By Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
On January 3, 2020 Donald Trump had Qasem Soleimni, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, murdered. He ordered a drone strike against this man and several others that saw him and his car blown apart and incinerated. So why isn’t Trump headed to jail? Why is no one else asking these questions?
All sorts of people called for the prosecution of the Saudi Arabian crown prince on suspicion that he ordered the October 2, 2018 hit on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In that case, a hit squad of Saudi Security officials killed and dismembered Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Khashoggi died no less gruesomely than did Soleimani.
The Saudi prince denies ordering Khashoggi’s death, but Trump admits to ordering the attack on Soleimani. Yet, no one is calling for Trump’s prosecution.
U.S. officials admit that killing a high ranking foreign official like Soleimani was an act of war. Under article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution and the War Powers Act of 1973, only Congress has the power to declare war. Congress has never declared war with Iran. Trump, therefore, had no legal authority to kill Soleimani. So, again, why isn’t he on his way to jail?
This is the same “law and order” president that denigrated Central American migrants fleeing violence and broken societies as “criminals and rapists”, and made “Lock her up!” a rallying cry among his supporters during his presidential campaign against his opponent, Hillary Clinton. And this is a country that locks up millions of poor people and people of color under the guise of holding them accountable for breaking the law. Even though 95% of them were not convicted by juries of their peers, as the Constitution promises, but were instead pressured into pleading guilty, whether innocent or not, under Amerika’s corrupt plea bargaining system (1).
But of course, the principles of accountability have never applied when an extrajudicial lynching is going down. The federal government has always played a vacillating role in organizing and defending lynchings versus opposing them. Burning and dismembering dark flesh is nothing new in Amerikan culture. Nor rationalizing and whipping up broad support for extrajudicial lynchings with sensational claims for the victim having committed some unproven crime. Remember Muammar Gaddafi, the late president of Libya? How after Amerika joined in a bombing campaign against his country in 2011, he was literally lynched by a street mob in broad daylight-having been shot point-blank in the head while a dagger was shoved into his rectum. Remember then-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s glib remarks after his murder, that sounded like a spectator after a southern mob lynching? “We came, we saw, he died!”
As an imprisoned black man in Amerika, I know imperialist Amerika’s triple standards all too well. I know why no one’s even suggesting that Trump belongs in jail. Why, you ask? Because from yesterday’s nooses and bonfires to today’s high tech drones, and from the U.S. South to the Global South, lynching is still as Amerikan as apple pie!
Dare to Struggle! Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!
*Notes: 1. The Joint Legislative Committee on Crime in New York described the pleas bargain process in a report as follows: “The final climactic act in the plea bargaining procedure is a charade which in itself has aspects of dishonesty which rival the original crime in many instances. The accused is made to assert publically that his guilt on a specific crime which in many cases he has not committed; in some cases, he pleads guilty to a non-existent crime. He must further indicate that he is entering his plea freely…and that he is not doing so because of any promises made to him. “In plea bargaining, the accused pleads guilty, whether he is or not, and saves the state the trouble of trial in return for the promise of a less severe punishment.” Quoted in, Howard Zinn, A PEOPLE”S HIStORY OF THE UNITED STATES (Harper Perennial: NY, 2002), p.