I hadn't followed the "Iranian Speedboats Harass US Navy Ships in Persian Gulf" incident too much. My cursory review of the incident didn't strike me as being particularly portentious or significant.
But maybe it is more important. Historian Walter Russell Mead writes in the Wall Street Journal:
From the 18th century to the present day, threats to American ships and maritime commerce have been the way most U.S. wars start. The pattern began early. Attacks by the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean led President Thomas Jefferson to send the U.S. Navy thousands of miles on a risky expedition to suppress the threat to American merchant ships in 1801. During the Napoleonic Wars, British and French interference with U.S. commerce led to a series of crises and undeclared "quasi-wars" that culminated in the War of 1812.
Sumatran attacks on U.S. ships in the 1830s led President Andrew Jackson to dispatch naval forces on a retaliatory mission. The widespread (though probably erroneous) U.S. belief that the USS Maine had been destroyed by a Spanish mine in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, forced a reluctant President William McKinley to launch the Spanish-American War in 1898.
The 20th century was no different. German attacks on U.S. ships in World War I brought America into that war; the Japanese attack on the fleet at Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II. The Tonkin Gulf incident in 1964 (alleged attacks on U.S. ships by North Vietnamese boats) led Congress to authorize President Lyndon Johnson's use of force in Indochina. The North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo in 1968 touched off a near-war crisis at the height of the Vietnam conflict, and the Cambodian seizure of the Mayaguez, a container ship, led President Gerald Ford to dispatch combat forces back to Indochina less than one month after the U.S. withdrawal from Saigon in 1975. [...]
Last weekend, the Iranians fled before shots were fired. Good for them. If Iran wants a large-scale military conflict with a U.S. that is angry, aroused and united, endangering American naval vessels in the Straits of Hormuz is the right way to get one.
Well, when you put it that way, and with an administration eager for war with Iran, it's a little chilling, isn't it?