The bad guy is dead?

  • Coffins of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and others who were killed in Iraq by a U.S. drone strike, are carried on a truck surrounded by mourners during a funeral procession, in the city of Kerman, Iran Jan. 7. A stampede erupted Tuesday at a funeral procession for a top Iranian general killed in a U.S. airstrike last week, killing 35 people and injuring 48 others, state television reported. 

Published: 1/10/2020 9:58:39 AM
Modified: 1/10/2020 9:58:00 AM

Some claim that over 600 American lives were lost due to Soleimani’s actions. This is indeed tragic. We all mourn the lives of our military who have sworn to protect and defend. But it’s also important that we step back and and take a hard look at the forces at play.

Soleimani’s mission in life was inspired by the deaths of over 1 million Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war waged by Saddam Hussein with the assistance of the USA during the Reagan era which at various points supplied both sides with arms, intelligence and technology. And over 200,000 Iraqi civilian war deaths have been attributed to the U.S. since the 2003 invasion. Yes, body counts go both ways.

Under the Iran-Nuclear agreement, tensions had deescalated and Iran was in full compliance. But since the Trump administration’s subsequent withdrawal and insertion of a maximum pressure campaign against Iran, Soleimani instituted violent counter-measures.

Long term, Pence and Pompeo (and Bolton) had wanted to invade Iran and overthrow the Iranian regime. Apparently, their arguments won over Trump’s former hesitancy to retaliate.

Now Iran, since Soleimani’s assassination, has declared the U.S. military a terrorist organization, countering Trump’s earlier designation of the Revolutionary Guard as terrorists, and the Iraq Parliament wants US forces to leave their sovereign nation. So now, everything is on the table as we await Iranian retaliation.

It’s important to remember, Iran has allies, not only Middle Eastern countries and Afghanistan but Russia and China. Meanwhile, the Trump administration, pursuing its America First policy, have sought to alienate former allies.

This is not good, no matter how much you point to the sins of Soleimani, who was revered by many throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Yes, to the U.S.A., he was definitely a bad guy. But to billions of others looking at our war-mongering history, we are. And today, we are at serious risk of having another region become seriously destabilized due to a variety of retaliatory actions, namely, the United States of America.

Genevieve Fraser, of Orange, is the author of “Palestine: Waiting by Lazarus’ Tomb, A Collection of Poetry and Prose” (2010) and a former member of the Faculty for Israeli and Palestinian Peace.

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