Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 4 Jan 2019


  • America Kills Iranian General Qasem Soleimani
  • Turkey Decides to Deploy Troops to Libya
  • Pakistani Legislature Bows to Military Supremacy
  • Nord Stream 2: Germany and Russia Decry US Sanctions
  • Trump Warns About Libya Meddling After Turkey Votes to send Troops
  • Fears of conflict Spread as Trump Appears to Taunt Iran, Saying it has Never Won a War

America Kills Iranian General Qasem Soleimani

The disbelieving imperialist Americans have undertaken yet another unilateral action in the Muslim world, assassinating the Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, with US President Donald Trump justifying his illegal actions by pleading that his intentions were good because he was attempting to stop a war rather than begin one. According to the Washington Post:

President Trump told reporters Friday that the United States had killed Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran’s top military figures, in a bid to “stop a war.” The president, speaking at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, urged Iran not to retaliate.

“We did not take action to start a war,” he said.

The targeted killing of Soleimani, a powerful figure among forces aligned with Iran throughout the Middle East, dramatically increased tensions in the region and caused U.S. outposts and personnel to brace for retaliatory attacks. The attack also upset global markets and sent oil prices shooting upward. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad warned Americans in Iraq to leave “immediately.”

The Pentagon said that it will deploy 3,500 additional troops to the Middle East after Iran vowed to exact “severe revenge” on the United States for the drone strike that killed Soleimani early Friday near the Baghdad airport.

Iraqi militias allied with Iran had been harassing U.S. forces in Iraq in recent weeks, including an attack on a base that killed a U.S. contractor. The United States has said that Soleimani was killed as he was planning new attacks and that Trump ordered the attack.

In fact, it is America that is directly responsible for the wars in the Muslim world at this time, and whatever actions it carries out, including the present one, are to impose and maintain American control over Muslim countries, assisted by agent rulers in all Muslim governments loyal to the West. Soleimani himself had often worked closely with the Americans, as detailed in another piece in the Washington Post:

But the U.S. relationship with Soleimani, like many in the Middle East, has been a complicated one, and he wasn’t always on the opposite side. They even worked together.

As the New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins wrote in 2013, there was a time when there seemed to be hope for something amounting to an alliance between the United States and Iran in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. And Soleimani, who led Iran’s Quds Force, which is charged with carrying out operations beyond the country’s borders, was the point person…

Crocker described sharing information with the Iranians, including getting a map detailing the locations of the Taliban and giving Iran the location of an al-Qaeda facilitator, whom Iran soon detained. Crocker said the negotiator he was working with told him, “Haji Qassem is very pleased with our cooperation.”

Soleimani was spearheading Iran’s efforts in Iraq and Syria in service of American objectives, seeking to stabilise the governments there and suppress any revolutionary tendencies in their peoples. His clash with America was only because the US now wanted Iran’s exit from both countries after services rendered were complete. The death of Soleimani is a lesson for all agents in the Muslim world, to realise that America is an evil master to serve and any cooperation with the disbelieving imperialists will only end in misery for all.


Turkey Decides to Deploy troops to Libya

After betraying the Syrian revolution, Turkey appears poised to repeat the same in Libya by betraying the pro-European Libyan government in its conflict with the pro-American Khalifah Haftar. According to the BBC:

Turkey risks becoming even more deeply embroiled in Libya’s conflict and its decision to deploy troops marks a new stage in the internationalisation of the fighting.

Turkey has already supplied armoured vehicles to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli and also operates drones on its behalf.

Turkish troops will apparently be deployed in a “training and advisory” role. But this is a highly flexible description. If the Tripoli Government has its back to the wall, then Turkey may be compelled to take a more direct hand in the fighting. At the very least the exact role and purpose of the Turkish deployment is yet to be defined.

The civil strife in Libya which intensified in April of last year with a renewed assault by the Tripoli Government’s main opponent – General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army – is increasingly taking on the appearance of a proxy war, with a variety of external actors picking sides and playing out their own regional ambitions.

In this sense, the conflict resembles the much greater catastrophe in Syria, but it looks clear that we will be hearing a good deal more of the Libya crisis and Turkey’s broader role in the region in the coming months.

The Muslim Ummah will continue to suffer as long as its rulers and leaders participate in the schemes of the disbelieving imperialists. Muslims must pledge their loyalty to sincere, indigenous, ideological leadership that shall re-establish the Islamic Khilafah State (Caliphate) on the method of the Prophet (saw) and eject the influence of the foreign disbeliever in our lands.


Pakistani Legislature Bows to Military Supremacy

As expected, after the recent hiccup, Pakistan is on course to dutifully provide its military chief with his 3-year extension. According to Reuters:

Pakistan’s government on Friday introduced legislation to extend the tenure of the army chief in line with a Supreme Court order that it must justify its wish to see the top commander stay on in the job for an extra three years.

The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan approved an extension for General Qamar Javed Bajwa in August, citing a worsening national security situation in the region over its rivalry with India.

But in a surprise ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the extension in November, ordering the government and army to produce legal provisions and arguments on the reasoning behind the move, pitting the judiciary against the government and powerful military.

Pakistan’s military has ruled the country for about half its 72-year history and sets defense and security policy and recently has had a role in framing economic policies too.

The army chief usually serves a three-year term.

On Friday, the first day of a new parliamentary session, the government introduced a lower house bill to provide legal cover for Bajwa’s extension after managing to win the support of opposition parties, government officials said.

“We are willing to support the legislation if the government follows parliamentary procedures,” said Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the leader of a main opposition party.

The legalization is expected to be passed by next week, clearing way for Bajwa in his post until 2022.

During Bajwa’s tenure, the opposition has accused the military of meddling in elections and politics to support Khan, while limiting civil liberties and muzzling the media.

The military denies interfering in politics.

No state can succeed when it is controlled by its military leadership instead of its political leadership. And Pakistan’s generals, as in other countries also, have been repeatedly encouraged by America to take control of politics, in order that the Americans can use the military to force their agenda on the political establishment. The sincere officers within the Pakistan army must reject American influence and instead pledge their loyalty to sincere, indigenous, ideological leadership that will establish the righteous Khilafah State (Caliphate) on the method of the Prophet (saw), ejecting all foreign influence from the country and unifying it with other Islamic lands. The military must support the cause of Islam and not the cause of the foreign disbeliever.


Nord Stream 2: Germany and Russia Decry US Sanctions

Germany and Russia have reacted angrily to sanctions approved by US President Donald Trump on a gas pipeline between the two countries. The sanctions target firms building Nord Stream 2, an undersea pipeline that will allow Russia to increase gas exports to Germany. The US considers it a security risk. But Germany accused Washington of interfering in its internal affairs, while Russia and EU officials also criticised the sanctions. Congress voted through the measures as part of a defence bill last week and the legislation, which described the pipeline as a “tool of coercion”, was signed off by Mr Trump on Friday. The almost $11bn (£8.4bn) Nord Stream 2 project has infuriated the US, with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers opposing it. The Trump administration fears the pipeline will tighten Russia’s grip over Europe’s energy supply and reduce its own share of the lucrative European market for American liquefied natural gas. President Trump has said the 1,225km (760-mile) pipeline, owned by Russia’s state-owned gas company, Gazprom, could turn Germany into a “hostage of Russia”. Speaking on German TV, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the sanctions were an infringement of sovereignty. “It is up to the companies involved in the construction of the pipeline to take the next decisions,” he said. The US sanctions have also angered Russia and the European Union, which says it should be able to decide its own energy policies. “As a matter of principle, the EU opposes the imposition of sanctions against EU companies conducting legitimate business,” a spokesman for the trading bloc told AFP news agency on Saturday.  Russia’s foreign ministry also strongly opposed the move, with ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accusing Washington of promoting an “ideology” that hinders global competition. The consortium behind Nord Stream 2 confirmed that it would build the pipeline as soon as possible, despite the sanctions. “Completing the project is essential for European supply security. We, together with the companies supporting the project, will work on finishing the pipeline as soon as possible,” it said. However, Allseas, a Swiss-Dutch company involved in the project, said it had suspended its pipe-laying activities in anticipation of the sanctions. Businesses in Germany, meanwhile, have invested heavily in the project. Chancellor Merkel has tried to assure Central and Eastern European states that the pipeline would not make Germany reliant on Russia for energy. [Source: BBC]

There are two reasons why the US opposes the project. First, the US fears the gas pipeline may lead to close relations between Germany and Russia, which challenges US supremacy on the continent. Second, the US has declared global economic war and  the latest victim is Nord Stream 2. Under the Trump administration, mercantilism is making a new comeback.


Trump Warns About Libya Meddling After Turkey Votes to send Troops

Donald Trump warned his Turkish counterpart that “foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya”, after Ankara voted to send troops to the oil-rich North African state. Mr Trump spoke to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, on Thursday after Turkey’s parliament approved a year-long mandate to dispatch armed forces to prop up the ailing government of Libyan prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj. While Mr Sarraj’s government of national accord is recognised by the UN as the legitimate authority in Libya, it has been struggling to fend off an offensive on Tripoli, the Libyan capital, by forces loyal to military strongman Khalifa Haftar. Tripoli made the request for military support from Turkey to help it counter Gen Haftar’s assault last week, making formal for the first time one part of a tangled web of foreign interests. Gen Haftar controls most of Libya and is backed by Turkey’s regional rivals Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Russia. “President Trump pointed out that foreign interference is complicating the situation in Libya,” the White House said in a statement following the telephone call on Thursday. Although the US officially supports the UN peace process that underpins Mr Sarraj’s government, which Turkish troops are intended to buttress, Mr Trump has previously praised Gen Haftar’s efforts to counter terrorism and secure oil resources. The comments have been seen by some as coming close to endorsing Gen Haftar, counter to official US policy. “The United States supports the ongoing efforts of UN special representative Ghassan Salamé and the UN Support Mission in Libya to chart a path that provides security and prosperity for all Libyans,” a US state department official said on Thursday, adding that external actors “must stop fuelling the conflict”. “All countries must refrain from exacerbating the civil conflict and support a return to the UN-facilitated political process,” the official said. Mr Erdogan has previously said that Turkey would do what it could to help the “legitimate government of Libya”, which he said was under attack from a “warlord”. Turkish officials have not specified exactly what type of military support they will provide to Tripoli. Speaking the day before the vote, Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s vice-president, suggested the dispatch of troops may not be necessary if the motion forced Gen Haftar and his supporters to back down. But Mr Oktay also said Turkey would send “the necessary number [of troops] whenever there is a need”. [Source: Financial Times]

Turkey has a poor record in Syria and Iraq. Ankara has expedited the control of both countries to foreign powers. The same is likely to happen in Libya. The only solution to the bloodshed in Libya is to bring Libya under the shade of the Khilafah (Caliphate). Indeed, the Ottoman Caliphate provided stability to Libya under the wilayah of Tripolitania and actively prevented western powers from interference.


Fears of Conflict Spread as Trump Appears to Taunt Iran, Saying it has Never Won a War

Iran has vowed to take revenge for a US drone strike that killed its most powerful general, as the US secretary of state attempted to minimise the fallout from the dramatic attack by stating Washington was “committed to de-escalation”. The Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, ordered three days of mourning and declared that the US would face “severe revenge” for the killing of Qassem Suleimani, who ran Tehran’s military operations in Iraq and Syria. The 62-year-old general died when his car was targeted by a drone in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, as local allies from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) were driving him from the airport. The de facto leader of the PMF, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a close Suleimani associate, was also killed in the attack. “General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo said. “This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” Allegations have been raised, including by a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, about the legality of the assassination under international law. A total of 10 people died, Iranian state television reported. Speaking to CNN, Pompeo claimed the targeted killing prevented Suleimani from carrying out an “imminent” attack on Americans in the region. He provided no evidence to back up his statement. “I can’t talk too much about the nature of the threats. But the American people should know that the president’s decision to remove Qassem Suleimani from the battlefield saved American lives,” he said. The US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump had “tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox”. His fellow Democratic hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders warned the attack could spark a disastrous new war in the Middle East. [Source: The Guardian]

While the strikes expose America’s impunity for the international law, it remains to be seen what response originates from Tehran. Iran and the US have worked closely to safeguard American interests in Iraq and Syria, and it is very unlikely that Iran’s response will upend these interests.