Yesterday in Baghdad, Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a rocket attack. This was a US Defense Department attack on a known and identified international terrorist who was the Commander of a terrorist organization.
(Statement by DoD: At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.)
Soleimani was the General who Commanded Iran’s Quds (Jerusalem) Force Army of Iran. His history includes the slaughter thousands of innocents in the Syrian Civil War, he actively recruited and supported the Houthis in Yemen, and worse, actively taught and supplied militia fighters in Iraq on the making, placing, and utilization of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) during that war to kill hundreds of US Military, and Thousands more non-military, and most recently overseeing the killing of hundreds of Iraqi protesters demonstrating against Iranian intervention in Iraq.
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska had this to say: “This is very simple: General Soleimani is dead because he was an evil bastard who murdered Americans,” Sasse said in a statement. “The President made the brave and right call, and Americans should be proud of our servicemembers who got the job done. Tehran is on edge – the mullahs have already slaughtered at least a thousand innocent Iranians – and before they lash out further they should know that the U.S. military can bring any and all of these IRGC butchers to their knees.”
Over the past several months there have been many provocations in the Middle East perpetrated by Iran. Oil Tankers passing through the straits of Hormuz were attacked, Oil Tankers of allies (England and Japan) were seized, a US Drone was shot out of the sky over international waters, Saudi Arabian Oil Fields were attacked, various targets in the region were attacked, and most recently an American citizen (private contractor) was killed, and now, America herself was attacked when the US Embassy in Baghdad was attacked by militia. All of these attacks were attributed to the nation of Iran, or their proxies in the region, and most were gleefully and proudly claimed by the nation of Iran,
In our past in this great nation, President Theodore Roosevelt famously stated, with regard to international affairs, “Walk softly, and carry a big stick”. This is the proper fashion for a leader among nations to behave. Be secure in the knowledge of our strength, but be judicious in the use of that strength. So it is with the nation of Iran as they insistently provoke the international community of nations. We have patiently offered multiple opportunities to work out differences between our nations. Iran chooses a rouge approach.
It is accepted standard protocol that a nations embassy is, in fact, the sovereign soil of the nation itself. Such is the standards agreed among nations. Thus an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad is a DIRECT ATTACK on SOVEREIGN US soil. How does a nation react to a direct attack on the nation?
It is forced to “fight back”. Simple. Direct. Unavoidable. You attack us, and we MUST defend ourselves. There is no alternative, lest other “bad actors” interpret our inaction as weakness.
Soleimani was indisputably the mastermind behind the attack on our Embassy in Baghdad. Surprisingly, even after his bold attack, he was comfortable and confident enough in his authority and control in the sovereign nation of Iraq, to travel openly to the nation of Iraq to personally oversee the “success” of his plan. Obviously he was a trifle too comfortable and confident, and paid for his hubris with his life.
There are many who support the President in this decision. There are many others however who criticize this action and claim that this anti-terror response will likely cause Iran to retaliate even more forcefully against the US.
Here is the question we must ask ourselves. Are we a world leader or are we one of the several other countries of the planet who must cower lest we offend other, stronger nations? I’m not condoning “Might makes right” mentality, rather I’m simply asking the question, if we truly believe that we stand in the morally righteous position, do we NOT have an OBLIGATION to stand for what is right?
I know, many would argue, right and wrong can be filtered through the lens of your position, as the old saying goes “Where you stand depends on where you sit”. Iran claims the righteous position. Do they have the righteous position?
The United States has basically been at war with the nation of Iran since 1979, when “students” overran our Embassy there and took American hostages. Since 1979 Iran has been directly responsible for the killing of hundreds of our military personal in the middle east, fomenting multiple insurrections throughout the region, responsible for the terror it sponsors against the nation of Israel with literally daily rocket attacks, to include the many provocative actions in the gulf and interruption of oil traffic, and now, finally, the direct attack against the US Embassy.
When is enough, enough? In the 1990’s, Iranian students protested in the streets, and the US did nothing as Soleimani and his Quds Force brutalized the protestors in a bloody crackdown against them. That was a domestic issue. What Iran has done throughout the region is NOT “domestic”, rather it is international, and provocative, and dangerous! Can our allies in the region “depend” on the power and influence of a United States that does “NOTHING” when they are DIRECTLY attacked?
In the coming days and weeks this action will be debated endlessly. The sides will be divided by partisan politics, much as the impeachment trial was partisan. Based on your politics, you will be “for” or “against” this decision.
I must be honest with you when I say that I do NOT know if this was the “right” or “wrong” decision. I do NOT know because I do NOT have all the information available to me that the President and the National Security Team had when they made the decision to conduct the operation.
I will offer this opinion. I believe General Soleimani’s death is well deserved for a man responsible for the deaths of so many others. I am particularly aware of the hundreds of my Brothers/Sisters who have died BECAUSE of his actions, whether directly or indirectly. As the Warrior Ethos demands, You kill my Brother, you do not get to live. That is JUSTICE in the military that I joined/served. I take pride in my oath, I love my Brother-in-Arms, and I make no apology for either of those statements.
What I do know is this, before Iran attacks the United States again, they will look at this retaliation and try to determine what the ramifications of their next aggressive act of terror or war will bring in retribution to them.
I think that is a good thing for them to consider before they act again. What do YOU think?