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Donald Trump: From Syria to Korea - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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North Korea’s Foreign Minister yearns for the former US President Barack Obama. He said in his latest statement that through his tweets and statements, President Donald Trump seems evil. Iran’s Supreme Leader shares the same feeling and believes Trump’s presidency is a bad turn of events.

When the US President warned Iran against “playing with fire”, Ayatollah Khamenei challenged Trump saying his statements didn’t scare him. This was before the Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat airport in Syria.

It is only natural for the North Korean minister to feel sorry that Obama’s presidency is over. It was an eight-year snooze where evil regimes, like North Korea and Iran, enjoyed a relaxing period and developed their capabilities to expand at the expenses of other nations. The result was that the North dared to bomb Japan for the first time since World War II and developed its nuclear and missile weapons to a point where it became a horrific threat to the whole world.

Iran has taken over Syria and Iraq and is trying to do the same in Yemen.

Washington is trying to protect her two main allies in the East: Japan and South Korea, and that is why it has sent its vice president to Seoul with the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

Despite its political weakness, US is still the strongest nation in the world with about 19 aircraft carriers, 10 of which are massive. Each of Russia and China only has one of those carriers.

But military strength alone is not enough. The US is fighting outside its territories and in front of countries that are geographically close. It is willing to sacrifice a million soldiers without any internal accountability.

This week, China increased its alertness and sent 150,000 soldiers to the border with its ally North Korea which also shares borders with Russia.

Geopolitically, defending South Korea is a difficult mission. Its capital Seoul is only 30 kilometers away from the border of the northern evil neighbor which keeps threatening to bury the capital with its 11 million persons. That is why the US has created a demilitarized zone on the border with about 38,000 soldiers.

I don’t want to dwell on the subject of the US-Korean struggle, but on the similar challenges it creates for the international community.

North Korea is very much like Iran given that both countries are ruled by an ideology of comprehensive systems with most of their policies relying on building a massive regional force against neighbors.

At the time South Korea has developed socially and economically and became one of the world’s best countries in industry and technology, its neighbor in the Korean peninsula is in sordid poverty under the ruling of an obsessed man who spends all the country’s expenditure to develop his military aspirations.

The case is similar in Iran. The country is full of natural resources, just like its Gulf neighbors. But, instead of developing the country’s economy, Tehran’s regime chose to spend the government’s budget on establishing policies that are based on dominance and regional power.

The US wants to protect its regions of interests and powers, but during the Obama presidency, it deteriorated a lot.

Today, Washington believes it should set boundaries for the Syrian and North Korean behavior. The US wants to send a direct message saying it is willing to defend its regions and interests against Russian and Chinese approaches.

We can’t forget that the US has been trying to improve its image as a strong nation since the September 11 attacks. But since then, it hasn’t achieved much. The war in Iraq was disastrously led, and then eight years went by during which the Obama administration faded. Today, Washington is faced by a world that is changing its borders and powers.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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