President Donald Trump smarting from his recent impeachment for his serial infractions of the American constitution decided to order the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Solimani along with several others last Friday in a drone attack at the Baghdad International Airport.
The reason given by Trump and his spokesmen is that the assassinated Iranian General had been responsible for planning the deaths of American citizens and was in the process of planning more of such attacks which became necessary for his life to be terminated. Already, three Americans have been killed as a result of an attack in Kenya.
To put it in proper perspective, the assassination of General Solimani was against all known tenets and nuances of International law which the US often cites to justify its actions abroad. The slain General was a serving officer of the armed forces of a sovereign state. He was not an irregular and certainly not an operative of a non-state group. He was on routine visit to a neighbouring fraternal state Iraq with which Iran shares centuries old ties. So far, despite all the baleful rhetoric flying back and forth between Iran on the one hand and the US and its Middle Eastern allies on the other, both sides are thankfully not at war. Thus far both sides have been careful to restrict the sabre rattling between them to a manageable, nuanced level knowing full well the consequences that would surely follow the raising of the ante in the Middle East and the world as a whole.
It should be noted that President Trump acted without the knowledge and authorisation of the US congress whose Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned him for acting in such manner. It was clearly an action President Trump undertook in conjunction with those who arrogate to themselves the right to determine what to do in the international arena or not regardless of the laid down nuances of International law.
Expectedly, condemnations of this act have followed thick and fast. From the United Nations where the frequent illegal international actions of America are always met with muted statements of regret, the Secretary-General was unequivocal in his condemnation. Even close allies of the US like Britain and France who often sheepishly refrain from condemning US actions of this nature abroad had cause to call for restraint and de-escalation on the part of the US, a euphemism for non-approval of President Trump’s action. This is in addition to the outright condemnation by Russia and China, two major powers who themselves have borne the brunt of American desperate acts of brinkmanship.
We join the world in stating that there can be no justification whatsoever for what President Trump did. It is dangerous, reckless, hare-brained and utterly condemnable in the strongest of terms. It is without doubt a dangerous escalation and crossing of the dangerous red lines of the ever fragile and volatile situation in the Middle East. If President Trump thought that American lives will be saved or protected by this act, it can only be reiterated that he is grossly mistaken. The voices of moderation and restraint within Iran will now be emboldened to call for a response which will likely tip the scales towards an all-out war in the Middle East and possibly in the world.
President Trump’s action is no doubt a continuation of his disregard for acting within the confines of the law in his own country America for which he was impeached. He has now shifted this typically aberrant and belligerent behaviour into the international arena where he believes with American power and influence he can escape any censure. There cannot be any other way to explain this other than to attribute it to a desire by President Trump to shift attention from his domestic woes to the international arena. By doing this he hopes to rally Americans round the flag of patriotism with which he intends to ride into the American presidential elections this year. However, within the context of this latest action, this can only described as dangerous and dubious brinkmanship.
Just as the American political establishment having had enough of his serial infractions of the American constitution decided to impeach him, we call on responsible leaders and statesmen around the world to totally condemn President Trump. There should be a strong consensus around the world of the clear and present danger that a President Trump acting ultra vires of the laid down laws of his country and those of International law and order poses to both America and the world and to stop him before he endangers the world.
For us in Nigeria, the situation calls for the utmost vigilance and alertness. In this regard while joining other countries in calling for restraint in the Middle East, the Federal Government must not allow the possible fallout from the developments there to rebound negatively in the country.