In Western liberal media, just about every report that surfaces pointing to former US President Donald Trump’s malignant behavior receives endless coverage. However, when Trump’s arrest warrant is highlighted by Iraq’s judicial chief, such coverage is nowhere to be seen.
Former US President Donald Trump, despite having been absent from office since 2020, is still the center of a much heated debate, and it is no secret that mainstream US media, with the exception of most pro-Republican outlets, love to loath the public figure. It is not uncommon for CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and various others, to pick up on the least compelling of stories, just to dump on Donald Trump. Yet most US Democrat Party supporters have little to no idea that the former President has an active arrest warrant issued against him for ordering a war crime.
Last week, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets for the third anniversary of the US assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, along with the leader of Iraq’s Kataeb Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Owing to an order from then President Trump, the US military launched drone strikes in Baghdad, back in 2020, murdering the Iranian general and the leader of an Iraqi militia group, both of whom helped to defeat Daesh. What made the assassination so egregious was not only its illegal nature, but that it came directly after the two had exited the Baghdad international airport and were actually on the way to meet with then Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. The Iraqi PM officially announced at a press briefing that Soleimani was on a peace mission in Iraq, which was being facilitated by Baghdad, in an attempt to establish a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. For those familiar with the reason, they will know that the two sides have been mortal enemies for decades and attempts have recently been made to continue the normalization dialogue that General Soleimani was participating in.
The strike was launched in contravention of international law, amounting to an extrajudicial killing of an Iranian military official along with a prominent Iraqi militia leader in the midst of a peace negotiation. In the wake of the assassination, which Donald Trump gloated about on social media and followed up by threatening Iran with striking over 50 targets in the country including cultural sites, millions of Iranians and Iraqis took to the streets in protest. This led to a military response from an official branch of the Iranian military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), that launched dozens of ballistic missiles into the largest US military base in Iraq, Ain al-Assad.
In addition to the military response that the illegal assassination triggered, which almost resulted in regional war, the Iraqi parliament voted to expel US forces from the country (which the US government blatantly disregarded) and in 2021 the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council issued its first warrant for Trump’s arrest. This year, the Islamic Republic of Iran also pursued further the case for American legal responsibility for the assassinations, with the Iranian judiciary identifying 94 US citizens involved in the attack. Iran also issued an arrest warrant for Trump, having urged the international community to act in order to bring him to justice for his crime.
Iraq’s current Prime Minister, Mohammed Al-Sudani, along with the Judicial Chief, Faiq Zidan, both attended a a commemoration of General Soleimani and Muhandis’ murders, last Thursday. The Iraqi PM vowed that their deaths “must not go in vain,” as the Judicial Chief said that “the court will not hesitate to take legal action”. The reason this is significant, is because it highlights how the actions of the Trump administration have continued to plague US-Iraq relations until this day. The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) — of which Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis’ group, Kataeb Hezbollah, is a part — has sworn to take revenge for the assassination repeatedly, without ever having done so, which could still mean that an attack on US forces in Iraq may be in the books. The Iraqi government is now in the hands of pro-PMU parties, which means that the nation’s parliament is more closely aligned with neighboring Iran, a huge blow to American interests, and this result has only been aided by continuing US meddling in Iraq.
Under the Biden administration, in 2021 there was an alleged ending of the US’ “combat mission” in Iraq, which was no more than a publicity stunt for President Joe Biden. The US military didn’t officially have any combat mission in Iraq at that time, to the knowledge of the public — only special forces units were stationed alongside advisors. If contractors are to be counted (and they should be) the US government still has thousands of personnel based in Iraq, all under the guise of allegedly training the Iraqi security forces and, unofficially, to back up their troops that occupy a third of Syrian territory without congressional approval.
The launch of airstrikes on foreign capitals and the occupation of foreign territory have been passed off as fully legitimate, without the prior approval of US congress. There was never congressional approval for the strike against Soleimani and al-Muhandis, which led the US to the verge of a regional war in the Middle East, and yet this clear cut crime was never addressed as a negative action by the US media. What became clear throughout the Trump administration, was that the only time the President received praise from CNN, MSNBC, and others of their ilk, was when he was bombing foreign territories in violation of international law and without congressional approval.
Similarly, the US Biden administration only faced criticism from these outlets when he was forced to “withdraw” from Afghanistan, but never for the withholding of billions in Afghan assets which has aided in starving impoverished civilians in the country. Under Biden, there has even been a case in which the US military felt emboldened to launch airstrikes against Somalia, without even seeking the approval from the President, for which Joe Biden refused to reprimand them. Biden also approved a plan to redeploy hundreds of ground forces into Somalia, in May of 2022, allegedly in order to combat al-Shabab, this was again mapped out without the approval of US congress.
When a US President takes steps towards initiating wars of aggression, occupying foreign territories or assassinating leading figures in other countries, US corporate media repeatedly backs such decisions. This occurs regardless of which President occupies the White House, be it a Republican or a Democrat, if they are feeding the military industrial complex or murdering black and brown people overseas, all of the corporate media will either back it or simply turn a blind eye and pretend it didn’t even happen.