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Into the brink?

posted January 08, 2020 at 12:30 am
by  Lito Banayo
"We all await with bated breath what Iran will do next. "



Discombobulating is the best word to describe the latest act of irascibility of America’s Donald Trump.

Some are even afraid that the assassination of Iran’s Gen. Qasem Suleimani in the vicinity of the Baghdad airport in Iraq could trigger a World War III.

Maybe not. Not at this time anyway.

The Iranian leadership is yet calculating its moves, even as what the world used to know as the Persians are mad as hell. They have poured out by the millions in most every Iranian city not only in grief over their powerful military chief, but in vengeful anger at the Americans.  

And Donald Trump triggered it all by a move unprecedented in its lack of consultation with the US Congress and American allies, known only to a small coven of his trusted men.

The ostensible purpose, as Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims, is to prevent the “evil” plan of Suleimani to attack American targets in the Middle East. Preventive strike, kuno. 

But truly, it must have been a calculated act on the part of the amoral Donald Trump to prop up his sagging popularity at home in the face of a reelection campaign punctuated by his impeachment weeks ago.  As he faces trial in the US Senate, he now does a flag-waving exercise not only to gain sympathy from voters but also to reinforce his Republican strength in the Senate which will hear the charges soon.

He must have known likewise that some of his erstwhile key allies are itching to testify against him once the trial begins. As we write this, John Bolton, Trump’s former National Security Adviser has sent word to the Senate that he is ready and willing to testify should he be subpoenaed.

Nothing could be more irresponsible than Trump’s pushing the whole world into the brink of conflict at this time.  The American president does not have enough depth to navigate through geo-political hazards, and all he wants is to shield himself from his self-inflicted political troubles.

Now we all await with bated breath what Iran will do next.  Already, the shockwaves have brought about an increase in the price of crude oil.  That is expected.

When Rouhani told the daughter of the slain Suleimani who asked who would avenge her father’s death, that “all Iranians would avenge his death,” we should all be wary.  Iran is likely to be more calculating; the wound upon their national pride quite deep, the insult from the US of A unforgivable.

A third world war is not likely, but the theater of conflict would be more widespread, and acts of terrorism both unpredictable and with increased frequency.

For us Filipinos, Trump’s act of selfish motivation is not just a matter of petroleum prices impacting on our inflationary levels; it is a concern for the thousands of our countrymen toiling in Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere in the Middle East which may be drawn into the immediate arena of conflict.

Already, President Duterte mobilized his officials to plan out a forced repatriation should this be needed by events unveiling quite fast.

That is the short term.  In the medium- to long-term, I foresee the eventual creation of an anti-American axis that would redraw the balance of world power: an alliance among China, Russia and Iran, encompassing Eastern Europe through East Asia that would challenge not only America’s economic power, which has already been breached, but its military power as well.

Tremble at the thought when you look at the map of the world.  The former republics led by Russia in the defunct USSR, with the exception of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, across the Asian land mass of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, into China and Mongolia, plus the Shiite-majority nations of the Middle East.

With control over rich oil and gas resources, rare earth minerals, a third of the world’s territory and population,  and led by singularly authoritarian regimes, that prospect is quite frightening.   

And having pushed his envelope towards the brink in a fit of irrationality led by selfish motives, Donald Trump has just made this scenario all too foreseeable in earlier time.

* * *

Filipinos will appreciate the fact that Rodrigo Roa Duterte, from the very beginning of his presidency, weaned our foreign policy from being the lapdog of the Americans, and into an independent mode befitting a sovereign state imbued with the best interests of our nation and people. 

The way Trump and his Republicans, along with their racist followers, are destroying all that America has through centuries stood for, thank God our President was prescient.

* * *

A recent news article caught our attention: The Securities and Exchange Commission is seriously looking at the possibility that foundations and non-profit organizations such as so-called NGOs and people’s organizations are being used for money laundering.

Why not look as well into so-called religious organizations that wallow in too much wealth?  Could all such wealth come from the “tithes” and contributions of their flock alone?

Our laws even give so many tax exemptions to such religious organizations which may be using “faith” for money-making objectives, or worse, as washing machines for foreign monies in search of “cleaning.”

Topics: Lito Banayo , United States , Donald Trump , Iran , Gen. Qasem Suleimani , Mike Pompeo
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