The US: A wounded tiger roaring
Rhetoric & Reality
Following the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Force, in a drone attack people worldwide began to think that the murder was a call for another world war. Is the war really imminent in the Middle East? It is now a question swirling into the mind of people across the globe. Qaseem Soleimani had been on the hit list of previous US presidents. But they, after much contemplation, dropped the idea of killing the general.
The US is completely aware of its military power. It knows its power and prowess is waning. It withdrew its troops from the Syria-Turkey border. It had to pull its soldiers out of Afghanistan and is also mulling over a plan to pull out of Iraq where its 5,000 troops have still remained stationed. But for some strategic reasons it is not doing so putting it between a rock and a hard place. Under this circumstance, it doesn't seem to take the risk of further humiliation.
After the Second World War this country appeared on the world stage as a super power. Since then it has dominated the world causing immense sufferings to the people of Latin America, Africa and Asia. Its policy towards the countries around the world is pitting one country against another to sell its arms for the survival of its military economy. On the one hand it sells arms and on the other hand it loots natural resources of those countries.
America's eyes are on the oil, gas and other natural resources of the Middle East. The Iranian government of Al Khamenei, after coming to power, in 1979 was unwilling to bow its head to the US. The animosity began back then. Before Khamenei came to power Reza Shah Pahlavi, the gendarme of the US was in power. Reza Shah staged a coup against the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Mosasadegh incurred the wrath of Britain and America as he had nationalized oil sector where British corporate companies had a big share. The two imperialist forces came together to loot the oil sector of Iran.
When Reza Shah grabbed the power the US trained the army of Iran. It also provided the armaments the Iranian army needed to serve the interest of America. As the Shah dynasty was facing two-pronged attacks - from the Islamist party of Khamenei and one of the largest communist party of the world, the Communist Party of Iran - it finally gave in. The communists failed to seize the power as it was they who mainly came under the saber of the Shah dynasty. In between the Islamists led by Khamenei came to the lime light. Khamenei came back to the country from his exile in France and overthrew the government of Shah Dynasty. Soon after taking over the state power Khamenei first crushed the communists of Iran to perpetuate his power while Reza Shah was looking for an escape route.
Under the excuse of medical treatment Shah was allowed to enter the US enraging the Islamists so much so that they laid a siege to the American Embassy in Iran for weeks. The siege lasted for 444 days. The protesters held dozens of Americans hostages and that was the beginnings of the animosity between the US and Iran. To punish Iran the US backed Iraq and pushed Iran and Iraq into a ten-year-long war. But when the US became skeptic of Iraq that it was developing weapons of mass destruction it invaded Iraq and killed its president Saddam. With Saddam no more on the stage of Iraq the country was thrown into disarray giving an opening to Iran to play its cards. As distrust of Americans grew in Iraq, pro-Iranian Iraqi militias grabbed the stage launching a proxy war against the US.
What happened in the American Embassy days before the assassination of Qassem Soleimani was unprecedented. A mass funeral procession for the members of Popular Militia Unit killed in a US bombing stormed into the American Embassy. The US Embassy in Bagdad is highly secured and the largest in the world having concrete blast walls, barbed wire fences and fortified by sandbags around it. The embassy area takes up four square miles of Bagdad. It was unimaginable and unbelievable that Iranian militia could enter the compound. It was Iraqi security forces standing guard at the embassy who opened the entry gate of the embassy for the militia to get in.
Mainly pro-Iranian Iraqi militias trained by Qassem Soleimani reportedly stormed into the American Embassy. They set fire to a part of the embassy and shouted slogan warning America that if it didn't leave the Middle East it would have to face a dire consequences. The incident shows how vulnerable the US soldiers are in Iraq that they invaded. It was also a humiliation for Trump at a moment when he himself is facing impeachment in his country. On top of that, the election in America in next November might have spurred him to steal the show as Americans generally like power and prowess. Altogether his order for killing Qassem Soleimani doesn't seem to be a trumpet being blown for a war as, what this writer said at the beginning of this piece, it knows well about its waning and declining economic and military power.
As I earlier said in one of my articles when the US deployed its warships and planes to the Persian Gulf that the US might not do what it did to Iraq. I wrote: "What the US did to Iraq may not be repeated in Iran. Iraq was its ally and it knew about all the weaknesses and loopholes of the country. But in the case of Iran it cannot play the same card. If it does another disgraceful defeat is awaiting its fate." And it is now palpable in the aftermath of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.
Trump tweeted that Soleimani was 'directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions of people,' and that the military leader 'should have been taken out many years ago'. But what escaped the eyes of many what he said in his first statement in twitter after the murder of Qassem. He said: "Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation.
It wasn't clear from Trump's statement what he really meant. But reading between the lines the readers can presume that he doesn't want a full-scale war with Iran taking into consideration what might befall its fate if it does so. The murder of Qassem Soleimani wasn't the prelude to any war. It was a roar of a wounded tiger whose days are numbered.
The writer is a Senior Sub-Editor at the Daily Observer