The United States Government’s Department of Homeland Security has announced a terror alert in the wake of President Donald Trump’s assassination of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani. Homeland Security has conveniently translated the warning into Russian and Arabic. For all other nations that America is pissed off at, they’ll have to learn English. This is Trump’s terror offensive because Syria is a lost cause.
Terrified, Just Terrified
When an old high school friend of mine shared this Homeland Security bulletin on Facebook the other day, I’ll admit I was a little surprised. Apparently, the Trump administration and US media have scared the Bejesus out of many citizens with bold talk and a lot of flame fanning over the drone strike against Iran’s top general.
Issued Saturday, January 4, 2020, the bulletin also brings into the light the fact the United States had designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a Foreign Terrorist Organization on April 15, 2019. Though I cannot recall the official announcement making mainstream news, apparently the Trump administration said Iran has “direct involvement in terrorist plotting.”
I took the liberty of researching the previous announcement back in April, and sure enough, the State Department labeled Iran a sponsor of terrorism and the IRGC a financier and promoter of terror. This is what President Trump had to say back then:
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.”
Mr. Trump accused Iran of implementing a globalist terror campaign as well. Back in March of 2018, the Trump administration condemned Iran for its support of Syria against the mercenary army the Saudis, the United States, and other western coalition nations funded, armed, and trained, and administered battlefield care to since before 2014. In a report for Global Research, Harvard, Stanford and Columbia University scholar Garikai Chengu framed the US goal in the Syria war as a quest for oil and for aiding the Saudis and Israel:
“The goal is to deprive Israel’s neighboring enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.”
Who Are the Terrorists?
The US/Israeli proxy wars of Arab Spring are a topic that’s been covered extensively. In this report, I simply want to point out the hypocrisy and lunacy Donald Trump brings forward in his adolescent justifications for pushing Iran into a corner by killing Qassem Soleimani. Chengu also points out that the last time Iran invaded another nation was way back in 1738, while the US has engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions since gaining independence from England.
I am not the only one making the point of Trump and the United States arming terrorist. Presidential candidate, Rep. Tulis Gabbard put forward the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) to Congress in 2017 with this admonition:
“We have spent trillions of dollars on regime change wars in the Middle East while communities like Hawaiʻi face a severe lack of affordable housing, aging infrastructure, the need to invest in education, health care, and so much more.”
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
President Trump is operating in classic Washington mode by blaming all opponents for dashed economies and strife the United States is actually the cause of. In Trump’s statement from April, he chastized the Iranians for propping up Syria’s Assad with $16 billion, which he claims made Iranians poorer. The truth is, Trump’s backing out of the nuclear deal and reapplication of sanctions are what’s hurting Iranians. The US president goes on to blame Iran’s leadership for drought and dust storms.
Trump basically calls for a regime change by coup d’état in this announcement. If imposing our will on other people is not terrorism, then I don’t know what is. It seems that anyone who disagrees with our leadership is now fair game. And considering Homeland Security is broadcasting fear in English, Russian, and Arabic only, what does this indicate?
Tulsi Gabbard’s bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Walter B. Jones (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Ted Yoho (R-FLY), and Garrett Thomas (R-VA). Some of the bill#s aspects were added into the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. This was passed by the US Senate last month with some other organizations added to the list. What’s interesting is the timing of President Trump’s terrorist-like drone strike just days after US lawmakers more or less admitted having used taxpayer dollars to fund terrorists. Why else would a law be necessary?
Rep. Gabbard tried to amendment the new law to strike the language of Section 1225 of the FY2019 NDAA that authorizes the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State to develop and implement a strategy to counter the “destabilizing activities of Iran” and only afterward inform Congress. I am not clear on whether or not the new NDAA requires the Trump administration to inform Congress beforehand. The law does forbid absolutely the use of military force against Iran without a declaration by Congress. Section 1225 states:
“Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act may be construed to authorize the use of military force against Iran.”
Since the attack on Iran’s top general was reportedly carried out by a US Air Force an MQ-9 Reaper drone, the legality of the strike seems in question. Since the Iranians consider the assassination of General Soleimani an act of war, Article I of the United States Constitution may be called into question since it requires the President to obtain authorization from Congress before engaging in war with Iran. Trump is using part (d) of Section 1229, which allows the president to protect US citizens and allies, by saying Soleimani was planning a terror attack. So far, no proof of this has surfaced.
More Abuses of Power
Just hours after Donald Trump asserted he was killing Soleimani before he prepared so-called plots against Americans, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament with a bombshell. According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapprochement that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
To make matters worse, Abdul-Mahdi said that President Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani. So, in other words, an American chief executive allegedly baited a foreign leader into a trap that ended in death.
Right now the White House and the US State Department are working feverishly to generate the narrative that General Qassem Soleiman was pure evil and a terrorist even worse than Osama bin Laden. Anyone with an ounce of fairness knows there are generals on all sides who are responsible for ghastly things. But few generals maintain the adoration and respect Soleiman brought with him. If Abdul-Mahdi is on the level, the general was called in to calm down the situation and America’s president blew he and the Middle East up from his golf course in Florida.
On the home front, it appears as if White House shuffling has taken hold with Trump’s constituency. It seems like no matter what the billionaire president does, the simplistic MAGA slogan and cheap gas grip the hearts and minds of a huge cross-section of my country. Many of my friends in the deep south accused me of being a so-called “Trump hater” because I disagree with many of his policies. When this story comes out, I’ll certainly lose a few more Facebook pals, that’s for sure. What the saddest point for me is the fact that a big percentage of the US troops who will be sent to fight if Iran retaliates, they will be from my neck of the woods. I know they will serve proudly, in yet another war for profit sponsored by Trump’s backers. It’s just too bad, we never seem to learn from past mistakes. Let’s hope an investigation into the Iraqi PM’s claims ensues. If Trump set this man up, the Democrats should amend their impeachment articles to suit.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”