After the US airstrike that President Trump ordered killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soliemani on Friday, there were a lot of strong reactions from the usual folks.
How did we get here?
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been making the talk show rounds, explaining how Iran and all of its proxies became so strong. He points to the Obama policy of appeasement of Iran and the resulting strengthening of the Shia militias in Iraq, Hezbollah, and other problems.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “The previous administration left us in a terrible place with respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Team Obama appeased Iran.” pic.twitter.com/MUcg9CwMBO
— The Hill (@thehill) January 5, 2020
Why didn’t we know who Soleimani was?
Now that we know what a dangerous person Soleimani was, why were most people ignorant of his existence?
Perhaps we can attribute our general ignorance of such an important person to the mainstream media. which has been focused on partisan issues in Washington, and not so much on people and events that can seriously threaten us.
Take Soleimani for instance: he has been operating in the middle east for decades. He has had a hand in many of the events that have been going on there, but have you ever heard of him?
UN Ambassador Nikki Haley did warn the UN about Soleimani:
My warnings about Soleimani two years ago. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/J3wlQdwB5A
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) January 3, 2020
In the mainstream media, Haley’s warnings fell on deaf ears. They had “more important things to do,” like trying to get rid of Donald Trump.
What the Democrats are saying
The Democrats have taken the position that President Trump is the real danger to the world, and Qasem Soleimani was an Iranian folk hero.
Colin Kaepernick accused the US of committing terrorism.
There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism.
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) January 4, 2020
Bernie Sanders: “Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.”
Elizabeth Warren acknowledged that Soleimani was a bad guy, but she called the attack a “reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict”.
Many are outraged that they were not consulted before the attack, but their arguments are baseless, as the president was fully within his right to take Soleimani out. Soleimani was a terrorist and he had been banned from Iraq.
Chuck Schumer warned, “When the security of the nation is at stake, decisions must not be made in a vacuum. It is paramount for administrations to get an outside view to prevent groupthink.”
Nancy Pelosi chided President Trump: “This initiation of hostilities was taken without an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iran, without the consultation of the Congress and without the articulation of a clear and legitimate strategy to either the Congress or the public.”
How will Iran retaliate?
Speculation abounds regarding what form Iran’s promised “crushing revenge” will take. One way they could retaliate is through cyberwarfare.
It turns out that the cyberwar with Iran has been going on since 2009 at least, when Iran hacked Twitter. 2012 was a banner year for attacks. Iran mostly targets “soft” targets. The US targets government computer systems that are used to run Iran’s nuclear program. They also target military systems.
Go here to see how many and how long Iran and the US have been hacking each other: US Iran cyber attacks.
Iranian General Gholamali Abuhamzeh mentioned some potential targets that could include the Strait of Hormuz, an important thoroughfare for American naval vessels and commercial traffic. He said there were at least 35 targets that Iran could reach including Tel Aviv.
Tehran also has announced that it named a successor: the force’s little-known deputy chief, Brig. Gen. Ismail Qaani. According to the Washington Post, Qaani is not a networker like Soleimani, but an administrative guy. He has been around just as long as Soleimani, so it is expected that the empire Soleimani built will endure.
How will the US respond to Iranian revenge?
The State Department has pointed out that whatever the Iranians do, it will just be a continuance of what they have already been doing. That was the point of taking out Soleimani. He has been killing and maiming Americans for a long time now.
President Trump promised to target 52 sites that are important to Iran if Iran tries to get revenge for the death of Soleimani.
….targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 4, 2020
This is a developing story.
Watch Iraqis celebrate the death of Soleimani: