Teflon Trump, & The Tragic, Ill-fated Iran (#109)
In his latest, reckless foreign policy adventure, the assassination of top Irani General Qassem Suleimani, the Trump, Pence & Pompeo team faltered badly, as Iran and Iraq united, as did their populations, and generally the Middle East, against the United States’ illegal assassination of another country’s top General, outside the declaration of war. But just as it seemed the killing of Suleimani would ultimately hand a victory to Iran, the ‘in-error’ shooting down of the Ukrainian Airliner by the Iranian military snatched defeat from the jaws of a possible political victory.
Iran’s horrific ‘mistake’ obliterated all goodwill and sympathy the Islamic regime had gained through the act of folly that Trump authorized, in the killing of Suleimani, and put it firmly on its backfoot, as outrage grew in the World and internally in Iran.
By the quirky turn-of-luck that seems to favor Trump whenever he commits serious mistakes in policy, Iran’s ‘mistake’ restored his Teflon-like invincibility and gave him a victory, while with the similar but opposite twist of bad-luck, Iran is now grappling with a double tragedy, a global public relations disaster, and an embarrassing political and military defeat.
Trump and his hardliners are going to milk his ‘tough on Iran’ image for all its worth, especially since Iran’s initial response to Suleimani’s killing, the designedly ineffective lobbying of a few missiles onto a couple of US bases in Iraq (with no casualties) made Trump and his team’s gamble seem virtually cost-free (at least for now).
And now, with Iran on the defensive, and emboldened by their seeming cost-free success, the Trump administration further loaded up on the harsh existing economic sanctions, with even harsher sanctions, punishing the Irani people for the ‘sins’ of their Islamic Cleric Masters even further. And from that perspective, Iran and its people can’t seem to get a break, while Trump seems to escape unscathed.
The additional pain inflicted on the people of Iran with these new sanctions will manifest in greater protests against Iran’s current leadership, which is what Trump and his team are hoping for. In all this political gamesmanship, it is the ordinary people in Iran who will suffer more than they already have been for decades, as the US, with some of its allies, continue their quest for ‘Regime Change’ in Iran (since 1953).
The sins of Iran have been to defend themselves from the relentless attacks on their country from the US, UK, and its Sunni adversaries in the region, and around the World, for decades.
And while ‘Shia’ Iran has committed atrocious acts of ‘international and domestic terrorism’ on its enemies, and its own people, they have not been that different than other regimes in the region - and a lot less than some who spawned the leading ‘terrorist organizations’ in the World, like the Sunni ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘ISIS’, and the ‘Taliban’, amongst dozens of others, which all have their roots in the religious extremism of the Wahabi sects of Saudi Arabia.
In fact, the assassinated General Qassem Suleimani of Iran was key in repelling and defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria, in some instances with air-cover provided by the US Air Force. Now that ISIS has been defeated to a large degree, not by Trump, but by Suleimani, his Shia Militias, and the Turkish and Syrian Kurds, it’s safe to say that Trump and the US betrayed them both, killing one, and totaling abandoning the other.
And these are lessons that other US Allies in the region will take to heart.
The damage to the US, through Trump’s actions, will reverberate in the Middle East for a long time.
Already, it has suffered its first major setback. The Iraqi Government has voted to expel US Troops out of Iraq. And even though the US is refusing to leave as of now, its welcome in Iraq is seemingly long over.
And as the ripples of the assassination spread through the Middle East, America may find itself under increasing pressure to leave from a number of countries it has been entrenched in for decades.
Regardless of how Iran makes amends to the families of the victims of the downed Ukrainian Airliner (if they do), be they Irani or foreigners, like the many unfortunate Canadians on that flight, it is pretty certain that the Irani people will suffer additionally as their government, defensive from such an atrocious faux-pas, will harshly clamp down on any internal dissent, which are taking place as outraged Iranis vent their anger and frustration against their dictatorial and less than truthful leaders.
To exacerbate the problem, this accidental shooting of the plane showcases Irani military’s carelessness, and/or incompetence, at a particularly sensitive and threatening time, which will further infuriate the Irani people.
Internationally, the outrage against Iran’s ‘mistake’ and its leadership’s blatant attempted cover-up is growing. Iran will be hard pressed to satisfy anyone under these impossible circumstances, let alone make adequate amends.
And even though on July 3rd, 1988, the US Navy accidentally shot down an unarmed Iranian Airliner with 290 passengers (with reportedly 66 children), this will not dent the anger of people at this time, against Iran’s perceived determined dishonesty.
More recently, Russian backed rebels in Ukraine shot down a Malaysian Airplane Flight 17, with 283 passengers and 15 crew members, with a missile, and there were no survivors.
There have been a number of other civilian planes that have been shot down in the past, with horrific fatalities, and Iran’s disaster is just the latest in the growing list. This should bring up some serious investigation and discussions, by all the World governments, resulting in some concrete actions, laws and regulations, to mitigate such threats from conflicts between Nations, on Civilian Aviation. Such horrific acts (even by accident) need to be addressed so that they never happen again.
So while Trump seems to have come out winning in this latest sad state of affairs, it’s a good bet that Iran will look to even the score against the US in the future, against the humiliating set backs it has suffered in losing its beloved General, and this hit to its global reputation with the inadvertent shooting down of the plane.
So while it would seem that once again Trump escaped his recklessness with his Teflon-like coating, it may not last, as most times, such reckless moves have long range and unexpected consequences that can cost its impulsive perpetrators dearly, politically and personally. This unfortunate battle may have been won by Trump, but the real war, with a further humiliated Iran, may have just started.