Trump’s card

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/7/2020 1:01:26 PM IST

 For sometime, it appeared that US president Donald Trump would find the going very though in a bid to get re-elected in the November 3,2020 US presidential election. Trump has never been a popular president of the people. He gets support from the right wing section in America. Trump appears to be turning a largely negative rating into a surge especially after his stocks went high following his decision to authorise a drone strike that killed Iran’s most powerful military commander has seen tensions between the two nations escalate. The killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, one of the most well known in Iran and the wider region, is an audacious and unexpected move that marks a major escalation in tensions between Washington and Tehran. The attack could be traced back to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the US-Iran nuclear deal. It also came just hours after the Pentagon issued a strong warning to Iran-backed militias amid concerns they may conduct further provocations against the US following their attempt to storm the US embassy in Baghdad. It was inevitable that the fallout from the US airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani would spill into presidential politics. Everything spills into presidential politics these days, and this is without a doubt a major story. If it was the Democratic Party’s determination to impeach Trump, which has only made him more popular, the drone attack has also served to appear “decisive” and a risk taker. The Republican Party if it stands united can stymie the efforts of the Democratic Party to offset Trump’s re-election bid. According to a latest poll, 83% of Republicans say they approve the drone strike. On social media, a common Trumpian response for those expressing concerns about the consequences of the Soleimani strike is “sorry for your loss.” This is quite similar to the response in India that those who oppose Modi should go to Pakistan. Donald Trump does not have a long term strategy but acts on the need of the hour and by instinct. While Qasem Soleimani was seen by the Americans as a key adversary involved in plotting attacks against their allies and assets, it is important to remember the role both he and Iran played in the fight against ISIS. While US aircraft, special forces and local allies fought ISIS in Syria, as well as in Iraq, Iranian-backed militia also pushed the terror group back in Iraq. The new and heightened tension in the middle east is only going to benefit Russia which is openly backing Iran and Syria in the region. Probably Trump may have relied on his hunch that by killing Soleimani, it would create a rally-effect among voters in his favour. This was the same effect that worked in favour of then US president George HW Bush during the 1991 Gulf War. However Bush could not win re-election in 1992 despite the rally effect because his rival Bill Clinton focussed on the economy and domestic affairs. Trump’s win in the 2016 US elections was linked to Russian meddling. This time, he hopes the Iran connection would help. Whether Trump exploits the drone killing remains to be seen since election is still around ten months and that itself is a very long time. The US voters will surely weigh all of these when they go to the polls.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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