Iran-US-Soleimani Roundup. There is a huge outbreak of US reporting on the Soleimani killing. The left (and thus most of the media) are casting it in the worst possible light because Trump did it, so most of the realist commentary is coming from non-left sources.
Many Iranians are furious at their regime spending so much of Iran’s money and effort on wars, while their economy is so terrible. Iran’s media won’t report it, but many Iranians are probably glad to see Soleimani go. Iran has been at war with the West since 1979, particularly the US.
The recent cycle of retaliation, by Steven Saville:
On 27th December a US contractor was killed in Iraq by a rocket attack that the US blamed on an Iran-backed Iraqi militia called Kataeb Hezbollah (KH).
In retaliation, on 29th December the US launched airstrikes in Iraq that killed 25 KH fighters.
In retaliation, on 31st December the US embassy in Iraq was attacked by KH supporters.
In retaliation, on 2nd January the US launched a drone attack in Iraq that killed a high-profile Iranian general, prompting the threat of harsh retaliation from the Iranian government.
President Donald Trump issued an unusual warning on Saturday that if Iran launches any reprisal attacks for the death of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the U.S. military is prepared to strike 52 Iranian targets — one for each of the hostages that the Iranians held for more than a year after seizing the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.
The potential targets include some that are “very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” the president said in a series of three tweets on Saturday evening.
Even the Trump-hating New York Times can’t say anything good about Suleimani. By Lion of the Blogosphere.
Instead of a retaliation that kills a bunch of schmuck enlisted men who had no say in any decision making, or even worse, a bunch of civilians, Trump’s retaliation killed the man who was actually responsible. Maybe, now, Ali Khamenei and Hassan Rouhani will worry that they will be next if they continue down Iran’s path of evil.
Globalists usually prefer to give in to terrorism:
That’s different because shut up.
Iran’s Mullahs complain about censorship on Instagram, by John Hinderaker.
In a bit of dark comedy, the mullahs protested bitterly against Instagram’s deletion of posts honoring Soleimani:
Many people who have posted photos of the late commander on Instagram pages have later complained that the social media platform has removed their posts or photos under the pretext that they violated the rules of the community.
The Iranian lawyers lambasted the move, describing it as clear violation of human rights.
Ali Bahadori Jahromi, the head of lawyers’ center of the judiciary, told FNA that the Instagram and Twitter users who showed their sentiments towards General Soleimani after assassination faced automatic removal of their posts by the social media platforms.
He described the move a violation of the freedom of speech and human rights.
The Iranian mullahs, principled defenders of free speech and human rights! You can’t make this stuff up.
Obama official thinks Trump’s strategy worked, by Don Surber.
Don’t buy the World War 3 spin. The mullahs in Iran are in deep doo-doo. President Donald John Trump’s economic sanctions have killed the economy, and the people rise in protest. …
Bullies are the biggest cowards.
[Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, born in Iran, advisor to the Obama administration on Iran] wrote: “Past is often prologue in Iran. When a truculent Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency, Iran hastily released the American diplomats it had held hostage for 444 days. When George W. Bush’s shock and awe campaign quickly displaced the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran responded by suspending its nuclear program. The mullahs relish assaulting America but are circumspect when facing a tough-minded, unpredictable president. The Islamic Republic had already pledged to retreat further from its nuclear obligations by next week. A move in that direction seems more likely at this point, as opposed to blowing up American diplomatic and military outposts.”
“As the commemoration ceremonies begin in Iran, it is important to stress that the imperial edifice that Soleimani built was already stressed. The sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration after its abrogation of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal have depleted Iran’s economy, calling into question its foreign policy imperatives. In November, Iran was rocked by massive demonstrations as the regime had to curtail its onerous fuel subsidies. An uneasy path lies ahead for the clerical oligarchs. The last thing they need is a costly confrontation with a president willing to do things they once considered unimaginable.”
Iran is isolated and disliked, by Lion of the Blogosphere:
Iran has no allies except for Syria and a few Shi’ite terrorist militias. No major country is their friend.
All of the major Islamic countries are run by Sunnis, and the Sunnis hate the Shi’ites. Middle East Sunni countries that have had to deal with Iranian-backed terrorist militias would love to see Iran destroyed.
China and Russia may sell Iran weapons, but Putin and Xi Jinping both think that the Iranians are a bunch of religious crazies and would never go to war to protect them. … I am sure that privately, they know they would have done a lot worse to Iran if Iran had been jerking them around. Especially Xi Jinping, he’s the guy who gave the order to round up the problem Muslims in China and put them into re-education camps. Xi Jinping doesn’t take sh** from Muslims.
As Tensions With Iran Escalated, Trump Opted for Most Extreme Measure, by Helene Cooper.
In the chaotic days leading to the death of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, top American military officials put the option of killing him — which they viewed as the most extreme response to recent Iranian-led violence in Iraq — on the menu they presented to President Trump.
They didn’t think he would take it. In the wars waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Pentagon officials have often offered improbable options to presidents to make other possibilities appear more palatable.
After initially rejecting the Suleimani option on Dec. 28 and authorizing airstrikes on an Iranian-backed Shiite militia group instead, a few days later Mr. Trump watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the American Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.
By late Thursday, the president had gone for the extreme option. Top Pentagon officials were stunned. …
Mr. Trump’s two predecessors — Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — had rejected killing General Suleimani as too provocative. …
Administration officials are playing down General Suleimani’s status as a part of the Iranian state, suggesting his title gave him cover for terrorist activities. In the days since his death, they have sought to describe the strike as more in line with the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, who died in October in an American commando raid in Syria.