Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Long Before Trump, White Man Has Spoken with Forked Tongue

If, as Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi says, the murdered Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani was lured to the place of his assassination by a false promise of peace negotiations offered by Donald J. Trump, it would not be the first time this particular president (or any POTUS, for that matter) lied to a political adversary.

The Washington Post has verified this Occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has lied more than 15,000 times during his three years in office … and yet he still enjoys a 45 percent approval rating, according to one recent poll (but that’s another conversation).

So, his recent justification of what was an illegal “act of war” — assassinating a foreign military commander (Soleimani) is war, and to take such action without Congressional authorization is Constitutionally illegal — his explanation has been roundly rejected by House and Senate Democrats and Republicans who were briefed confidentially by the administration. 45 went “thug” like he and his war-crime commandos like to do.

Even with the widespread Islamophobia, and especially hatred of all things Iranian in this country, the administration’s account has met widespread skepticism. Aaccording to Dude, Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on “four U.S. embassies,” including the one in Baghdad. Not so, countered Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi, who said the attack at Baghdad’s International Airport was a violation of his country’s sovereignty, and he and his legislature subsequently demanded that the U.S. withdraw all its troops.

The PM said he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic overture that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning to murder Soleimani — thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.

Such treachery and betrayal by this country’s officials is nothing new. Here in the mainland, the treatment of the enslaved Africans for centuries was a crime against humanity, and the slaughter of the Native people — as their land was conquered — amounts to genocide.

Those First Nations people, such as Chief Joseph, for example, understood their adversary. They understood that not one, not one of the hundreds of sacred peace treaties that were to last “as long as the rivers flow” signed with the white man were worth anything. “The white man, him speak with forked tongue,” is the expression, dating back to at least the 17th century, they used to describe the deceitful behavior of white folks.

According to one 1859 account, the native proverb that the “white man spoke with a forked tongue” originated as a result of the French tactic of the 1690s, in their war with the Iroquois, of inviting their enemies to attend a peace conference, only to be slaughtered or captured. Pure Trump.

If the Iraqi prime minister is to be believed, this is what happened to Soleimani. I’m convinced that just like the Iraqi prime minister discovered, the sovereigns in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt and multiple other countries will come to learn, just like Chief Joseph, who found the treaties he’d signed with Washington didn’t mean what he’d been led to think they meant.

This Occupant’s very, very predictable. No matter the subject — diplomacy, economics, politics — if his lips are moving, then rest assured, “white man, him speak with forked tongue.” His words are intended to deceive.

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Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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