were heading when this tourist trip of a converted oil tanker +1 was heading to when they set sail.
    At least the usual suspects will get a lot of facetime on TV to express their outrage (and raise money) and I can laugh at their consternation.
    Just think, if the CIA had not been involved in ’53 none of this would be happening.

  5. The U.S. complaining about anything military from any other country is the height of hypocrisy. While I’d prefer that neither Iran nor any other country had warships, or industrial ships of any type for that matter, the U.S. has no right to complain about things like this.

  6. When I heard that Iranian ships were on the high seas…. I just couldn’t fall asleep. So glad that Ted “Tom” Cruz is keeping me safe

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