TORONTO - The millions that turned out for the State funeral of Qassem Soleimani must be making Trump jealous.
Unless all the videos and pictures are “fake news”, the mourners were far more numerous than those who attended the Donald’s inauguration – and they only had a few days notice, not the months Donald’s dullards enjoyed by way of preparation.
It may be a portent of things to come, say an army of experts in Middle Eastern Affairs – academics, retired military, national security experts, heads of international agencies, people with legal expertise covering international obligations as they flow from treaties and conventions – marshalled by all the news networks to shed light on the “deed”.
It seems they are all “baffled” and perturbed by the Donald’s decision to whack a “very bad dude… should have been done long time ago”, according to Trump’s version of truth.
Heck, he didn’t even advise his “allies and partners” in the region that he was about to take down the number two man in the Iranian government.
One of those NATO partners, Canada, appears to have been “caught with its pants down” - flabbergasted that an assassination of such a high profile foreign political figure could have been carried out on their watch, so to speak, while they were in command of the NATO forces in Iraq.
Why him and why now? Poor Defense Minister Sajjan, skirt as he might around CTV’s Evan Solomon’s persistent, skeptical but respectful, questioning, would only say that Canada had been alerted in vague terms that something was likely to happen.
Talking points that he would repeat on CBC with Vassy Kapelos. In other words, no one had a clue. Trump is that dismissive of America’s allies.
What are Canadians (all 500 of them) and NATO forces to do now in Iraq and the region? Sajjan says our first priority is the safety of our troops. But those troops are there essentially to provide stability and defend against what just happened.
Moreover, technically, those troops are in Iraq at the invitation of the host Government: The National Legislature and Prime Minister of Iraq. They have passed a Motion requiring the evacuation of our troops.
Another NATO partner, Turkey, has now dropped all pretence of “neutrality” and is expanding its sphere of engagement by openly supporting one of the factions in the Lybian Civil War. What will Egypt do?
European countries like France and Italy cannot possibly sit idly by. They are calling for a scaling down of the temperature.
Britain, readying for Brexit and reliant on a potential new trade agreement with the USA, would only say that “we’re not unhappy” with the murder.
Another egomaniac, Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu, facing an election he prompted and likely jail time no matter its outcome, chose to remind the world that Israel, a Nuclear Power – the only one in the region – welcomed Trump’s gunslinger style of diplomacy.
Perhaps feeding off, such encouragement, Trump has already threatened massive retaliation against the Iranian people, targeting 52 cultural/heritage sites if their government strikes back.
If they don’t understand that, he says, they should know the USA has just spent $2 trillion (that would be the equivalent of Canada’s annual GDP) on new weaponry and he is prepared to give them a first-hand look at it – close up.
The White House is scrambling to de-escalate, going so far as to re-interpret the Donald’s statements and to declare that America will do everything within the parameters of International Law.
The American Senate, meek and subservient to the Donald, is preaching “unity”.
Shortly, it will be turned into a courtroom to adjudicate the impeachment of the President. That would be the same President who “designated” (in 2018) Soleimani a “terrorist” with the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands.
It was the first time in history that America would so designate a high-level official of a foreign government. It has served as a “useful” justification for what has transpired so far, from thug Trump’s perspective.