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Provoking conflict in the Middle East

Sunday, May 20, 2018

United States President Donald Trump removes his country from an international anti-nuclear arrangement with Iran at the same time that he seeks to have the North Korean President Kim Jong-un agree to a denuclearization agreement. Is there consistent logic in such a move?

The answer must be “no,” more so that the North Korean President has built up a reputation for intransigence, defiance of the West, and notably always having agendas outside of those negotiated.

On the other hand, the Iranian leadership, has, as testified to by the major western powers (this American president apart) France, the United Kingdom, Germany and others, kept its side of the arrangement to eliminate Teheran’s nuclear programme and ambitions.

Further, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with its nuclear weapons inspection team has made frequent visits to Iran and has reported to the rest of the world that Iran has indeed kept to the agreement to eliminate its nuclear programme.

If, therefore, there is an absence of consistent logic with President Trump taking his country out of the Iranian agreement while hanging on to Jong-un’s unreliable and always changing word, then you have to search for Trump’s pursuits elsewhere.

Analyses of Trump’s rationale in international media have concluded on a few of his objectives:

One, he is absolutely committed to erasing every policy and major decision of his predecessor, ie, the Iranian denuclearization programme.

Two, President Trump is clearly in league with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu to keep Iran, perhaps the only Muslim country in the Middle East capable of mounting a serious attack on Israel, under the gun, off-balance, in a state of turmoil, with a weakened economy robbed of the benefit of its denuclearization agreement.

Three, the US president has been angling for a long time now to further enhance spending on US military capability already streets ahead of all other military powers. The provocative and imbalanced move to site the US embassy in Jerusalem without some compensating reward to the Palestinians is one sure means of provoking open conflict in the Middle East.

The trap being set is for Iran to take offensive action against Israel (perhaps in relation to Syria and the Palestinian protests) and for Teheran to rescind the denuclearization agreement. If such an explosive situation were to evolve in the Middle East, Trump will then have ideal justification for his military spending programme, such a programme will bring big rewards for American arms manufacturers who will then return tribute to Trump’s re-election campaign.

Trump is far from being the “dumbo” he is painted to be in certain quarters; but he is “sharp as a tack” in such matters as sponsoring the agenda for the privileged and seeking to assemble an international reputation which he believes will serve well his domestic political interests.

To carry out his agenda of aggression on selected targets, Trump has fortified his armoury with hawks such as Pompeo, Secretary of State, Haspel–CIA chief, and Bolton–National Security Adviser. On the critical issue of the free circulation of assault weapons, Trump has resisted the student movement against guns and put forward a plan to arm a battalion of teachers and guards. The result, more sales of weapons for his backers, the gun manufacturers, and sellers.

Instead of “draining the swamp” of the corporate lobbyists, Trump’s lawyer/fixer has been raking in millions from large corporations wanting to peddle influence in the White House.

Readers of this column’s continuing insistence on comprehensive reform of T&T’s campaign financing laws to prevent the purchase of political power (the complete erosion of the franchise of the ordinary voter) by big capital should take note of current revelations in the US.


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