Donald Trump’s reckless gamble with Iran to distract from his domestic political problems

“Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected. Be careful Republicans!—Donald Trump (1946- ), 45th American president and hotel and casino owner, (statement made in a tweet, on Mon., Oct. 22, 2012)

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”—Jacques Abbadie (1654-1727), French Protestant, in1684. (N.B.: Often wrongly attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

“Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by ‘a world of enemies’, ‘one against all’, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before it is used to destroy the humanity of man.“—Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), in 1951.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.“—Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), in 1951.

I have long suspected that Donald Trump would do anything to save his political skin, and I mean anything, including murder and assassination—if threatened with impeachment,—and even commit an act of war against a foreign country. Well, as I feared, he just did that against Iran.

Such is the level of public morality in the United States these days. It is pretty low. The cynical ‘wag-the-dog’ scheme is alive and well in the United States and it is used by unscrupulous politicians when they are in political trouble. Some people fall for it all the time.

Over the years, the United States government has waged a very aggressive campaign against Iran:

1-   Indeed, the current U.S. president has used very threatening language against Iran and its population of 80 million. The list of Mr. Trump’s menacing statements is very long:

In 2012, while still a private citizen, he declared that the United States “could blow them away to the Stone Age!” Similarly, on September 5, 2013, he made another outlandish comment, saying that “maybe we should knock the hell out of Iran and their nuclear capabilities!” And, as recently as Sunday, January 5, Donald Trump declared on Twitter that he was ready to destroy 52 Iranian cultural sites, a deed that could constitute a war crime, etc., etc.

2- Let us add to the picture the cascade of severe economic and financial sanctions that the U.S. government has imposed on Iran. These sanctions, described by President Trump the toughest sanctions ever against a country”, have ranged from an embargo on Iranian exports of oil, steel, aluminum, etc. up to a complete ban to any country on using the U.S. dollar in its commercial transactions with Iran. It goes without saying that such sanctions have had devastating effects on the Iranian economy.

In 1955, however, the United States signed a friendship treaty with Iran. Since that treaty has never been terminated, the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice, located in The Hague, unanimously decided, on October 3, 2018, that the trade sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran constituted a violation of the treaty. However, the Trump’s administration has ignored the court’s advice.

3- May 8, 2018, is also a fateful date because it marks another provocation against Iran and an insult to several other countries. This is indeed the date when U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear Deal, an agreement signed on Nov. 24, 2013, by Iran and the six countries of China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and Germany, and whose main purpose was to stabilize the Middle East. This ominous decision has opened a Pandora’s Box of disasters to come. But Donald Trump wanted to please his rich Zionist donors and build for himself the image of a strong man, and … damn the consequences!

4- Of course, the biggest provocation yet of Donald Trump has been to do what no previous American president had done before, i.e. to give an order to assassinate a highly ranked Iranian general, and a member of the Iranian government. This was done seemingly in coordination with the Israeli government.

Indeed, the ordering of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, and also of Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with a U.S. drone strike on the Baghdad airport, on January 3, 2020, has been labeled ‘an act of war’ and, as it should have been expected, it has inflamed the entire Middle East.

Perhaps in doing so, American politician Trump has attempted to transform himself into a ‘wartime commander in chief’. He may have believed that such a development would benefit him personally in his trial for impeachment in the U.S. Senate and during the coming 2020 presidential election.

That political ploy worked well for George W. Bush in 2003, with the invasion of Iraq, an illegal and costly war of aggression, and which the U.S. is still saddled with, 17 years later. Now, it is well known that the Iraq war was based on big lies, i.e. about nonexistent weapons of mass destructions (WMD) in Iraq.

Since 2018, and with his military decision at the start of this year, Trump hopes to repeat the same 2003 Bush-Cheney scam, and he aims at reaping the same political and monetary benefits from warmongers among the American electorate.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen how far the military brinkmanship between the two countries will go. It also remains to be seen whether the American people and the U.S. Congress will follow Donald Trump in his risky gamble against Iran.

His declaration of January 8 was empty of content and it hardly inspires optimism for the future.

[To be continued]

© 2020 by Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay

International economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles, of the book The New American Empire, and the recent book, in French « La régression tranquille du Québec, 1980-2018.” To write to the author: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.

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