On the occasion of assassination of general Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Quds Force- a division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, by the US military forces in Bagdad, Iraq on Friday, January the 3rd, 2020.
Since the first day President Trump has entered the White House, he has worked hard for the American people to see that he is a man of action and not just of talk.
President Trump has managed to fulfill some of his most important election promises during his first term in the White House. He has succeeded in boosting the economy by, for example, giving free hands to the coal industry. He has protected the jobs and created several job opportunities by imposing duties on import materials. He has really lost the United States aid to various countries and a number of international organizations. He also does his best to build some kind of wall to stop ”Mexican criminals, and rapists” from entering the United States. And last but not least, he does everything he can to rein in North Korea and Iran. In any case, he wants the American people to look at his time at the White House in this way. In all likelihood, so are his followers and some others will see him the way he wishes.
In fact, he hasn’t done much. But that’s not at all the way Americans look at his efforts. Let’s take a closer look at his accomplishments so far. Custom duties against European countries were more than just a harsh rhetoric for the domestic audience. We know today that nothing happened on that front. President Trump, however, appears to be a strong leader in front of his people against ”the Europeans who have been exploiting the United States for years”. Tariff against China has also not resulted in any concrete gain for the United States, as China strongly threatens to answer with the same coin.
No wall has been built and probably never will be. What counts is that President Trump, with a ruthless tone, wants to get through an agreement to build some kind of wall, in some parts of the US-Mexico border. If it doesn’t, President Trump can always explain to his supporters that ”evil forces within the US” put an end to his plans for this. However, he has succeeded in gaining momentum on the economy. Dollar is stronger today compared to a few years ago. Through the coal industry and by stopping aid (withdrawn from several international agreements) and losing military activities, he has succeeded in improving the economy.
What happens to the climate in the long term? What happens to the economic imbalance in the world in the long term? What happens to poverty and the unjust economic distribution in the world? How to deal with climate disasters that are becoming more and more? How to overcome the refugee disaster that will be more and more? The Trump administration is closing its eyes on these issues as they are protectionists. They do not care about these issues. What is important to them is the short-term win that applies. And it seems that they will get what they are looking for. Unfortunately, this is also how the world economy works.
At the international arena, as part of his foreign policy, he has had two theatrical meetings with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un to limit North Korea’s nuclear weapons development and its long-range robot defense program. North Korea, as many times before through a political maneuver, has managed to fade the Trump administration’s rhetoric. Today, they continue with their missile developments the same as their nuclear weapons ambitions. The tone however in Washington and with President Trump is that an agreement has been reached with Kim Jong-un that makes the world a safer place to live in.
The US government, with Trump at the forefront, has also sought to put the reins on the Iranian government by first stepping out of the nuclear deal and then embarking on extensive financial sanctions that actually put the Iranian people on their knees. The purpose is to get the Iranian administration to come to the negotiation table to show, like North Korea, through a couple of theatrical meetings, the domestic audience that they also have control over a barbaric regime like the Iranian. It turned out that, in the Iranian case, it was more difficult to get the Mullahs to come to the negotiation table. The latest spectacle has then been that the United States chooses to eliminate one of Iranian generals, Qasem Soleimani, who played a key role in the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, to name a few. This also as a further attempt by President Trump to pull the Iranians on the negotiation table. His tweet immediately after the assassination of general Qasem Soleimani that ”Iran has never won a war but has never lost a negotiation” was a clear signal that ”hey, guys, come on, let’s talk a little and we both will get big wins on that.
President Trump does not want war. The Mullahs do not want war either. There will be no war. Both Americans and Iranians are tired of participating in wars and sacrificing their young men and women (often from the working class) in order for their leaders to rule and live their lives. Today, Iran is on its knees financially and does not have the popular support to start a full-scale war. The US regime knows that it has no mandate from its elected officials, nor the popular support to re-enter a war. President Trump is not ”genetically” a hard-liner. He is a businessman who ultimately only wants to make financial profits. The Mullahs are also not ”genetically” a warrior. As soon as they understand that the bottom is reached, and their existence is in danger, they will back from their positions. That’s exactly what Ayatollah Khomeini did by ”drinking up the poison” and putting an end to the war between Iran and Iraq in the late 1980s when they knew that there was no economic or military power at all to continue to war. Let me remember that this Ayatollah Khomeini had always used to say that “you will fight until you win back Jerusalem”.
The Iranians are likely to strike back militarily in one way or another. It will probably be a very limited and isolated attack to show only its supporters both in the country and in the region that the murder of general Qasem Soleimani was avenged. They will most likely also approach the Trump administration to negotiate a deal. This is in order to ease the financial penalty. If Mullahs come to the negotiating table, Trump will declare with noise and trepidation that he has succeeded in neutralizing the most dangerous evil in the world. He even more secures his chances for re-election. It can even be completely in order to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Even here, like the North Korea case, nothing will really happens, but for the domestic audience, Trump appears to be a forceful leader worthy of governing, and of course a full-fledged Nobel Peace Prize candidate when, with his efforts, the world has become a safer place to live in. Ja, we are living in such a world.
© Samuel E. Rajeus, Editor
West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, January 5th, 2020