Watch Out NATO, Trump’s America Is Now in the Business of Assassinating Generals of Allied Governments
Trump's brave new Idiot Empire. Subjecting enemies and clients alike to tariffs, sanctions... and now acts of war
If you thought the Trump administration imposing petty tariffs on Europeans and sanctioning Germany was something, how about the Pentagon annihilating 25 Iraqi PMF (Popular Mobilisation Force) troops, and assassinating the Iraqi Deputy Chairman of the PMF?
Acts of war against a sovereign government without so much as a declaration of war are something we have come to expect from the Empire, but not against its own client-states.
The US continues to wield enormous influence in Baghdad (at least it has until now), has an agreement in place with the Iraqi government to station 5,000 troops there, and continues to help fund and train its army. By all metrics, these are two closely intertwined governments. The US has a far greater footprint in Iraq and broader ties with it than for example with Ukraine recently bandied as a “critical ally of the US”.
And yet, as it supports the Iraqi army, the US now also wages war on a different branch of the armed forces, the Popular Mobilization Forces, a kind of Iraqi National Guard.
Sure, Iraq is at least a half-way a failed state where monopoly on force is far from centralized, and it is genuinely fuzzy whether the various PMF brigades are functionally government forces or private party militias. Nonetheless, by the letter of the law they are a government para-military, which is how any government that respects Iraqi sovereignty (which kind of discounts the 2003 invaders right there) and wishes to stay on good terms with it, needs to concern itself with.
The US instead went and carried out an unauthorized assassination at the Baghdad International Airport of an Iranian general, a guest of the PMF, and in the attack also killed the deputy head of the PMF.
That is as if Mexico after being given basing rights in the US used those bases to assassinate the second-in-command of the US National Guard along with a visiting Canadian general.
Most likely the PMF deputy chief Muhandis wasn’t even a target of the attack, but a mere afterthought. But that only goes to show the ease with which the US under Trump now hits its own friends/allies/clients with tariffs, sanctions, and now also acts of war.
Trump and Pentagon apologists are already defending the hit, pointing out that Muhandis “violated US sovereignty” in the anti-American protest on US Embassy grounds. That counts for little, however, seeing the US had a day prior violated Iraqi sovereignty by annihilating 25 of Muhandis’ men in their own country.*
The Americans in turn claim this was justifiable since they had sustained one contractor dead in an artillery attack on their base, probably carried out by men of the PMF. Left unsaid is that for months the US had been allowing Israel the use of Syrian and Iraqi airspace under US control to hit PMF bases, killing upwards of 50 PMF servicemen in eight separate attacks.
In the short term the big news is the death of the Iranian general, Qassam Suleimani — the architect of Iran’s 2013 Syria intervention which arrested the advance of al-Qaeda and a booster of Iraq’s PMF which repelled ISIS in Iraq — and the danger this escalates into an all-out American-Iranian war.
But in the long run, the bigger news is the new level of US
No, I don’t exactly expect that Germany’s Luftwaffe head or the French Naval chief have to fear for their lives just yet. What I do expect is that, particularly if Trump wins another four years and continues to normalize assaults on allies and friends, that US global hegemony may find itself hobbled sooner than any of us expected. As Senator Rand Paul has pointed out, treating friends like enemies ensures you will have fewer friends.
*According to some information I’ve now seen only 9 of the 25 Iraqi servicemen slain by the US on December 29th were PMF men. The other 16 were Iraqi border police or regular army soldiers, which if anything makes things worse.