28,534. 9/18/2019

IRAN/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In the space of seven minutes on an airport tarmac on Wednesday [9-18-19], President Trump captured the thorny decision he faces as he once again straddles the edge of war and peace. One moment, he threatened to order ‘the ultimate option’ of a strike on Iran in retaliation for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The next he ruminated about what a mistake it had been for the United States to get entangled in Middle East wars and welcomed Iran’s president to visit. To help sort through the alternatives, Mr. Trump on Wednesday named a hawkish new national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, the State Department’s chief hostage negotiator. But as Mr. Trump spoke with reporters, shouting to be heard over the roar of Air Force One engines, Mr. Trump sounded like a commander in chief searching for a way to be tough without pulling the trigger.”

Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt, “Trump Weighs Retaliation Against Iran and Names National Security Adviser,” The New York Times online, September 18, 2019

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