Has the Trump Administration Violated its Own Rule About ‘The Element of Surprise’ in War?

During his campaign and into his presidency, Donald Trump stated that he had a plan to defeat Daesh in the Middle East, but that he refused to disclose what it is because of the much vaunted element of surprise in warfare. Forgetting whether this was just a clever rhetorical device to avoid discussions about specifics, it seems that in America’s new battle in the Middle East, the White House just violated Donald Trump’s ‘surprise strategy’ in the most overt way imaginable.

The White House has announced that just as “Israeli” regime leader Benjamin Netanyahu predicted, the US will commence the relocation of its embassy in “Israel” from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem/Al-Quds far sooner than expected. According to two White House officials, the US Embassy in “Israel” will move to Al-Quds on the 14th of May this year. The 14th of May is the date in 1948 which Zionist leaders in Palestine unilaterally declared themselves a state. It also falls 24 hours before Nakba Day, the day when Palestinians remember their displacement from their own ancient land.

The Arab world and wider Muslim world views Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Al-Quds as a declaration of war on all Arabs and all of the Islamic global community. To formally move the embassy on such a date is a further sign that the US seeks to ram down the Muslim world’s collective throat, the fact that the US does not care how they feel.

The US decision to recognise Al-Quds as the “Israeli” capital has already caused Palestine to declare the US an unfit peace broker in the long-stalled peace process, while Turkey hosted a conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation during which leaders from throughout the world condemned Trump’s decision.

If Donald Trump thinks that the 14th of May will come and go without incident in Palestine, he and his associates are either extremely naive or extremely reckless. Palestinians who already commemorate a day of rage on the 15th, will take to the streets in mass numbers and one needn’t have a vivid imagination to understand how things will almost certainly boil over during a ceremony to open a US Embassy to “Israel” in Al-Quds.

There are several explanations as to why the US took this move. First of all, there’s the most attractive explanation which is that the US simply does not care. Washington has given up trying to pretend to be neutral and has gone from doing “Israel’s” bidding using coded language to doing its bidding openly. Another reason could be that the US simply wants to ignite Palestinian and pan-Islamic range so as to bolster the Zionist/US narrative that somehow Muslims as a whole and Palestinians especially are less “civilised” than their geopolitical antagonists. While much of the world would never fall for such a canard, many in the US and other western states would, thus nullifying domestic criticism of such an irresponsible move. Thus, the controversial US decision to relocate the Embassy can then be twisted by western mainstream media into a narrative of ‘see – we told you the Palestinians are not civilised’.

In reality, the decision is probably motivated one part by ignorance and one part by design. When it comes to the United States, these two concepts are not mutually exclusive. However, there could be unintended consequences, including Turkey’s downgrading of diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv. This would be a further blow to US prestige in the region, as the US has always prided itself on Turkey’s historically good ties to both Washington and Tel Aviv.

In any case, the decision once again shows how increasingly reckless the US has become in a region where US irresponsibility had always been a plague upon any possible peace.

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