By Courtenay Barnett
Before I had completed a good laugh about Stormy Daniels money hustling directed at President Trump he proceeded to give me something far more serious to write about.
Dear beloved, I am left no choice but to deliver this serious sermon. As always, I shall be speaking the almighty truth. My legal mind has now been directed to the very serious implications under international law, for President Trump’s declaration that he intends to scrap the Iran nuclear deal: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
A pithed history of US/Iran relations might be instructive.
The democratically elected leader of Iran in the 1950s, Mohammad Mosaddeq, wanted to modernise Iran along Western lines. He was a Professor of international law who had studied in France and had taken note of the desireable elements of Western democratic processes and thus wanted to move Iran in a direction, he, as a nationalist, thought was in the best interests of his people.
Mosaddeq also wanted to ensure that Iran obtained a fair share of its oil wealth.
Mosaddeq nationalised the Anglo-American oil interests then operating in Iran.
Mosaddeq argued his case for his country before the then World Court and he won.
Mosaddeq was named man of the year by Time Magazine and appeared on its front cover in 1952.
The Anglo-American interests responded to Mosaddeq with a CIA led coup in 1953, which overthrew Mosaddeq and in his stead installed the Shah of Iran ( a US puppet).
Up to 1979 the Shah remained in power and in a popular uprising he was overthrown.
It is that revolutionary government which currently is in power in Iran.
That history, to say the least, is both ironic and quite telling. Iran was the country in which the US effected the first post World War 11 CIA coup, to be followed by the coup d'état in Guatemala in 1954 and many more across the world thereafter. Did someone speak of meddling in elections and the like…hmmm? Ironic, because the expressed concerns about the long-suffering people of Iran under the revolutionary government, has only US models of Iraq and Libya as recent invitees to administrative and governmental disaster and options being offered by the greatest defender of democracy in the world today – the United States of America. Or, am I missing something here? An elected leader overthrown, and one who embraced and actively sought to follow Western democratic practices in government, is – well – conveniently displaced. And now President Trump is telling intelligent people in the world that once more he wants to help the long suffering people of Iran – “Finally, I want to deliver a message to the long-suffering people of Iran: The people of America stand with you.” - really? For the sake of historical accuracy and completeness and indeed truth – the words might be added: “ as we did in 1953 when we overthrew Mossadeq and gave the Iranian people the Shah.”
Irony of ironies in abundance. Was it not Donald Trump during the American presidential campaign, who had denounced former President George Bush Jr. for having “destabilised” the Middle East in having attacked Iraq.
So, may I ask:-
Are there standard and established practices to be met under international law before commencing war?
Does a Treaty not assist the rule of international law, such that any violation thereunder has a predetermined path in the international community to address consequences for such violation(s)?
Did not the designated international verification bodies, inclusive of US intelligence agencies, give Iran a clean bill of health for adhering to the nuclear deal?
The position under international law, with America’s European allies protesting the approach taken by Trump, then compels the questions:-
If not this deal then what?
Is there a plan B which President Trump has not informed us of?
What structure, under international law, is to be invoked to assist the intended non-proliferation of nuclear arms which the Iran deal sought to stop or at the very least, forestall?
Peace candidate Trump now seems hell bent on of both further destabilising the Middle East and moving events closer to a war. It is a tremendous executive step to leap-frog over one’s Secretary of Defence then abandon a carefully crafted multilateral agreement. Since Trump denounced his predecessor for the “mistake” of attacking Iraq, then what does this move against Iran signal if not yet again a potential greater “mistake” committed in the full glow of daylight and with the warning precedent of Iraq well established for all to see. But – Iran is not Iraq and the consequences of such a war would be far more devastating for the Middle East and indeed the world. Should we laugh or cry when we hear these words uttered by President Trump in his speech declaring the end of the Iran nuclear deal, “Great things can happen for Iran, and great things can happen for the peace and stability that we all want in the Middle East.” Like ‘regime change’ a la the 1953 US led Iranian coup d'état?
Let us further consider:-
No regard for the opinions of Congress.
No heeding of the findings of the designated US intelligence agencies monitorings and reports.
No abiding the concerns of America’s European allies.
No regard for the fact that China, Russia, the European allies were all on board and endorsed the Iranian nuclear deal.
No proclaimed or stated alternative plan once the deal is jettisoned.
Yet - a unilateral decision is pursued by President Trump – to what end? Why?
I believe that since Trump is surrounded by Zionists, and a person central to the decision making process, such as John Bolton, he is emboldened by warmongers. With a nut job like John Bolton as the new National Security adviser, who just happens to be a neocon warmonger and an architect for the 2003 George W. Bush illegal war against Iraq, one is not surprised by the direction, towards war, which President Trump is taking the US and the world.
Still, in more specific terms – why did Trump do it when at least two-thirds of Americans believe that he should not withdraw?
There is an answer.
Jared Kusher, Trump’s son in law is Jewish; Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, were huge financial contributors to Trump’s campaign and Paul Singer can be included as a financial backer, paid for when Marcus and Adelson (the biggest campaign supporter) are also board members of the ’Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition’ so there is more than enough close personal (as in Trump’s friendship with Netanyahu) and psychological (as in I shall undo all that Obama did) reasons for Trump to have acted as he did.
See, people get squeamish to speak about the Palestinian/Israel issue, for fear of being called anti-Semitic. Well, not so. One can have an honest discussion about the issue and be pro-justice while not being anti-Semitic. Can one run and chew gum at the same time? Let’s try. There are three fundamental positions to be adopted on the Palestinian/Israel issue:-
A ‘settler colony’ as of 1948 displaced some 700,000 Palestinians, who ended up in refugee camps in places like Jordan and Lebanon. This leads to one path of resistance which is that Israel had no right to do this. Enter, Iran in support of the Palestinians, Hezbollah and Hamas.
A post-1967 position which accepts that the 1967 boundary line establishes Israel’s’ territorial borders. Yet, East Jerusalem and the expansion of Jews into Palestinian lands, with no opposition from the US then leaves the Palestinians abandoned and dejected (or is the right word “rejected” by US Foreign policy?).
A one state or two state option.
Now. Let us fast forward to the recent decision of President Trump. See, when Trump was contesting within the Republican party and Mario Rubio was a challenger, Trump had his sights focused on who was funding his opponent. That was then with Sheldon Adelson funding Rubio. Trump in response said that Aldeson was seeking to “mold Marco Rubio into the perfect little puppet.” Then when Adleson became a welcomed money supplier for Trump the former opposition transformed into acceptance. Indeed, he who pays the piper, now calls Trump’s tune. That is the stark reality that the world is fearful to say because many persons are fearful for being labelled anti-Semitic. Well, I am a Black man, and I just spoke truth to power, and further, call me racist – and – I shall call all my Jewish friends and have them laugh along with me – right in your stupid face. So there. Thus, I surmise that any chance of Israeli-Palestinian peace under a Trump Presidency just took wings and flew out the window towards another window across the way in East Jerusalem where Trump has endorsed the U.S. Embassy’s placement. And one wonders why Iran supports the Palestinian cause. I shall tell you why – simply because countries such as the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel render no assistance to the plight of the Palestinian people.
Consider this, when President Trump enlists in this declaratory speech on the abandonment of the nuclear deal, his concern for the Iranian people. Declassified documents confirm that the US government had virtually no concern when Saddam Hussein was using chemical weapons against Iranians during the eight years war of Iraq against Iran (see: below at 2). However, could anyone in his/her right mind ever accuse Mr. Trump of being either a complicit and bought and paid for “moron” or a pathetic and pathological liar when he speaks as he does? Worse yet, even a “puppet” of the Israeli lobby operating in the US? Never!
Lightning is threatening to strike twice in the same region.
Brace yourself or run for cover.
It is undeniably clear that President Trump is pursing what I term a “KK” plan and policy, which is two-pronged:-
1. "k" kill the nuclear deal with Iran; then
2. "K" kill the Iranian people, if not with further crippling sanctions, then with actual direct warfare. If you think that I am exaggerating or in any way not speaking truthfully, then think again:-
Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.