January 3, 2020
Let’s look at a few facts about Qasem Soleimani, the hero who Donald Trump just assassinated.
- Soleimani came from a peasant family, worked in construction in his youth to pay off his dad’s debts and lifted weights in his spare time.
- He joined the Revolutionary Guard briefly after the revolution, to serve his country.
- When his country was at war with Iraq, he rose up quickly through the ranks, took part in every major operation.
- He described Operation Fath ol-Mobin as the best battle of his life, due to the odds being against his people and yet triumphing despite that.
- When he was working close to opium fields in Afghanistan, he fought against the drug trade.
- In 1998, he was put in charge of the Quds Force, Iran’s extraterritorial intelligence and military body.
- During the 1999 student revolt, he signed a letter to the president saying that if he did not put down the revolution, the military would overthrow the government and do it themselves.
- After 9/11, he briefly worked with Americans and captured or killed high-ranking al-Qaeda members, but the collaboration ended when George Bush declared Iran “evil” in a 2002 speech.
- He is considered a principal figure in the development of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia, and he was in Lebanon during Hezbollah’s war with Israel and oversaw the conflict.
- He was the leading figure behind the destruction of ISIS by Syria and friends.
He was the definition of a hero, and a kind of idealized form of the New Man.
He was probably the single most respected military man in the Shiite world, and was considered one of the most powerful. He has been universally recognized as one of the most influential military commanders in the region for decades.
Assassinating a man of such honor using a missile strike is about the most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard of in my entire life.
All of this is to say: this escalation by Trump (or Pompeo or Netanyahu or whoever you want to point at as the orange man’s puppet master) is much bigger and more extreme than anyone is able to see from the face of it.
Thanks to blobfish for compiling the original list of Soleimani’s accomplishments.