In his effort to “Make America Great Again,” presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporter in swing-state Florida that if Iranian boats continue to threaten U.S. warships, he will authorize the Navy to, paraphrasing U.S. Navy pilot Donald Francis Mason, “sighted ship, sank same.”
The Spanish-American War was one of the several times the U.S. intervened in Cuba to provide Cubans with a U.S. type freedom.
While air power eventually overtook sea power to dominate combat, TR made his point.
I’m not sure giving a finger to sailors on a U.S. warship constitutes a threat, getting close enough to that U.S. ship should be considered a threat, especially keeping the USS Cole in mind.
The decline in respect for America is not new.
In 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, both the U.S. embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed. A total of 259 Americans were murdered, along with 104 Lebanese and French citizens. The group Islamic Jihad, affiliated with Hezbollah and ultimately Iran, claimed responsibility for both attacks. (Source: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403300454.html)
The attack on the Benghazi consulate that resulted in the deaths of "only" four Americans came as the result of the “Arab Spring” supported by the Obama administration, with candidate Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
America’s enemies believe that they can attack America (this is keyed on 9/11/2016, 15 years after the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, victims of Islamists) and Americans with impunity.
After the bombing of the Cole, then-president Wm. Clinton (ibid.) promised that justice would be done. “To those who attacked them we say: You will not find a safe harbor. We will find you and justice will prevail.” It didn’t.
Mashur Abdallah Ahmed al Sabri, one of the members of the USS Cole cell, already has been released by Barack Obama from Guantanamo Bay despite being “rated as a high risk terrorist who is ‘is likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests, and allies‘.”
The question is: Will U.S. ships fire on threats, a “stand your ground” situation if you will, and will U.S. military aircraft be allowed to defend themselves if other nations’ planes threaten them by flying dangerously close (e.g.,China and Russia). Indeed, if Trump is elected, will Russian pilots stop playing “tag” with U.S. aircraft due to the alleged Putin-Trump “friendship”?
The bottom line: Can Trump, if elected, make America great again in the eyes of other nations? If he can accomplish that, perhaps he can make America great again at home.
As an aside: The Washington Times reported that Bill Clinton vowed to ‘make America great again’ in 1992, now says slogan is racist
Note: A number of sources are more than a little biased.
Trump Favors Regime Change in Iran, Says He’ll Attack Them Over Rude Gestures (New York Media, LLC)