Americans have come out on the streets in several cities in the US condemning reckless and impulsive war rhetoric by President Donald Trump against Iran.
This follows the assassination of Major General Qassem Solaimani, a top Iranian military commander at Baghdad airport on Friday 3 January by a drone strike ordered by Trump.
Subsequently Trump has threatened to bomb Iranian cultural sites in response to any retaliation by Iran, an act considered a war crime under international law.
The cultural sites in Iran include exquisite mosques and shrines, gems of Iranian Islamic past as well as masterpieces of architecture of ancient Persian cultural heritage.
“We have … targeted 52 Iranian sites, some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets… Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday 4 January.
However, he was contradicted by Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Monday 6 January in an interview with CNN.
“We will follow the laws of armed conflict,” Esper said. When pressed if that meant not targeting Iranian cultural sites, Esper replied, “That’s the laws of armed conflict.”
Trump’s impulsive and unpredictable behaviour specially in his position as the most powerful person in the world is scary and he is a great threat to not only Iranians, but Americans themselves.
Facing the impeachment process, Trump’s unpredictable and disruptive leadership style is of great concern for Americans, leading the country in an unknown direction.
His total support for Israel, hard-line policy against Iran and his dealings with Ukraine for political favours that is leading to impeachment highlight Trump’s lack of self-control and any curbs on his power.
The animosity between Congress dominated by Democrats, the Republican Senate and Trump’s fractured White House is undermining national unity in the US at a time of heightened international tension triggered by Trump is a great threat to world peace in general and in the Middle East in particular.