5 Takes from Trump’s Speech on Iran
5 Takes from Trump’s Iran speech in order for you to understand the larger context of Trump’s words in light of the situation. The POTUS spared no hits at his enemies both domestic and abroad as he reiterated his commitment to the use of military force in the Middle East.
Yet it is less certain if Trump’s speech will deliver the deescalation many have hoped for since the killing of Iranian general Soleimani. Many have derided the speech as propagandist, rash and uncalled for, with the American press ridiculing Trump’s character and decision-making.
Nonetheless, Trump’s speech is indicative of a reinvigorated discourse on foreign security by the United States. Speaking of geopolitics, it seems the era of patience and diplomacy has given again way to preemptive military force as the ultimate tool for pushing national interests.
Here are our five takes from Trump’s speech that everyone should reflect on:
A display of force
” He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.”
Trump’s most direct message is: do not mess with the power of the United States. Moreover, he seems adamant in defending the killing as a necessary step towards peace. And the US once again playing the card of world preeminent police force.
By highlighting the part Soleimani played in killing American citizens, Trump made sure every leader in the world knows the United States will use all necessary measures to take out foreign enemies. It also displays, according to Trump, how the United States can act without repercussion and remain unscathed even against the backlash of global public opinion.
Trump says Iran is standing down
“Iran appears to be standing down. And it is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.”
Many have asked if Iran’s ‘retaliation’ against the United States and their allies is as an act of aggression in Trump’s eyes. This could escalate the situation even further. Yet the POTUS did not mention the Iran missile attacks against Iraqi bases. It’s rather is choosing to stress that Iran was ‘standing down’, and detaching from open conflict.
This is yet another display of how Trump has framed the killing as a necessity. Even a foreign country like Iran has to accept and move on if it does not want to risk even greater conflict. Ultimately, Trump puts forward an image of America as a nation not shy to draw lines between what is acceptable for its foreign policy and what is not.
Yet another jab at Obama
“The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration.”
Trump’s speeches never fail to shift to onus of unpleasant deeds to the previous administration. The POTUS’ discourse on the Obama administration has been positively antagonistic. Besides, Trump’s domestic policies seem to endeavor to undo the legacy of previous administration.
In short, Trump claims that Obama failed America by negotiating an unfavorable nuclear deal. This deal unfroze Iranian assets used for Iran’s nuclear program. Yet, there is no evidence that such assets were ever used for Iran’s nuclear program.
Trump calls for NATO to step up
“Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process.”
Trump’s commitment to NATO has been ambiguous. Eastern European countries have stated that they fear that the US under Trump might detach from the issue of Russia to concentrate on its own national interests.
Trump on the other hand, has stated that it’s time for America’s allies to shoulder much of the financial burden NATO carries. The cost of defense of America’s allies, Trump believes, has fallen on America’s shoulders for too long.
This call for NATO to step up in the Middle East follows a similar logic of strike-and-detach that seems to drive much of America’s foreign engagement in the region. Conversely, Trump could hint that it is time NATO commits more troops in the region, notwithstanding the American contingent.
5 Takes from Trump’s Iran speech – A commitment to his 2020 campaign
“As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.”
In a somewhat reckless display of never-ending campaigning, Trump started off the speech by reaffirming his commitment to denuclearize Iran. Ultimately, Trump’s game is one where he must appear as the strong leader of a strong nation. Therefore, he will not allow its enemies to go on unpunished.
Trump’s boisterous words might have soothed the hearts of its electorate. However, it is less certain how warmly will his speech be received abroad.