Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House has been mired with controversial decisions. A month before leaving office as the POTUS, he has committed another blunder, pardoning four former guards of Blackwater (now Academi) , a notorious private army of mercenaries operating from the US. In September 2007, these four contractors opened fired indiscriminately on civilians using sniper weapons, machine guns and grenades that resulted in killing of 14 Iraqi citizens, including two children in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. These men were sentenced to life in prison in 2014. However, President Trump has undone justice with the stroke of a pen. This decision has incurred criticism from around the world including United Nations. A UN spokesperson said that Trump had “hit a disgraceful new low with the Blackwater pardons”. The pardon has come at a point when the leadership in the US is about to shuffle. Decisions like these are detrimental and have the effect of emboldening others to commit such crimes in the future with impunity. The concept of democracy rests on the foundations of equality and justice. However, this decision reflects the West’s double standards on the same. It furthers the stance of the Muslim world that West uses these terms whenever and wherever these suit its interests. As if invading Iraq in 2003, bulldozing its sovereignty and massacring innocent people in guise of finding the Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD) wasn’t enough, pardoning these murderers is indeed a disgrace for the self-proclaimed torchbearers of justice and democracy. These mercenaries shot women and kids who had their hands in the air. By doing so Trump has insulted not only the memory of the Iraqi victims, but the concept of justice itself. The West should bear in mind that decisions like these have the capacity to provoke clash of civilizations.
Author: Sheihryar Asif