We Choose a World Without War

The attack in Iraq which killed the Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, is a serious escalation by Trump of a conflict which has now gone on for nearly 20 years. Since the attacks on the world trade centre the “war on terror” has been a justification for every foreign policy adventure of three US administrations. It has also been used for domestic oppression against whistle blowers such as Chelsea Manning.

Trump tapped into war weariness in American society as part of his “man of the people” act. Like Obama before him he has betrayed this promise by continuing and increasing the number of drone strikes and escalating the tensions with Iran since his election.

This latest attack has fueled tensions with his Iraqi allies who have been embarrassed by the strike on their soil without prior knowledge. However, this may not be unintentional as Trump can justify moving troops from Iraq to other bases in the region to better position himself to attack Iran.

Moving some troops out of Iraq would allow Trump to claim to have fulfilled his election promise of 2016 while at the same time securing the Saudi alliance. The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran is in itself a contest for supremacy between two regional powers who do not have the best interest of their own people at heart, to say nothing of the interests of the people in other countries which they wish to control.

Recent protests in Iran over the cost of living will now be more easily suppressed with the claim of US interference and the actuality of US sanctions which are crippling the economy of Iran. Perhaps Trump hopes to bathe in the glory of being a “War President” as a way to get more votes in the upcoming US election.

The Irish revolutionaries of 1916 said “we choose neither King nor Kaiser;” in 2020 we choose neither Trump nor Rouhani. An attack on Iran is clearly wrong – however, that does not mean that Iran can use this attack for internal oppression of its own people.