Donald Trump’s dysfunctional victory

It can hardly be doubted that American President Donald Trump will consider that the consequences of his most recent display of unilateral indiscipline and arrogance have been successful. Without recourse to advice from, or collaboration with, his nation’s legislature, he ordered a direct military strike in Iraq that resulted in the assassination of an Iranian official.

Qassem Soleimani, a General in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards occupied an important and seminal position in the Administration of the Islamic Republic. He was not an irregular militia leader or a wild card provocateur as Trump’s propagandists claim. His role in the region was to defend the strategic interests of his nation, which have been effectively undermined and rendered virtually impotent by the actions of the USA.

While hostilities between the USA and Iran have been institutionalised for decades, according to diplomatic convention, the two countries are neither at war nor even engaged as direct participants in any hostile conflicts. Donald Trump chose to bring this diplomatic presumption to an abrupt end with the assassination of Soleimani. He has initiated a calculated effort to further destabilize the welfare of the Iranian public and diminish that nation’s influence as an active and legitimate partner with substantial components of neighbouring populations around the Middle East.

The circumstances that have given rise to the divisive security profile that exists in Iraq, with American support for some formations and Iranian ownership of several units, all of which profess loyalty to the sovereign interests of the Iraqi state, lend themselves to Donald Trump’s penchant for using chaos and disorder as major elements of his policy implementation. General Soleimani was visiting Iraq as a legitimate advisor to, and ally of, the Government when Trump ordered his assassination.

The fundamental objective of this act was to destabilize and intimidate the Iranian authorities with the threat of escalating hostilities that would certainly lead to unprecedented physical destruction in Iran itself. Donald Trump’s tactics in dealing with his adversaries whether in facing volatile domestic political factors such as his impeachment, or provocative international fallout from his actions such as the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement has proven to be totally self-serving.

As he sows distress in the global community with his disturbing trade wars and expression of falsehoods presented as facts President Trump has made it very clear that his approach to diplomacy is to promote dysfunction. Sadly, the consequence of this strategy appears to be paying off for the American leader.

The Iranian regime’s inability to rise to the occasion adequately has been illustrated by its failure to exact appropriate retaliatory revenge in its responses in the first days after the assassination of General Soleimani. Iran failed to kill even a single American soldier when one of the primary locations occupied by the USA military in Iraq was targeted and hit directly by its missiles.

Even more devastatingly the regime was portrayed as being incompetent and totally disorganized when its security agents shot down a passenger plane that had just taken off from the country’s largest civilian airport, having mistakenly identified it as an incoming missile.

While Donald Trump crowed conceitedly about the justification for, and the consequences of, his irregular and fundamentally criminal action in targeting an official who was undertaking an official visit to a neighbouring country, Iran was saddled with the task of responding to the overwhelming attack on its stability by promising retaliation that it can hardly afford to mount.

The Iranian economy has been totally broken by unfair and unilateral sanctions imposed by Donald Trump whose ability to act with impunity against his weaker foes is not confined to military adventurism. If there is one thing in which he has maintained consistency it is his determination to be a disruptive rather than conciliatory world leader.

It has become obvious that although Trump inherited a strong economy and unprecedented military superiority from President Barack Obama and other past leaders his major impulse is to rubbish their legacy and claim that the entire source and form of American power is his creation.

The fact that this delusionary conceit is abnormal and represents a seriously delinquent psychological deficiency in his personal character can hardly be denied.

However, what is even more dysfunctional is that the diplomatic outreach of the United States as a standard bearer of democratic values and a promoter of human rights has been rendered a captive of Donald Trump’s personal political advantage. For this reason, the timing of the assassination of Soleimani should be seen as an important issue to be considered relevant to consequential discourse among major interests in the international arena. It was clear that in spite of the fact that several allies of the USA in the Middle East were placed in jeopardy by the probable consequences of the decision to strike the Iranian convoy they were neither consulted nor forewarned of the decision. This unusual methodology implies that the unilateral stance of Donald Trump’s approach to strategic deployment of force is based on his personal political agenda rather than on the achievement of collaborative objectives, The fact that the allies of the Americans are now scrambling to justify the relevance of being ignored suggests that Trump’s dysfunctional strategy has actually triumphed.

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