The U.S. is “itching” for the next war in the Middle East, and is edging towards a potential conflict with Iran. Very soon. Not at all good for the U.S. Hopefully the President of the U.S. will now take a better quality decision based on real facts on the ground, instead of getting prodded by Saudi Arabia, which has been itching to eliminate its only major religious enemy in the Middle East, which is Iran.
When the U.S. has gone to war, its cabinet has always managed to cook up an excuse. If the excuse is credible, like what appeared to be in the case of Iraq (when the evidence was presented in the U.N.), then the U.S. Allies would join in a common cause against a common enemy. But now we know that the WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) excuse cooked up by the U.S. was non-existent in Iraq – and Colin Powell sullied his name and reputation forever, along with George W Bush and other officials. Collectively, they created a major fake excuse to wage a war on a defenseless country, which has caused probably close to a million deaths over the past 15 years, and not less than USD 2T in cost to the American taxpayers (which could have been invested on U.S. infrastructure). A totally unnecessary war, which fed the appetite of the war-hungry defence manufacturing companies, and which managed to create a huge backlash via the ISIS formation, and subsequent blowbacks. Let us also not forget the fact that over 5,000 U.S. servicemen sacrificed their lives. I do not have the count of how many allied servicemen died in the Iraqi war (which started in 2003).
A similar thing happened in Vietnam when a fax communication from a U.S. warship was construed as an excuse to attack Vietnam, which then caused huge miseries on both sides of the conflict. All in the name of eliminating Communism, which was considered an arch-enemy of Democratic Capitalism in the Sixties and Seventies………but Communism is still not dead. Vietnam is still a Communist country, so is China, Russia, Cuba and several other nations. The main issue is the calamity of deaths caused by wars.
I agree with President Donald Trump on one thing: the U.S. should not take up the role of the world’s policeman, and should withdraw from unnecessary conflicts. It is up to the individual countries affected to forge an international opinion and a coalition if needed. The U.S. is a very large country and the world’s #1 economy, and it should worry more about China than any other nation on earth (not even Russia!). President Trump is absolutely right to say that the U.S. actually does not benefit from any war situation (apart from selling more arms to Saudi Arabia!), and should not get drawn into any new conflict.
The jury is out on Iran, of course. Without the U.S., the rest of the signatories to the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran are not able to make much progress – they are, in fact, struggling to talk to Iran and contain the fallout of the U.S. pullout from the JCPOA. Iran has set ultimatums, and is now on the verge of breaking free from several commitments made in that agreement. If it does so, and enriches Uranium to a weapons-grade level with more advanced centrifuges (which it has the capability to manufacture and run), then all hell will break loose. The Europeans will have no stomach to continue their support for Iran. The U.S. will then get its “allies” back in any potential conflict with Iran. Look at how this story is playing out!
Well, none of us would like to have yet another useless war in the Middle East, which, apart from more casualties and destruction of a very ancient Persian culture, would also lead to oil breaching the USD 100 per barrel price point. This will lead to huge inflation in all oil-consuming countries, including the U.S. We cannot also forget the real fact that Iran is a much stronger adversary than Iraq (and Saddam Hussein), with significant resources at its disposal. And further, any UN Security Council resolution on waging war on Iran will most certainly be defeated by BOTH Russia and China (who have now banded together against the U.S. for good). I am also not sure if Germany, France and the U.K. will support such a resolution, given the world’s very fragile situation.
We should hope that wiser counsel influences the White House and the U.S. Congress. I support President Trump’s call for negotiations with Iran. I am surprised that the Iranian Government rejected it during their meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Tehran. It does not show positive intent to avoid a looming conflict, which Iran should avoid at any cost. While national pride and self-respect are very important to any nation, it is also critical to avoid unnecessary bloodshed against the most powerful country in a completely avoidable war. I hope the Iranians see the point and start talking via their usual interlocutors – any positive communication will be sure to get an overtly and strongly positive tweet response from President Trump. He can then go on to demonstrate how good a negotiator he is and work out a new agreement with Iran.
We all know that if he solves the North Korea, Israel-Palestine and Iran problems, he is destined to get the Nobel Peace Prize! Does he deserve it? I don’t know, but then he is the most powerful guy on this planet and is surely capable of getting things done and solving intractable problems faced by the world. Every U.S. President tries to do so, the only difference now is the occupation of the White House by one of the most unique Presidents ever, who is trying a completely different undiplomatic approach in a very public manner. Let us give him a chance!
Welcome to the continuing world of “seat of the edge conflicts” with a romantic mix of diplomatic tweets thrown in. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and have a wonderful week ahead,
16th June 2019