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Sen. Marco RubioEXPAND
Sen. Marco Rubio
Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr

So Marco Rubio Is Just Threatening War With Iran Now Too

The Trump administration is literally in the process of drafting plans for a potential invasion of Iran. So, on cue, Florida senator and humanoid papier-mâché blob Marco Rubio today appeared on some sort of CNBC program called Squawk Alley to beat the drum for a war with the Middle-Eastern nation.

During his TV appearance, Rubio essentially dared the Iranian regime to attack the United States and see what the hell happens. And despite the fact that the United States is preparing plans for an Iranian invasion while sailing an aircraft carrier into the region, Rubio is spinning the entire ordeal as something this country is nonsensically being forced to do, even though pretty much all of this is America's doing.

“It’s all on them, and it’s a grave risk,” Rubio, uh, squawked on CNBC. “I don’t want a war, we don’t want a war, but that’s up to them.”

Of course, he very clearly seems to want a war. To underscore exactly how insane and convoluted Rubio's statements have been this week, just this morning he tweeted once again that the United States is "not looking to start a war with Iran" while also linking a New York Times story about how we might send 120,000 American troops to the Middle East in case we conveniently decide we need to invade.

The Times noted that the plans come from National Security Adviser John Bolton, the ultra-right-wing war hawk hired by Trump despite Bolton's documented history of lying about intelligence to justify the use of military force. (Even George W. Bush, a guy who knows a thing or two about lying to start wars, once famously called him "not credible.")

Rubio and Bolton have become closer allies as they've worked hand-in-hand to foment regime change and/or outright war in Venezuela. Rubio has always been a hawk when it comes to Iran, but his latest statements mirror the Trump administration's overall belligerent tone as of late. Rubio, Bolton, and members of the Trump administration have claimed in the past few weeks that Iranian forces or their allies were planning some vague attack on American "interests" in the region — but in classic Bolton fashion, sources warned the Daily Beast last week that the national security adviser was greatly exaggerating the threat.

None of this has stopped Rubio from launching outright threats over the internet:

Of course, all but the most insane war hawks agree war with Iran would be a humanitarian disaster, on par with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Adam Taylor, a foreign-affairs writer for the Washington Post, warned this week that an Iranian invasion "would almost certainly be substantially worse" than the Iraq War. For one, he wrote, Iran is a larger country by area and population than Iraq was in 2003, which would make it that much more difficult for American forces to simply roll in and take over. Moreover, Iran's army is much stronger than Iraq's ever was, and Iran has a relatively strong navy compared to those of other countries in the region. Iran also has a robust arsenal of ballistic missiles. Iran in no way rivals the United States in terms of total firepower, but the conflict could easily devolve into an Iraq-style stalemate that would last decades and likely cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars. Plus, you know, innocent people would die.

Bolton and other hardline conservatives for years have been trying to get the United States to attack Iran — they claim the country is a terror sponsor and a direct threat to American safety. (Less hawkish analysts believe these threats are vastly overstated.) The Trump administration has basically set up a bunch of chess pieces in order to ensure the situation would deteriorate: In May 2018, Trump himself quit the so-called Iran Nuclear Deal, which President Barack Obama negotiated in hopes of avoiding conflict with Iran. Trump quit the deal yet is now seemingly upset the Iranians are restarting portions of their nuclear program. And on top of all that, America is now moving military assets closer to the country and daring Iran to open fire.

But in classic fashion, Rubio is ignoring any of these risks so he can sound tough on TV for a few minutes and play nice with Bolton.

"If the Iranians do not attack the U.S., there won't be a war," Rubio said on CNBC today. "But if they do, they're going to be met with a forceful response, as they should be. Again, I'm not cheering for this. I don't want this to happen."

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