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Editorial

Iraq, Iran, America

India is steadily losing the status of being called the most dangerous flash point with potential of nuclear conflict in South Asia for its historical animosity with Pakistan, thanks to Trump's adventure or misadventure in Iraq. Right now it is Middle East, particularly after the murder of Qasem Soleimani by US troops. Americans always mean business and they target their friends and foes equally when it suits their geo-political and corporate interests. Iran stands in their way of absolute hegemony in the Middle East region. So they won't hesitate to escalate tensions and create a war hysteria by murdering one of Iran's top most Generals. But in the end Iraqis will have to pay the price because of continuing stand-off between America and Iran.

General Qasem Soleimany, a senior officer of the Iranian army, has been gunned down on the direction of President Donald Trump. No doubt this has reached the zenith of strained relations between Iran and the United States.. Maybe, the current situation is the worst phase in recent years and is believed to be leading to global volatility. In the event of a war between Iran and the United States, the possibility of which seems to have receded at the moment, India may have to face many economic challenges and make a lot of permutations and combinations to reconcile the two warring countries. In December, 2019, last month, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited the US and Iran, only to make New Delhi's position balanced in the crisis triangle of Iran-India-America.. The US reportedly showed its eagerness to exempt India over Iran's Chabahar port. In truth these days America is paying less attention to India-Iran relations.

Iraqis are totally against regular American interference in Iraqi affairs. Only the other day Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that airstrikes at Baghdad Airport was a violation of Iraq's sovereignty. In reality airstrike had broken the conditions and agreed principles of the US army's presence in Iraq. The airstrike was carried out after President Trump's directive as per the Pentagon's statement. But Trump's former cabinet aide and US envoy to the United Nations and Us citizens of Indian origin Nikki Haley supported the US army action and it could not be otherwise at a time when Trump derives comfort from the psycophants for his every wild action. "Qasem Soleimany was a terrorist whose hands were dyed with the blood of American citizens." Average Americans look proud of Trump's air-strike gambit.

According to Reuters, China has said it opposes the use of army in international relations. The Chinese Foreign Ministry passed on both sides, especially the United States, to exercise restraint and not to take any drastic action that may disturb peace and stability in the Middle East. Russia too subscribes to the Chinese idea of giving diplomacy a chance.

America and its allies feel insecure in the Gulf region—an almost unthinkable reality to imagine only a few years back. For one thing Soleimany's murder in Baghdad has denuded their aspects of inner working system and power play. Washington looks desperate, and even by American standards, its strategy and tactics are shortsighted today. In other words all these are signs of America's weakness, albeit the White House has masked a bold face to show the world that there is nothing wrong with America's super power position.

But Americans are divided- not all of America's ruling elites are in accord. A part of far right conservative camp is highly critical of the assassination game. But they matter little in the polity. The same is with a part of the Empire's legislature that decides the course of action.

The murder of Iranian General has given a new twist to Gulf politics: the US Administration has failed to mobilise all its regional arch allies to fall along its line while its arch enemy Iran—has shown matured diplomacy only to make things difficult for America. Tehran has taken advantage of the emerging situation which in effect will embolden Iran's clergy establishment.

For America it is really surprising that Baghdad is not behaving, Iraq's move to ask America to pull out its troops from its soil was too much for the Trumps. The Trump shot back by making it clear that they won't leave without recovering money they have spent on Iraq. No Bush, senior or junior, ever thought of this scenario during their respective part of ploys to occupy Iraq and bomb that hapless state to stone-age. Rather, Iran's clout has increased considerably in the region after Trump failed to defend the indefensible—murder of Soleimany—in the face of world public opinion against his military action. Oil is the reason and oil is the cause. And the world at large will continue to depend on oil from the region—even a short war will jeopardise the oil economy. With every passing day American hegemonism has not got an iota acceptability in the region. Americans are isolated and they will continue to be isolated unless their enemy perception changes in favour of lasting peace and stability but the region today is more unstable and more volatile and, America despite its decline is still the most powerful force militarily and economically in today's world.

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Frontier
Vol. 52, No. 30, Jan 26 - Feb 1, 2020