Sir: A top Iranian military commander was killed in a drone strike ordered by the United States President, Donald Trump the other day. In keeping with its vow of a “crushing revenge,” Iran responded with force, launching more than a dozen missiles at two Iraqi bases that hold U.S. troops just hours after burying General Qassem Soleimani at his hometown of Kerman, south-eastern Iran in a massive funeral which in itself cost more than 50 lives.
Germany, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), Poland, Iraq, Japan, Australia, Phillipines, Denmark, India, Pakistan, New Zealand among other world countries have since reacted according to their own interest. With the resurgence of Shiite protest in Abuja and Kano recently and the Al-Shabab attack on a Kenyan base used by U.S. military, the contagion effect theory which explains the possibility of spread of crisis at domestic or international level due to increasing interdependence and correlation between issues comes to mind.
Killing a terrorist as a security matter is one thing. Killing another country’s general as part of a policy agenda is a different ball game and this looks more like a policy agenda where pattern has shown that successive U.S. presidents formant war to either stave-off impeachment, soar approval ratings or win elections. In 1998, President Clinton launched airstrikes against Iraq to stave-off impeachment, President Bush got the highest recorded approval ratings in the wake of the 9/11 attacks after invading Afghanistan and subsequently Iraq (2001 and 2003), in May 2011, President Obama violated Pakistan’s sovereignty in order to kill Osama Bin Laden. Faced with an impeachment threat and re-election bin, Trump struck Iran where it hurts. Interestingly, Trump’s campaign has already ran nearly 800 distinct Facebook Ads on the subject, the more reason why it is difficult to wave off Trump’s action as sinister, moreover, the Pentagon has refused to provide evidence of imminent attack Soleimani was said to be planning.
In diplomatic circles, the United States is known to be the most realistic nation ever. It deploys deterrence in its approach to international relations. History has shown that America has attacked so many sovereign nations under a lot of pretext and these incursions have done more harm than good to humanity. Whether its insistence on why it struck Iran’s top commander is just another pretext or a claim that can actually be substantiated does not eliminate the fact that again America has acted typically, as a result of which the world no longer feels safe. Donald J. Trump may have just succeeded in positioning the United States on a quest to reduce Iran to another Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria the consequence of which may be devastating for the whole world because apparently Iran doesn’t dodge missiles, it returns them and the U.S. on the other hand will not crouch down in fear. Whoever we choose to stand with among these two world powers, we should not forget that their show of force comes at the cost of innocent human lives on both sides. May humanity prevail!
Mohammed Dahiru Lawal, Bayero University, Kano.