Qassim Soleimani was an evil man; a key leader of an evil regime.
He got what was coming to him … for no other reason than his support/complicity in the deaths, imprisonment, torture of hundreds of Iranian protestors and students in 1999 (and ever since) … as the head of the Quds/Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Why? Because the protestors and students DARED to demand more freedom, less oppression and better wages/living conditions.
Soleimani was also instrumental in organizing, supporting, directing Iran’s armed aggression and sponsored terrorist attacks that resulted in the bombing and killing of not just “enemy” soldiers, but THOUSANDS of civilians in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia … and worldwide.
He certainly deserved to die … by modern moral standards.
But nations almost never judge/act, based on morality.
Which brings US President Donald Trump’s decision to have Soleimani killed up for discussion.
I must admit: my first reaction was “Great! They got the bastard!”
But now what?
Nations in conflict have long practiced tit-for-tat actions/retaliations … diplomatically, economically, covertly, technologically, politically … and even violently through sabotage, secret agents, proxies, or even directly with military force … BUT , usually, under the unwritten rule of proximate proportional basis.
In other words, you hit/seize one of our people, ships or bases … we hit/seize one of your people, ships or bases.
And there’s the problem.
Soleimani was not the head of a stateless proxy terrorist group or paramilitary organization hiding in forests or mountain caves: he was an Iranian government official, a very high ranked Major General and that commands a quite different set of rules … or at least has until now.
Taking out Soleimani was overkill … literally!
And now, of course, it will require a substantive response from Iran.
So … what was the long-term purpose or benefit from the hit?
Virtually none … internationally.
Very likely it will lead to MORE violence, MORE targeting, MORE escalation … and, WORSE, an even MORE chaotic situation in an already chaotic part of the world.
Surely, this will destroy for years more ANY hope, idea or chance for détente or truce between Iran and the US.
And hundreds … maybe thousands more civilians will die in the region as a result of the escalating actions/reactions between the two nations and their proxies.
So what was the reason for such a HUGE hit on the Iranian foe at THIS time?
After all, the US (and its allies) could have pre-eminently taken out ANY known planned military missions from/by Iran or its proxies … without killing their leader, Soleimani, himself … and they also certainly have in the past exercised their ability to retaliate punishingly to any actual attacks.
Hitting Iran’s regime much wider, economically, militarily, technologically …where it REALLY hurts … could have even been more punishing and more effective!
I believe the deliberate targeting/assassination of Soleimani was a tactical blunder: a result of US President Donald Trump’s inexperience, arrogance, brashness and failure to surround himself, keep or listen to more experienced, sophisticated diplomatic or military strategists.
And it may also have been carried out for domestic political purposes: in the belief that many more Americans will now rally to the President’s side … deflecting attention from the impeachment process and with the real target of benefiting Trump’s re-election campaign.
Iran WILL respond … and that response, complete with casualties, will no doubt harden American resolve and, very likely, evoke more US retaliation.
With Trump, I believe, betting his Mr. Tough Guy stance will win him votes in the Fall election.
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