The Iranian terror sponsor Qassem Soleimani stood for a world that no peaceful human being could want – a world in which one could be blown up by a bomb at any time if one is at the wrong place at the wrong time. A world in which entire cities are wiped out – like Aleppo. In which bloodthirsty militia go from door to door and execute civilians. In which the kindergartens in Germany could burn up in fireballs at any time because its children are Jewish. In which Israel is under threat of extinction every day.
Soleimani, the world’s most repelling and bloodthirsty terrorist, who brought suffering and harm over humanity on the mullahs’ behalf, was an enemy of our civilization. He represented the unbearable thought that murderers will live more safely and be more untouchable the more people they kill (with the support of the state). His violent and overdue end will not stop global terrorism, but the image of his burnt-out car still sends out a powerful message. US President Donald Trump has made it clear that the worst figures in the world, however big-mouthed and ruthless they may be, cannot hide from America’s strength.
They may torment, torture, harass, and terrorize those who are weaker and in despair, but they cannot do anything against the most powerful democracy in the world. At most, they can hide in holes and hope that they won’t be found. And when they claim that they are not afraid of death, these butchers are lying – they are cowards who love the sweet, corrupt life.
President Trump has freed the world of a monster whose aim in life was an atomic cloud over Tel Aviv. Trump has acted in self-defense – the self-defense of the US and all peace-loving people.
Justice Arrives for Soleimani Editorial Board WSJ, Jan. 3, 2020
For a generation, Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani bestrode the Middle East spreading terror and death. President Trump’s decision to order the general’s death via drone attack in Baghdad Thursday night is a great boon for the region. It is also belated justice for the hundreds of Americans whom Soleimani had a hand in killing.
One reason the U.S. could track and kill Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport was the impunity he had cultivated. The general often appeared in public, especially in Syria and Iraq, as he sought to build Shiite militias and spread Iranian influence. He was killed with Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, an Iraqi-Iranian militia leader who had met Soleimani at the airport and was outside the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad this week during an assault that Soleimani had approved.
Trump Orders an Attack on Iran’s Revolutionary General
Soleimani arrived in Baghdad with “plans to attack American diplomats and service members,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Mr. Trump’s critics are demanding to see the evidence of such plans. But why does it matter? Soleimani has killed enough Americans over the years to justify the strike as a defensive act to deter other attacks and send a message that killing Americans won’t be tolerated.
That message will reverberate around the Middle East, not least in Iran, where Soleimani reported directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and was its most powerful military figure. Mr. Khamenei had taunted Mr. Trump with a tweet this week after the assault on the Embassy that “you can’t do anything.” Turns out he could.
Few are more deserving of his fate than Soleimani, who since 1998 had commanded the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He had a mandate to export Iran’s revolution across the Middle East. The State Department, which labeled the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization last year, says the group was responsible for killing 608 American soldiers during the Iraq war as it supplied deadly roadside bombs. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
The Bloody Legacy of Qasem Soleimani Reuel Marc Gerecht WSJ, Jan. 3, 2020
We should recognize the accomplishments even of wicked men. Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani rose from a family of landless peasants in Iran’s Kerman province. He enlisted in 1979 in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the theocracy’s paramilitary vanguard, and fought against Kurdish insurrectionists, Saddam Hussein’s legions, and drug-running Baluchis who refused to allow the IRGC a monopoly on Afghan opium.
Unlike many of the Islamic Republic’s founders, Soleimani didn’t avoid danger. He didn’t casually send his men in waves to die for Allah; he went with them, gathering determined, accomplished holy warriors who sought victory, not martyrdom.
Trump Orders an Attack on Iran’s Revolutionary General
IRGC veterans of the Iran–Iraq war generally come in two types: burned-out shells and those who still burned for the revolution. Soleimani was emphatically in the latter category. He and his patron, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, fulfilled one of the revolution’s repeatedly frustrated aspirations: to create effective versions of the Lebanese Hezbollah, the first and favorite Arab child of the Islamic revolution, throughout the Middle East.
Today, under the guidance and training of the Quds Force, the IRGC’s expeditionary special-forces branch, there are Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani variations of Hezbollah, which have become foot soldiers for Iranian imperialism. Even in Yemen, among the Zaidi Shiites, whom Iranian Shiites have traditionally viewed with condescension, the Quds Force has helped instill a radical anti-American ethic.
Not since the early Ottoman Empire has the world seen such a variegated collection of Muslims, tens of thousands, come together to fight under the flag and direction of a foreign Muslim power. It’s particularly impressive given the travails of the clerical regime inside Iran, where the revolutionary ethos has collapsed among wide swaths of the population.
Expansionism has come at a cost: The regime’s earlier, more-ecumenical vision of a global Islamic revolt—which played down Iran’s Shiism in the hope of enlisting Sunnis in the revolutionary cause—has perished. Soleimani and Mr. Khamenei are as responsible as Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Syrians and the displacement of millions. It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this foreign adventure to Tehran’s self-esteem and its adjusted “civilizing mission,” which Mr. Khamenei has always seen as his sustaining purpose. Soleimani became a cult figure among Shiite holy warriors—in his heavily accented, halting Arabic, he exuded a menacing charisma—and even among more secularized Iranians who saw in him an Iranian paladin who made Sunni Arabs tremble. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Suleimani Died as He Had Killed Brett Stephens New York Times, Jan. 3, 2020
Reasonable people will debate the likeliest ramifications of President Trump’s decision to order the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Revolutionary Guards Corps commander whose power in Iran was second only to that of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — and whose power in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq was arguably second to none.
What shouldn’t be in doubt is the justice.
By far the best account of Suleimani’s life was written by Dexter Filkins for The New Yorker in 2013. It’s worth reprising some of the details.
In 1998, Suleimani assumed command of the Quds Force — the Guards’ extraterritorial terrorist wing — whose prior exploits included a role in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
In 2003, Filkins wrote, “Americans received intelligence that Al Qaeda fighters in Iran,” operating with Tehran’s protection and consent, “were preparing an attack on Western targets in Saudi Arabia.” Despite U.S. warnings to Iran, terrorists “bombed three residential compounds in Riyadh, killing 35 people, including 9 Americans.”
In 2004, Suleimani “began flooding Iraq with lethal roadside bombs” known as explosively formed projectiles, which, according to retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, “killed hundreds of Americans.”
In 2005, the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, and 21 others were killed in a massive car bombing in Beirut, carried out by Hezbollah. “There were Iranians on the phones directing the attack,” one former C.I.A. official told Filkins. “If indeed Iran was involved, Suleimani was undoubtedly at the center of this.”
In 2006, Hezbollah operatives abducted and killed Israeli soldiers in an operation that, according to Filkins, was “carried out with Suleimani’s help.” It sparked a monthlong war in which thousands of people were killed.
There’s a great deal more of this. And that was just the preamble to his central role in rescuing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and sustaining Yemen’s Houthi militia in power, goals pursued through policies of unrestricted brutality. As an agent of international mayhem, Suleimani’s peers were Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. To think of him as a worthy adversary — an Iranian Erwin Rommel — is wrong. He was an evil man who died as he had killed so many others. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
Why the Death of an Iranian Commander Won’t Mean World War III Ray Takeyh Politico, Jan. 3, 2020
After years of striding across the Middle East seemingly in command of the region, General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Brigade, was finally killed by American airstrikes early Friday morning. History will not mourn one of the great mass murderers of our time who was responsible for scores of dead, mostly Arab and American. Soleimani was not just the face of Iranian terrorism—he represented its changing dimensions. The Islamic Republic has always been a violent regime, but initially its terror focused most intensely on Israel. In the past decade, Soleimani turned terrorism into an effective instrument of Iran’s imperial expansion by marshaling a transnational Shia expeditionary force that has prevailed in conflicts across the Middle East.
His death will be a blow to the Iranian theocracy but—contrary to what many observers are warning—could very likely temper the clerical oligarchs, who tend to retreat in face of American determination.
In its first decades in power, after the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic focused its furies on Israel. It nurtured Palestinian rejectionist groups and, most important, created the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. A grim record of suicide bombings, assassinations and kidnappings soon made Hezbollah a terrorist organization with an impressive global reach. Even before the rise of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah had assumed a prominent place in the world of fundamentalism; it not only introduced new tactics, such as suicide bombings, to Islamist resistance, but also ingeniously used religion to justify its indiscriminate violence. Still, however lethal Iran and its clients might have been, their violence was generally targeted, with Israel as the preferred prey.
Then came Qassem Soleimani—the shadowy commander of the elite Quds Force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps—and the convulsions that transformed the Middle East. Soleimani was the right man for the times. In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies, the Middle East state system essentially collapsed, creating its share of vacuums and opportunities. Iraq imploded in the midst of a sectarian conflict that Iran did much to inflame. Syria was destroyed by a civil war that Iran prolonged. And the Gulf states’ princely class seemed petulant yet vulnerable. The Islamic Republic wanted to take advantage of all this, but despite its grand pretensions, it was still a second-rate power with a mismanaged economy. If Iran was to embark on an expansionist venture, it had to be imperialism on the cheap. Soleimani did not pioneer the use of proxies, but he took that age-old practice to a new level. … [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]
How Trump Decided to Kill Iran’s Soleimani: Daniel Lippman, Wesley Moran, Meridith McGraw and Nahal Toosi, Politico, Jan. 3, 2020 — Hours before the U.S. military sent a Reaper drone to kill one of the most wanted men on the planet, President Donald Trump was relaxing at his palatial Florida properties. In the morning, he played 18 holes at Trump International, his West Palm Beach golf club.
Who was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis?:MEE Staff, Middle East Eye, Jan. 3, 2019 — The news of a US air strike targeting top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad’s international airport on Friday has sent shockwaves across the region – eclipsing the death of another significant player who was among the 10 people killed in the attack.