The trumpeter of these times?
The discerning world has been thrown into fear and confusion following the unexpected elimination of Quassem Soleimani, the highest-ranking General in Iran, on Thursday, last week. The stunned world knew that tension that has been building up in the Middle-East had been brought to a new high. It was predictable that the assassination of General Soleimani would be avenged. Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini wasted no time in waving the red flag. He threatened the United States with Jihad. In a televised statement during Friday prayers, he said: “All enemies should know that the Jihad of resistance will continue with a doubled motivation, and a definite victory awaits the fighters in the holy war…this is the time to clear the region from these insidious beasts.” The speech was greeted with the chants of “Death to America.” The leader of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist group which operates in Lebanon, joined in the call for Jihad. France’s President Emmanuel Macron commendably moved swiftly behind the scene to see how he could de-escalate the tension. He warns that the world is now a more dangerous place. German Government says the situation in the middle-East has reached a dangerous escalation point and that the conflicts in the region can only be resolved diplomatically.
The British Government is urging caution, pointing out that “further conflict is none of our interest.” It said that a war with Iran would only be to the benefit of militants across Middle East. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on his way to Brussels to rally U.S. allies and the EU partners to send what he described as a very clear and consistent message on the need for de-escalation and find a diplomatic route said: “We are concerned that if we see a full-blown war, it would be very damaging and actually the terrorists, in particular, would be the only winners.” While the larger hapless world is watching with baited breath in fear and anxiety, reports yesterday said Iran had fired the first salvo, targeting the American base where U.S. soldiers are in Iraq.
British Daily Telegraph says: “The killing of Quassem Soleimani is one of the biggest developments in the Middle-East for decades—it far eclipses the death of Bin Laden or Baghdadi in terms of strategic significance and implications.” And when we consider the stance of Mr. Trump’s twin North Korean war-monger brother Kim Jung-Un, mankind should know fear indeed. He says: “We stand by Iran against American arrogance. Any attack on Iran, we will not standby.”
How did this stand-off all start? After Trump withdrew the United States from Iran’s nuclear treaty secured by Barrack Obama in 2015 supported by Russia, China and Europe, Iran shot down a U.S. drone in June 2018 and seized a British tanker. Trump in his usual tweet directed at Iranian President Ronhani stated: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious!”
Soleimani whose profile had risen really high as the commander-in-chief of the elite Quds Force took the challenge from there dubbing Trump’s bellicose statement as “idiotic comments” delivered “in the style of a bartender or a casino manager.’’ He declared in the language of a soldier: “Mr. Trump, the gambit! You are well aware of our power and capabilities in the region. Come, we are waiting for you. We are the real men on the scene, as far as you are concerned. You know that a war would mean loss of your capabilities. You may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine the end.” Financial Times reported yesterday that the Iranian parliamentarians voted on Tuesday for a bill stamping all United States forces as terrorists. They passed a bill increasing the budget for the Quds force by 200 million Euros over the next two months. Iraq at the behest of Iran had already voted to expel U.S. forces from their country in retaliation for the air strikes in which Soleimani was killed. Brigadier-General Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani’s just named successor as head of Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had foreshadowed Tuesday’s attack on the United States base. He said Iran would remove the U.S. from the region and it would be ‘in various steps.’
The Americans cannot be happy at the development. Since Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein was removed in the Iraqi war after his troops invaded Beirut, Americans have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in Baghdad. Trump’s National Security Adviser, Robert O’Brien, has risen to the defence of his boss, defending the attack on Soleimani on the grounds that he was plotting to kill several American diplomats and soldiers. Trump therefore had to move fast to pre-empt the attack on them. Trump himself had said he took the step to foil an imminent attack and that Soleimani had been responsible for deaths of many US soldiers and the men of the allied forces as well. He said he acted to stop war not to start one.
The American Western allies are not seeing the issue from Mr. Trump’s lenses, even if they are talking in hushed tones and they are careful not to break ranks. For instance, while the German Government said the problem should be resolved diplomatically, it said U.S. move arose from “series of military provocations for which Iran bear responsibility”, pointing to attacks on Saudi oil facility. The allies are unhappy that Trump did not have any consultation with them. In the words of British Guardian in its editorial: “Most of all it is both wrong and stupid to pursue so aggressive and attritional a policy without the full backing of key allies, without popular domestic backing, or Congressional approval, without due consideration for wider impact, and crucially, without a clear coherent, workable long-term strategy or the will to see it through.” The newspaper added: “Trump is wrong—and dangerously so. His was undoubtedly an act of war. Iran’s response may not come immediately, but come it will and the consequences are unknowable. Far from saving lives, Trump has recklessly imperiled them. He has increased the risk of a region-wide conflagration, sucking in Iraq, Syria and Israel. And he has normalized murder of high officials as a tool of state policy, a precedent whose implications he himself might do well to ponder….it would be very, very wrong for Trump to cynically use this crisis to deflect attention from his imminent impeachment.”
There is the hushed suggestion among the allies that Trump brought this on his head in subtle reference to the 2015 nuclear deal which Trump dismantled. In the deal, the Western powers agreed to free the 1979 sanctions imposed on Iran and Iran was in reciprocity made to agree to put on hold its nuclear weapons agenda for 15 years. With the sanctions removed, the economy of Iran improved dramatically. Mr. Trump’s advisers and public affairs analysts said the gains from the improved economy were being used to advance Iran’s ambition to be the regional power in the Middle East. The resources were being applied to destabilize the region, promoting the cause of Shiites in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria over the Sunnis and to beckon to Israel for a duel. In Iraq for example, it was said Sunnis were sent out of the Army, the salaries of the Sunni soldiers were at a stage stopped. The Iraqi establishment was seen as literally turning Iraq into a Shiite dominated country. Sunni protesters kicking over their marginalization were arrested and many killed.
Dramatically as it began, the economic revival nose-dived again as resources were being diverted to fight war in Syria backing President Assad and fighting proxy war in Iraq in the quest for regional influence and power. There was dissent in Iran and there were protestations in response to rising prices of goods and gasoline oil and these were ruthlessly crushed. The last straw was the Iranian establishment in which Soleimani featured prominently stirring up problems and whipping up hate sentiment against the United States in the Region. Before harm could be done to the American interests there particularly in Iraq where Americans had been investing heavily, Trump thought according to commentators, to stem an imminent catastrophic uprising, General Soleimani had to be eliminated. This would appear to have blown up in Trump’s face.
It is hoped that it will not be long when we will all realise that, murder is murder—whether by individuals or in the name of the state. It is a flagrant violation of the Law: “Thou shall not kill.” This as several other laws the Almighty Creator handed down to mankind is being ignored and violated—in our thoughts, in our speeches and in our deeds. The debacle in the Middle East, it will surprise many, has been raised to this level by wider areas and regions of the world. The implications are staring everyone in the face. Many from far and near have contributed to the state of affairs manifesting poignantly in the Middle East. The Trumpets are blaring, the trumpets of the End-Time to which a majority of mankind are not paying attention. It may well be this is one more trumpet to help blare loud and clear to all regions of the world. The world is upside down! How and what are the spiritual implications of the killings and murders everywhere? These will be fully addressed next week.
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