Tue | Sep 22, 2020

Donald Trump has opened Middle East Pandora's box

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Donald Trump came to power, albeit surprisingly, on the back of a number of pledges, the chief of which was that he will put America first, the implication being that world affairs would play second fiddle.

The truth is that successive US administrations have, in fact, operated under this same principle, though somewhat more covertly. The Trump administration, in its quest to keep election pledges, has set the entire Middle East on a collision course for conflict.

In what appears to be one fell swoop, Mr Trump has dealt a cruel blow to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, negotiated to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, and, even more significantly, moved the US Embassy to the disputed land of East Jerusalem.

Both of these acts are inflammatory enough when taken individually. When combined, they whisper of wars. On the day of the embassy unveiling, the world was treated to the juxtaposition of mass casualties in Gaza and mass celebrations in Jerusalem.

More upheaval is to come, more bloodshed and loss of lives. The world will have to decide if we will indeed play second fiddle and, in so doing, dip our hands in innocent blood.