… early Friday, a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper — operating under President Donald Trump’s orders — fired missiles into a convoy carrying Soleimani as it was leaving Baghdad’s international airport. __ Source
Former US President Obama in 2015 sent $1.7 billion in cash to Iran. The money was largely used to fund activity of Iran’s proxy terrorist militias in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and Iraq — and the draconian Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The largest beneficiary of that $1.7 billion was head of Iranian intelligence Qasem Soleimani — a person that Obama is said to have admired.
Obama admired Soleimani and prevented the Israelis from assassinating him five years ago, when they had the state terrorist in their sights.
Obama likes Suleimani, and admires his work. As the president reportedly told a group of Arab officials in May, the Arabs “need to learn from Iran’s example.”
… The president [Obama] seemed to marvel at the fact that from Hezbollah to the Houthis to the Iraqi militias, Iran has such a deep bench of effective proxies willing to advance its interests. Where, he asked, are their equivalent on the Sunni side?
… The deal is with the hard men of the regime, the extremists—the deal is with Qassem Suleimani. __ https://www.hudson.org/research/11436-obama-strikes-a-deal-with-qassem-suleimani
American forces allowed Suleimani to get away in January of 2007, but President Trump decided to put an end to Suleimani’s long and bloody career last night. A number of other terrorists shared Suleimani’s fate, as their convoy was driving away from a freight terminal at Baghdad’s international airport.
Suleimani had enjoyed a long and successful career as a terrorist mastermind — and as a bloody oppressor against his own people inside Iran.
To see just how significant Mr. Suleimani’s death truly is, it helps to understand the geopolitical game he’d devoted his life to playing. In Lebanon, Mr. Suleimani built Lebanese Hezbollah into the powerful state within a state that we know today. A terrorist organization receiving its funds, arms and marching orders from Tehran, Hezbollah has a missile arsenal larger than that of most countries in the region. The group’s success has been astounding, helping to cement Iran’s influence not just in Lebanon but farther around the Arab world.
Building up on this successful experience, Mr. Suleimani spent the last decade replicating the Hezbollah model in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, propping up local militias with precision weapons and tactical know-how. In Syria, his forces have allied with Russia to prop up the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a project that, in practice, has meant driving over 10 million people from their homes and killing well over half a million. In Iraq, as we have seen in recent days, Mr. Suleimani’s militias ride roughshod over the legitimate state institutions. They rose to power, of course, after participating in an insurgency, of which he was the architect, against American and coalition forces. Hundreds of American soldiers lost their lives to the weapons that the Qods Force provided to its Iraqi proxies.
Mr. Suleimani built this empire of militias while betting that America would steer clear of an outright confrontation. This gambit certainly paid off under President Barack Obama… __ Trump’s Ground Game
Suleimani’s gambit paid off big — to the tune of $1.7 billion — under President Obama. But Trump has a different view of Iran and of Suleimani’s actions than did Obama. Mr. O. admired Suleimani’s successes and was a huge fan of Islamic Revolutionary Iran in general. Mr. T., on the other hand, simply lost patience with both the man and the reckless regime that Suleimani represented.
What Will Iran Do Now?
Iran’s government is in a bad position, with a failing economy and a population that is losing confidence in its leaders.
In November, the Iranian regime [ed: Suleimani] ruthlessly suppressed anti-regime protests, killing up to 1,000 demonstrators. After the US struck five bases of Iran-backed militias in Iraq on Dec. 30, Iran decided that its credibility required a demonstration of power, and ordered the attack on the US embassy.
That left Trump with few good choices… The embassy attack was intended by Iran as a public act of ritual humiliation, and the United States had no choice but to respond. Trump chose to respond by subjecting Iran to an even more poignant form of humiliation, by assassinating a national hero, Gen. Qassam Sulemaini. It is easy to criticize the US president, but harder to recommend an alternative course of action…
It seems clear that Iran was taken aback by the ferocity of America’s response to the embassy attack. If it anticipated this sort of attack, Gen. Sulemaini never would have appeared in person at the Baghdad Airport. Iran now has to devise a response whose outcome is extremely difficult to calculate. There is a significant probability of a major escalation. __ https://www.asiatimes.com/2020/01/article/trump-takes-a-calculated-risk/
Years ago, Iran’s leaders chanted “Death to America!” at every opportunity. The same chant is likely to be used years from now. Paying Iranian terrorists $billions for a mock treaty will not stop the violence and hatred emanating from the ruins of Persia. Obama could never understand that — or if he did he did not care.
Because of the identity of the US president who pulled the trigger on this particular set of terrorists, “the swamp” of Washington DC will condemn the action and moan in terror at possible “repercussions.” If a “President Hillary” had done the same thing, the swamp would have rolled over itself in congratulations for the strong action taken against a terrorist regime.
The American public — as opposed to the swamp — has never liked the Islamic Revolutionary Republic ever since the days of the extended hostage crisis in the US embassy of Tehran. Nothing has happened since those days to endear Iran to the American public. Given the proximity to the 2020 US presidential election (and what happened in the 1980 US presidential election), the US media and the US political opposition would do well to tone down any remarks that appear to support the terrorist state of Iran and its many murderous actions across the nations of the middle east.
If the Pentagon is correct and Soleimani orchestrated the invasion of the U.S. Embassy, the airstrike against him is proportionate. If war comes, it will be the fault of Iran, not Trump.
It will also be the fault of the Obama administration, which thwarted Israel’s attempt to stop Soleimani five years ago. How many Americans have died because the Obama administration prevented Israel from carrying out this hit? __ Source
Obama had enough political and media cover to express admiration for a world-class terrorist such as Suleimani, and get away with it. He could even give the bloody cause $billions and save the man’s life. But no one in the 2020 race has the political stature and political cover that is given to Obama. They had best be cautious.
More: The Shadow Commander… a man who did not hesitate to kill fellow Iranians or anyone else that got in his way.
He was also hated, not only by Sunnis who suffered at the hands of his proxy militias in Syria and Iraq, but also by fellow Shias, including some in Iraq and Iran, where he helped uphold a repressive system and was seen as the man responsible for Iran’s role in costly wars abroad. He was not simply on a mission to undo the unsatisfying score of the Iran-Iraq war and make up for the conflict’s devastating death toll and the humiliation it served his country; he had become the mission, the upholder of the Islamic revolution, keeping it alive for Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. __ https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/01/qassem-soleimani-death-missed/604396/