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U.S. Assassination of Iranian General Qassim SuleimaniRalph E. Stone, Salem-News.com Commentary
Has Trump bungled us into a war with Iran?
(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) - Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s top security and intelligence commander was assassinated on January 3, 2020 by U.S. drone strikes. Soleimani led the powerful Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. President Trump authorized the strike.
General Suleimani is accused of causing the deaths of hundreds of soldiers during the Iraq war, by providing Iraqi insurgents with advanced bomb-making equipment and training.
He is also accused of masterminding destabilizing Iranian activities that continue throughout the Middle East and are aimed at the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Congress was not consulted prior to the strike, nor did Allied forces participate. The Defense Department characterized the strike as "decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad" and said Soleimani "was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region". The White House has not revealed the evidence of such “plans”.
Iran is not without blame in the escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict.
The strike comes days after American forces bombed three outposts of Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-supported militia in Iraq and Syria, in retaliation for the death of an American contractor in a rocket attack last week near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.
Pro-Iranian protesters reacted by laying siege to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to end American entanglements in the Middle East, insisting that he did not want war. But the killing of Soleimani is likely to escalate the U.S.-Iran conflict and worsen our relations with Iraq.
It is notable that previous to the strike, there had been a wave of anti-Iran demonstrations. I expect a wave of anti-U.S. demonstrations in Iraq is going on right now.
I suspect the beginnings of the present precarious situation with Iran dates back to Trump’s abandoning of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran whereby Iran agreed to limit its ability to produce a nuclear weapon, in exchange for the removal of various sanctions imposed on it internationally.
After the 2016 election, even though Iran was abiding by it, Trump reneged on the Iran nuclear deal and renewed sanctions. The Iranians are suffering deeply under these sanctions.
In killing General Suleimani, Trump took an action that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama had rejected, fearing it would lead to war between the U.S. and Iran.
Trump talks about bringing our troops home from endless wars. Yet, we still have troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and now Saudi Arabia. And now he risks another endless war with Iran.
There is nothing like a war to divert attention away during an election year and impeachment proceedings. In Iran, the leadership convened an emergency security meeting. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement calling for three days of public mourning and then retaliation. American government and civilian personnel, the military, and tourists around the world are vulnerable.
Has Trump bungled us into a war with Iran and increased the destabilization in the Middle East? Stay tuned.
Articles for January 6, 2020 |