The irony was obvious Friday morning in the wake of a U.S. air attack that killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds military force.
A tweet from Donald Trump posted at 2:48 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2011 made the rounds on the internet. In it, he declared: "In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran."
That claim, of course, proved wrong. Obama did not start a war with Iran but was re-elected anyway. In fact, he and other western leaders signed a nuclear deal with Iran four years later that Trump has done his best to unravel, helping escalate current hostilities.
Also in 2011, Trump snarled and squinted into a video camera: "Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective.
"So the only way that he figures he's going to get re-elected and as sure as you're sitting there is to start a war with Iran."
That clip was from a video log Trump maintained between 2011 and 2014 that, for some reason, he deleted from YouTube prior to the 2016 election.
Critics last week cited the tweet and the video as early evidence of how Trump projected onto Obama what might be his own plan — and tipped his hand as to how he thought things would work.
No two presidential acts are identical, and nobody knows yet if the U.S. is headed for a full-scale war, or some semblance of one, or neither.
Another relevant reminder emerges in the Twittersphere from the presidency of Bill Clinton.
This viral meme is the New York Times headline of Dec. 17, 1998 that declared: "Impeachment Vote In House Delayed As Clinton Lanuches Iraq Air Strike, Citing Military Need to Move Swiftly." Clinton critics called it a "wag-the-dog" scenario intended by the White House to divert attention from its own domestic troubles.
In that case, however, no re-election was at stake because Clinton was serving his second and final term.
Trump's Iraq actions as president come under different circumstances from Clinton's. An impeachment-timed-air-strike parallel is interesting — but gives us no reliable idea of how the current round of violence will turn out.
The latest spin from Trump's subordinates also creates ironic echoes.
On Friday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on CNN of the Soleimani assassination: "I saw last night there was dancing in the streets in parts of Iraq. We have every expectation that people not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom."
On March 16, 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney went on national television and declared of the Bush Administration's Iraq invasion: "Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
That didn't happen.
Back in October 2008, Trump told CNN it would have been a "wonderful thing" if Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) in her first tenure as House speaker had pursued impeachment against then President George W. Bush over the Iraq war.
Now Vice President Mike Pence has claimed without evidence links between Soleimani and the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Back in 2003 Pence claimed in Congress that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, thus parroting what proved to be a major Bush Administration falsehood.
And these days, Iran is battlling Saudi Arabia for Mideast hegemony.
In Feb. 2016, candidate Trump told Fox & Friends: "Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn't the Iraqis, it was Saudi — take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents."
Since taking office, however, Trump has clung loyally to the Saudi monarchy in one international controversy after another.
All this tells you how perishable Trump's assertions can be — on anything or anyone.
If he isn't making stuff up as he goes along, it sounds awfully close.