First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me – More or less the same thing is happening to the Muslim world.
United States President Donald Trump is morally bankrupt and has no compunction in resorting to immoral and desperate acts to stay in power, no matter how disastrous the consequences of his myopic actions would be, the latest being an unsolicited conflict with Iran.
With his rogue adventurism, he has drawn the world dangerously close to what could be the biggest war since World War II and put his personal interests before his country’s interest.
Most analysts believe the killing of Iran’s top general in a targeted assassination Trump had ordered was, probably, an attempt by him to divert the public attention from the impeachment process. Like the proverbial scoundrel whose last refuge is patriotism, Trump was trying to improve his chances at this year’s presidential election by creating a conflict with Iran and displaying military jingoism. After killing Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Brigade Commander Qassem Soleimani, Trump took to Twitter to claim Soleimani was killed because he was planning attacks on American citizens.
This is a big lie. Trump is notorious for slamming the media for fake news to cover up his own lies. According to a Washington Post fact checker, he has, as President, made more than 15,000 false or misleading claims.
If we were to go by the books written by famous investigative journalists, Trump is being described by his own staff as a moron, a joker and a dangerous man to run a country. World famous investigative journalist Bob Woodward’s revealing book “Fear: Trump in the White House”, says the president’s senior staff surreptitiously kept certain documents away from an impulsive president, for they felt if he had signed them, the consequences would have been disastrous to the US.
Trump has no foreign policy insight, Woodward’s book says, pointing to Trump’s calls to assassinate Bashar al-Assad and launch a preemptive strike on nuclear-power North Korea in moves that give credence to claims that his foreign policy understanding was that of a “fifth- or sixth-grader”.
A new book titled “A Warning” by an anonymous Trump administration official says Trump is “like a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower” and a senile old man running around with no pants.
The book claims that Trump is cruel, inept, and a danger. “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but regularly,” it says, confirming what Woodward said in his book and what Michael Wolff said in his book ‘Fire and Fury’.
It was only last month that some 350 psychiatrists and mental-health professionals, in a petition to Congress, claimed that Trump’s mental health was deteriorating rapidly amid impeachment proceedings.
The sooner the Americans impeach or vote this peace destroyer out of power, the better it is not only for the US but for the entire world. Such a dangerous person should not be in control of nuclear weapons. He lacks the basic intelligence to understand the dangers the world is facing due to climate change.
Now by escalating tension with Iran, he has proved that he is no different from terror groups such as ISIS. Both are irrational and thrive in bloodshed. Of hawks like Trump, French philosopher Voltaire said, “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
Leaders who start wars when a resolution of the crisis through peaceful means is possible are worse than terrorists. Terrorists are not civilised, but leaders are expected to be. Former US President George W. Bush and former British Premier Tony Blair have blood on their hands but remain unpunished for their war crimes.
Is Trump trying to join the war criminals group led by Bush and Blair? It appears to be so, as this week, he publicly vowed he would destroy Iran’s cultural sites if Iran attacked US targets in revenge for the death of Soleimani. Perhaps, he does not know that such an act is a war crime in terms of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
On Wednesday, he learnt that Iran was not like Libya or Iraq, as the Islamic Republic hit back ‘proportionately’ – and the fast-and-hard strike Trump had promised did not come. Why?
In media interviews following Iran’s response, US military experts said they had wargamed an Iran war and realised that there would be insurmountable and unknown challenges, although in terms of fire power, the US is much stronger than Iran. But with its limited firepower and home-made sophisticated weapons, they acknowledge Iran can cause much more harm than the US could ever expect. For instance, Iran’s cyber-attack capability is a major worry for US defence experts.
Iran on Wednesday demonstrated its hi-tech weapons could avoid being intercepted by US anti-missile systems. US sources, however, claimed they did not try to intercept the missiles.
With little or no military foresight to assess Iran’s firepower, Trump, supported by hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, took the war path and justified it on the grounds that the assassinated Iranian general was planning to harm US lives. This is a blatant lie similar to Bush’s weapons of mass destruction. Even US Senators who were briefed by Trump on Wednesday night were not convinced.
If not for Iran’s calculated and sagacious response, the fire Trump had kindled would have set the entire Middle East ablaze.
Some claim that Iran deliberately avoided any US casualty to de-escalate the tensions. Some US commentators say the US let it happen. If so, it appears that saner counsel has prevailed over the erratic Oval Office for Trump to tweet ‘All is well… so far so good.” It is believed that fearing the consequences of a region-wide war, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations have also persuaded the Trump administration to stand down.
That Trump lacked foreign policy understanding has now been proved as his misadventure has given Iran an excuse to disregard the uranium enrichment restrictions set in place by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The Trump move has also prompted Iraq’s legislators to demand the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq – a move that works in Iran’s favour.
A region-wide war is in nobody’s interest. Iran has warned that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will be hit if there is further provocation. And Iran’s attack on the US bases proves it meant what he said. An escalation of such magnitude could send oil prices soaring beyond US$ 200 mark, plunging the world in a major economic recession. But the two sides have said that war was never their purpose. With Trump in control, one never knows.