President Donald Trump recently made a declaration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a move that angered Syrians who believe that the land is rightfully theirs as well as critics claiming the move was an imperial overreach.
The move may exacerbate tensions between Trump and the Bashar al-Assad regime of Syria, which was recently strengthened after the decimation of ISIS. Bashar al-Jaafari, the Syrian envoy to the United Nations, appeared at a Security Council session to bemoan “a serious and unprecedented delinquency in the current U.S. administration toward undermining international law and insulting the United Nations.”
“The Syrian Arab Golan is ours and will return to us,” Jaafari demanded before declaring the Golan would never “be part of some damned and wicked deal, or a pawn to be exchanged for support in your electoral games.”
Jaafari then started making some points about the US empire that are difficult to dispute. He claims that the US does not have the jurisdiction to give away land that is not their own, and they should perhaps consider giving their Israeli buddies some of their own land.
“America is a wide and vast country, so why doesn’t it give up a state or two of the United States to the Israelis, for example, North Carolina or South Carolina?” Jaafari asked.
Jaafari picked the Carolinas to highlight because neocon warmongering Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was instrumental in Trump’s decision to recognize the Golem Heights as a part of Israel.
“South Carolina is nice, because it’s the land of Senator Lindsey Graham, who supported President Trump in his actions,” he added.
Israel annexed the Golem Heights after the 1967 Six-Day War, in a move that was not recognized as legitimate by the international community and was particularly reviled in the Middle East. The Trump administration, which proclaims itself as the most pro-Israel administration in history, stuck their finger in the eye of the world community with the decision.
Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence. We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
But was this controversial move the correct one? Trump, while being pro-Israel, has also pledged that America would not be the world’s policeman. Keeping ‘America First’ was supposed to mean that we would stay out of foreign conflicts that weren’t our business.
Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
By provoking Syrians and other Middle Easterners with his Golen Heights proclamation, he risks potential blowback against the US empire. Under Obama, the US backed a proxy war in Syria that resulted in hundreds of thousands of needless deaths. After helping obliterate ISIS, it seems Trump is moving back toward the policies of his predecessors rather than toward non-intervention in Syria.
These internal contradictions within Trump’s policy positions are not helping him to make America great again. The Syrians may have a point about the US sticking their nose where it does not belong abroad, which happened many times under previous administrations and continues to happen under Trump.