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Battlefields In IRAN !

Battlefields In IRAN !
January 11
20:03 2020

Battlefields In IRAN !

On January 3, 2020 the United States of America assassinated one of the Republic of Iran’s top generals; Qassem Soleimani. If you believe the propaganda emanating from western news outlets Soleimani was evil personified.

Since 2016, the United States under President Trump has become irrational in its foreign policy. It is this irrationality that led to its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; it is this irrationality that led to the initiation of its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran and it is this irrationality that has now led to the assassination of Soleimani.

Under President Obama the United States intensified its extraterritorial military action using drones as its primary tool. The United States launched drone attacks all over the world, violating international law and terminating people extra-judicially for supposed terrorist activities. The difficulty here of course is that they alone decided who posed a threat to “world peace.”

Up until September 11, 2001 the American people had forgotten what the horrors of war feels like. The Japanese brought bombs and terror to Pearl Harbour but they did not strike mainland USA. Most Americans cannot and do not appreciate what it feels like for their cities to be bombed by a foreign power. They cannot fathom foreign military troops on their territory and they cannot appreciate the assassination of their leaders by a foreign power. But all these things they have visited upon others; and with impunity!

Since September 11, 2001 the United States has used the guise of terrorism to cement its global hegemony. It has used Israel as its bully in the Middle East to try and counter the Arabs and Palestinians and to this end it has singlehandedly granted Israel immunity from the United Nations.

The United States has done nothing about Israel’s nuclear program even as they tell us that Iran’s nuclear program is the work of the devil himself. But the Americans have used the weapons of mass destruction boogieman before (remember Iraq?) so now they must find a new pretext for war: terrorism!

Iran is half a world away from Belize and many may believe that we will be unaffected by the actions of the United States. Geography alone cannot insulate us from the fallout of the recent American blunder. Belize, as indeed the rest of the Caribbean, is dependent on oil and tourism: two sectors that are most sensitive to exogenous shocks.

Belize is already faced with a sluggish and stalling economy and the economic shocks from actions in Iran are likely to make life even harder for ordinary Belizeans. Oil undergirds every segment of our economic space and tourism with its fickle ways can vanish with a single warning from the US State Department!

As bad as the economic foreboding might be it pales in comparison to consequence of some kind of attack on American interests in Belize or the wider Caribbean. Iran has promised retaliation at a time and place of its choosing and Belize with its more than one million tourists offers a very soft and attractive target. It would mean the end of Belize as we know it if there were to be an attack on this critical economic lifeline.

Belize’s national security posture under John Saldivar has been feeble, to put it mildly. Saldivar has been struggling with street crimes/murders and he has been wholly impotent to stop drug planes from landing. In such a weak national security environment you can understand why one would be concerned about our tourism infrastructure. The Ministry of National Security should therefore develop, post haste, a plan to protect Belize’s tourism infrastructure from attack and ask the Americans for help to fund such a plan.

Perhaps one of the unintended consequences of the assassination of Soleimani is that many Belizeans may find themselves fighting on the battlefields of Iran. Facebook was buzzing about a possible war with Iran and many Belizeans were asking for prayers for their loved ones as war with Iran appeared more and more imminent.

There are a great number of Belizeans who are serving in the armed forces of the United States, including the son of a sitting member of Belize’s Cabinet. Naturally their relatives are anxious about the prospects of war but as the saying goes – “that is what you signed up for.”

Service in the US armed forces seems to be a very attractive option for many Belizeans once they make their way to the US. The US armed forces offer decent benefits and when compared to a life at home many Belizeans take the risk of going to war in order to enjoy such benefits. In 2020 it appears that Belizean blood may be shed, not in defence of Belize but on a foreign battlefield.

There is a bitter irony in this prospect because many of the Belizeans who are in the US armed forces would not care to join the BDF or the Coast Guard. In fact many here at home are not prepared to lay their lives down for their own country.

In the lead up to the ICJ Referendum, the Minister of National Security paraded the four stooges on national television to frighten the Belizean people into voting YES. They told the Belizean people that the only alternative to the ICJ was war. Many of us became spooked at the sight of our so called “security chiefs” telling us that they too were afraid of war.

In 2020 we are now asking our sons and daughters to be brave on the battlefields of Iran (if needs be) but in 2019 we were telling them to be afraid to die on the battlefields at home (if needs be)! Holy mackerel!

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