US President Donald Trump branded on April 8 Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization – the first time the US has declared a sovereign state’s armed forces as a terrorist organization.
Iran retaliated by declaring the US Central Command and its affiliated forces as a terrorist organization.
Washington lacks seriousness in putting such a label on a country’s armed forces. First used by the West, the concept of terrorism has been supported by other countries and extensively accepted by international organizations, including the UN, indicating international consensus. But the US is abusing the term to undermine countries it does not like. It is a violation of the consensus and disrespectful to the international community.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have over 120,000 soldiers. Designating the corps as a terrorist organization is a personal insult as well.
The current US Middle East policy is quite radical, almost subverting its political processes over the past few decades. Suppressing all resistance with strength seems to be the US’ Middle East policy creed. Israel is likely to pursue this tenet with US support. It is extremely odd that the US, a self-proclaimed benchmark for Western democratic societies, persists in such hegemony.
But how could it be possible for the US and Israel to overwhelm the entire Middle East? Struggles between Middle East countries provoked by the US will not follow Washington’s script in the long run. There are rising concerns that Washington’s declaration will serve as a new catalyst for Middle East turmoil, which will turn the US and Israel into potential victims.
Many believe that Washington’s move, just as the country’s previous declaration of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, is a bid to help Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win re-election on April 9. The Western-style election system has once again undermined the peace in the Middle East.
Tensions have eased in the Middle East in recent years, partly thanks to the Iran nuclear deal. However, the Trump administration has stirred things up and reshaped the regional order. The US policy’s strategic returns and continuity are highly uncertain. Has such a policy been theoretically proven? At least to a considerable extent, it is more like an improvisation based on the US electoral situation.
In the Middle East, which is sensitive and complex, it is much too reckless that all policies on territorial adjustments and regional geopolitics are made on the basis of an electoral situation. History has shown that even a powerful nation like the US cannot afford such a quagmire. The Middle East is a graveyard of ambitions. What this region needs is patience to maintain the status quo. The US has chosen a wrong place to show its strength.
US strength can be a deterrent, but not necessarily an effective solution. The US must exercise self-restraint.