Wild West Diplomacy: Shoot First (and Often), Explain Later

di Joe Volpe del 6 January 2020

TORONTO - We are risking a war to prevent a war. American logic. The rest of the world is dumb. And impotent. This is the gospel according to “the Donald”.

After the assassination of Iranian general and power broker, Qassem Soleimani, America is complaining that the Europeans have been particularly disappointing in their tepid response because they did not break out the champagne and music to celebrate the killing of someone no one in the public sphere knew existed before his murder.

Of course, now that the deed is done, the world could conceivably be better off for the loss. Call me naïve, but “civilized” societies, like ours is supposed to be, don’t typically snuff “peoplekind” on a whim. There does not appear to have been any consultation prior to the decision, no “coalition of the willing”; just “Uncle Don” doing what is best for all of us.

This is the stuff of “street gangs” culture – thuggish mob mentality: “I can take you out anytime, anywhere, and no one can stop me because that’s the way it is when you are the top thug.” Is the Greater Middle East a dangerous place?

Yes, but, in terms of military capacity to threaten the USA, the only country that comes remotely within “striking distance” is Saudi Arabia, its strongest ally and biggest purchaser of military assets. In fact, depending on the standards used, the USA’s defense spending is greater than the next seven countries, or the next nine, combined.

In any assessment of its “firepower” – striking capability, assets ready for deployment – the USA is far and away in first place. It accounts for 37 % of all military spending globally.

Iran is but a speck on the rankings. From a military perspective the USA’s client states – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Israel – are relative giants. The USA is an intruder in the region, not the other way around. Why? Because Petroleum from the region feeds the industrial world’s insatiable appetite for oil.

Everyone has an interest in what happens there – Chinese, Russians, Europeans, even Canadians. Canada has the third largest world proven reserves of petroleum. When the international price of oil spiked following the assassination, the oil patch in Alberta must have been under great duress not to throw a party to celebrate the event.

Pipeline construction may make economic sense once again, even if 96% of Canadian crude oil goes South to the USA. American producers just saw their domestic values rise, and, will likely continue to do so as instability grips the region and the markets.

Even China, the world’s biggest oil importer, felt it necessary to preach calm in the wake of the killing. It imported more than 10.4 billion barrel of oil per day last year. Any jump in world prices would negatively impact the competitiveness of their industrial base. We, the consumers, in turn will pay dearly for Trump’s thuggish America. But that’s business, American style.

Cynics – nasty people who question motives always – also draw a line to Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been preaching the mantra that Iran is an existential threat [to the existence of Israel] and to world peace.

How this could be when Iran can’t even protect its own Leadership, is anyone’s guess.

On the other hand, Bibi, as Netanyahu is known, has done more to undermine the moral status that was once Israel’s than any modern politician. He is the only foreign “leader” to have welcomed the assassination. His ego surely must rival the Donald’s, his good friend.

Faced with charges of corruption, abuse of power etc., he has now plunged his country into a third election in less than a year. He won’t leave unless he gets immunity from prosecution. Some in the Israeli Press have publicly mused about what he is hiding.

The assassination of Soleimani and the turbulence that follows will invariably enhance his chances at a possible re-election bid that may keep him out of jail. Thank you, Uncle Don.

Much will be written in the next while regarding motive and timing of the assassination by a foreign Power (USA) of a “prominent” political figure from another country (Iran), while he was visiting in a third country (Iraq). The Donald is himself facing impeachment, removal and potential prosecution.

It is unclear at this stage whether the assassination was a convenient event structed to enhance his chances to escape judgement by painting himself as the ultimate defender of the Nation.

Ahh, patriotism, the last refuge of true scoundrels.

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