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Trump’s Act of War Opens New Chapter of Turbulence for America Abroad


General Qasem Soleimani was commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) (Photo: Sayyed Shahab-o-din Vajedi. Source: Wikicommons)

Hossein Askari
The Globe Post

Donald Trump personally ordered the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, with an Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis as collateral damage. Trump then followed the assassination by tweeting the American flag.

The killing took place at Baghdad Airport, in the sovereign nation of Iraq, a killing that was not sanctioned by the government of Iraq or authorized by the U.S. Congress. Trump justified the assassination by falsely claiming that General Soleimani was a terrorist and was “directly and indirectly responsible for the death of millions of people.”

The Pentagon released yet another justification statement, saying that “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region… General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

After the assassination, Trump went on to taunt Iran: “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!” and piled onto General Soleimani’s legacy “While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, Soleimani was both hated and feared within the country. They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!” Trump’s ordered assassination and rhetoric full of lies resolves nothing and makes the world more insecure and lawless, endangering all humanity.

Trump and History

Before examining Iran’s and America’s record on recent foreign interventions, terrorism, and extraterritorial deaths, Trump’s ignorance about history should be pointed out. Iran has been around far longer than has the United States. It may surprise Trump that Iran had one of the most extensive empires known to man, and yes, along the way, it has won a war or two.

In Trump’s world, the CIA and the myriad of U.S. intelligence agencies act as boy scouts while Iran’s intelligence services are terrorists. Trump applauds America’s covert operations, including war criminals such as Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher, and accuses Iranians of unlawful killings.

He should study America’s history of covert operations before he opens his mouth, including the 1953 overthrow of the Prime Minister of Iran. The United States has bases around the world, interfered in dozens of countries that are thousands of miles away, and yet tells Iran not to worry about its security in its neighborhood. Such nonsensical pleadings fall on deaf ears. If Trump can label anyone that he wishes as a terrorist and fair game, so can anyone else around the world coin Trump a terrorist.

Blood on America’s Hands

Trump accuses Iran of the direct and indirect responsibility for millions of deaths and yet does not see America in the mirror as he speaks – the Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, and support for Saudi intervention in the genocide in Yemen to name but a few, most directly inflicting death and pain on Iran through America’s tacit support for Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran and the transfer of outlawed chemical weapons to Iraq. Yes, the deaths in this war well exceeded a million with blood on America’s hands as opposed to Soleimani’s imaginary “millions.”

Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, a UN agreement. And to add insult to injury, he tightened economic sanctions on the country. These sanctions do not affect the well-being of the regime in Tehran but impaired the lives of ordinary Iranians, denying them even desperately needed medicines.

After all this, Trump goes on to say that General Soleimani was both hated and feared in Iran. But Soleimani was an extraordinarily popular Iranian public figure, some even say the most popular person in Iran, with 8 in 10 Iranians having a favorable view of him, according to a public opinion study published by the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland in October 2019. He was an icon in Iran and among Shia Muslims the world over…

Continue reading this story at The Globe Post

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Author Hossein Askari is an Emeritus Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs at the George Washington University. In 1991, he was asked by the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia to mediate and restore their diplomatic relations and by the government of Kuwait to improve relations with Iran.

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