National security adviser John Bolton is pushing President Donald Trump into a very bellicose stance against Iran, even as American allies warn that the belligerence is unjustified and could lead to war. Democrats — and even some Republicans — in Congress are skeptical of the administration’s justifications and alarmist rhetoric, hearing in them echoes of the false claims made by the George W. Bush administration that led to an invasion of Iraq and the longest war in the nation’s history.

Reportedly, Trump is resisting Bolton and the other hawks among his advisers, yet, for two years, his own public comments about Iran have been contradictory and often dangerously provocative. If he is incapable of articulating a clear, intelligent and nuanced policy of his own, Trump could find himself fumbling into an unjustified and avoidable war that will be hugely unpopular with American voters.

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