A whimsical act


While the world grapples with the aftermath of a seemingly whimsical act by the U.S. in killing the commander of another sovereign nation, it is easy to be pulled into unwanted situations, as far as India is concerned. The attempt by U.S. President Donald Trump to invoke India is one such situation which needs to be handled with great caution and adroit diplomacy. Statements by Mr. Trump blaming the slain commander for “terrorist acts and plots” sound shallow without adequate proof. One sincerely hopes our diplomats know how to steer clear of the baits and pitfalls arising out of the situation. Traditionally, India and Iran have had a long history of love-hate relationship and the present situation could also lead to a new low. It would be wise for both nations to keep their heads still.

Yoganandh T.,

Salem, Tamil Nadu

The U.S.’s misadventure can prove to be another strategic misstep by Washington in affairs of West Asia. This is nothing short of declaring war on Iran. In the times of a global economic slowdown, the mindless act of the big brother would lead the world community to the brink by affecting the supply and price of hydrocarbon fuels. The slain commander was instrumental in fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. A strong retaliation from Iran is in offing. India too would have to bear the brunt.

D.V.G. Sankararao,

Vizianagaram, Andhra Pradesh

The mounting tension in West Asia following the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. is cause for concern for the international community. The killing has led to a highly volatile situation from which a full-scale war might develop. Looked at objectively, the U.S. is squarely responsible for the conflict and its escalation in the region.

It is legitimate to ask why there are U.S. troops in the region and no Iranian or Iraqi soldiers in the U.S. soil to understand who is violating the principle of sovereignty of nations with impunity. Just because of the U.S.’s pre-eminence on the international stage, we should not shy away from doing some straight talking.

As an imperialist power currently led by a bellicose President, the U.S. has brought West Asian region to the brink of war. The Donald Trump administration has pulled the country out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed economic sanctions and sought ‘regime change’ in Iran. The country is duplicitous and speaks in a forked tongue; it says it favours de-escalation and talks and then threatens ‘to target 52 sites’ in Iran representing 52 Americans taken hostage on November 4, 1979. The series of tweets from President Trump cast him as a war-monger. There is a deep sense of loss and anger over the assassination of Soleimani as is evident from the chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘We will take revenge’ and burning of American and Israeli flags by crowds of people in the funeral processions.

Pushed to the wall, Tehran could act in unpredictable and ingenious ways to defend itself from the U.S. aggression. The U.S. seems to think that anyone who seeks to resist its military and economic expansionism is expendable. For it, anyone who is not on its side in its pursuit of self-interest is a ‘terrorist’.

The international community must raise its voice against the U.S. for its rash and reckless acts like the assassination of Soleimani in the belief that the targeted countries cannot exact revenge because of its military might and rein it in through all possible means from destabilising the world and making it more insecure.

G. David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

The drone attack by the U.S. on a top Iranian Commander inside Iraq has followed a set pattern and, equally, the timing is tailored to suit the domestic political needs of the country’s President. When India carries out anti-insurgency operations, like those against rebels inside Myanmar and the Balakot strikes in Pakistan, the repercussions are also felt by India. The trigger-happy U.S., on the other hand, has been conducting raids on foreign countries located in other regions. Its own borders stay pristine while other nations bear the brunt, be it economic, political or social.

Sadly, the U.S. assumes the mantle of the sole printer of the world currency and the self-styled leader of the free world with little concern for the ensuing global disequilibrium or the collateral damage to innocent civilians. West Asia has been its favoured punching bag. If earlier, its interventions were aimed at ensuring a perennial inflow of crude oil, today, being a net exporter, it gains from climbing crude prices. The deep divisions among the U.S.’s adversaries adds to the hubris that results from the country’s military might.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai

The killing of Qassem Soleimani has raised a number of concerns about the consequences for the relationship between America and Iran and it will certainly not bring them any closer to a peaceful resolution. You can’t bomb yourself to peace. The imagery that President Trump is putting forward seems wrong to many. The surprise bombing is the modern-day equivalent of a sheriff shooting the bad guy in the back and that was never the way of the hero. Wars and any dispute need to be solved by words, not weapons.

Dennis Fitzgerald,


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:23:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/a-whimsical-act/article30488771.ece

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