Who trusts a U.S. presidential campaign promise?

Who trusts a U.S. presidential campaign promise?

Abdellatif Zaki
US President Donald Trump Speaks about Missile Strikes in Syria

Rabat – “America first, no regime change, no policing of the world, no wars.” America has never had such an unpredictable president. Only a few weeks after his election, Donald Trump seems to have breached and broken every one of his campaign promises. He has even found ways of criticizing former President Barack Obama for the exact actions Trump himself is now carrying out as well as for not having undertaken certain things Trump had promised never to indulge in.

History never repeats itself, but Trump has apparently decided to force it to do so. Perhaps it is due to a shortage of imagination or inspiration that he is putting up the same show his predecessors staged to justify the unjustifiable. The play is that of a blunt lie ­­— accusing a regime of possessing, using and planning to use weapons of mass destruction and of threatening the security of the USA even from tens of thousands of miles away, with no ballistic missiles and no budgets to run a war. In fact, like Bush before him, Trump has his secretary of state, his defense secretary and their top collaborators tell the world that they hold hard facts and unquestionable evidence to support their claims. However, unlike Bush and Colin Powell, Trump’s administration does not even have anything to show as evidence. They would like everyone to believe them on their word and on evidence they claim they have collected from the internet, social media and open source platforms. A victory for top-quality intelligence.

Watching the new U.S. secretary of state and defense secretary talking about the chemical attacks in Syria, one cannot help seeing the memory of Colin Powell showing the world what he had alleged was a sample of the huge amounts of deadly chemicals the late Saddam Hussein was holding and using to threaten U.S. security and world peace. It should be noted that not even the mighty U.S. military was able to find any traces of these chemicals in Iraq after they had invaded it. Also keep in mind that both Colin Powell and the then-prime-minister of the U.K. admitted to having been misled and mistaken — that Iraq held no such weapons. They both apologized for their unlawful aggression against Iraq. Wow.

There is a difference, however. While Bush had the decency to lie and show fake evidence, Trump is unable to create any false proof to justify attacking a sovereign country. Maybe he thinks he needs none. His secretary of state, with no sense of diplomacy, tells the world he is about to end the reign of the Assad family. He fails to say what right or authority he has to do this because — ignoring the fact that he has no right or authority — he, at best, does not care, and at worst, might not be aware he should even consider that question.

Lie, engage your country in a devastating war, kill millions, destroy a country and then apologize and get away with it. For the record, former top officers of Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, have issued multiple statements and warnings to the effect that the same scenario used in Iraq is being unfolded to destroy Syria in part to have direct access to the oil and gas in the region.

Trump must be thinking how fortunate he is that he can use Syria and Russia to divert attention from his domestic failures and push off the looming guilt of his being a puppet of the bear. While thanking his gods for this good fortune, however, he must have mistaken the good star for a sign that he can handle the whole world as he wishes and that he has no obligation to hold back or have respect for anything national or international. Has he not gone over democratic mechanisms in his own country and launched a war against a sovereign state in contempt of the United Nations Security Council? He must think he needs no mandate except from himself.

After a long history of wars and the pains of mutual retaliation, a group of countries managed to create institutions in which adversaries can talk and negotiate. Decisions can be made collectively according to procedures set up with two specific purposes in perspective: to prevent and limit actions that jeopardize world peace by precipitating warfare, and to take appropriate and swift measures to spare humanity the effects of irreversible belligerent action. Trump has shown that he holds in contempt the international community by bypassing the organizations dedicated to brokering peace and to make sure the most powerful do not abuse the less powerful.

According to his spokesperson, Sean Spicer, the purpose of the U.S. Administration’s actions is to destabilize Syria, an intention that flies in the face of international law. His comparison of Assad — whose name he is not even sure how to pronounce, saying it a different way each time — to Hitler is evidence enough of his ignorance, cultural insensitivity, lack of respect for the memory of the victims of Hitler and poor political sensibility. Like the other partners with whom he has parted ways, Trump had better get rid of Spicer before he gets the campaign in serious trouble — unless his awkwardness is meant to announce what might become World War III.

Regardless of what one thinks of President Assad — as he has been rather tough on his own people and that he might have walked on thin moral and legal lines — no other country is entitled to take any measures against him outside of international legality. No country, however powerful it may be, has the right to destabilize another one because they do not share views on how a country handles its own business. No head of state, even of a superpower, should be allowed to insult or demean another one. There are international mechanisms and courts of law to try political leaders and to judge them. They should not be trampled underfoot; nor should their competencies be abused by anyone. Otherwise, the world will turn into a jungle in which all forms of delinquency and violence would thrive.

There are forerunner signs that presage events. When a superpower accuses a regime of using chemical weapons on its own citizens and says the evidence is classified or has been destroyed, you start hearing boots stomping, engines roaring, bullets whistling and bloodbaths taking place. When the superpower ramps up the affront and paints a leader as worse than Hitler, you know the dice have been thrown. The verdict is already in and the sentence will be enforced even before the court has been convened.

The United States, the only country to have dropped two nuclear bombs on civilians — the deadliest chemical weapons in any war — is issuing signs that it will not hesitate to do so again very soon, allegedly to spare us all the consequences of foreseeable irresponsible acts of a lunatic leader who also owns such weapons and treats them as playthings.

Here’s an idea to make sense of the situation. Trump has decided to destroy Syria: to disband its standing army, dismantle its administration and annihilate the whole state. He does not have the intelligence to imagine other excuses to conceal his true motives.

In all this, as many U.S., British and French intelligence officers are saying, Trump is acting on false flags just as several former colleagues of his have in the past, including the entry into Vietnam. In this case, however, he seems to have mistaken the concentration of the bear for paralysis. He fails to see that the bear is determined to sit still, ready to deploy claws and teeth and try them on Trump’s hide. Is Trump being misled, or, as one commentator has put it, is caving in to the deep state and the military the best solution he can see to save his presidency?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. 

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