Current Affairs Military Politics

The US Assassination Of Qasem Soleimani In Baghdad

There is a well-observed episode of the American television series The West Wing where the character of President Josiah Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen, is frustrated by his advisers plans to make a “proportionate response” to the downing of a US plane by Syrian attackers despite his initial demands for a far bloodier response. In writer Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House administration the institutional wisdom of the United States’ government and military persuades the Commander-in-Chief to follow the restrictions laid down by international convention and diplomacy. Unfortunately in the real world administration of Donald Trump the institutions of government are at breaking point, giving long-time Iran hawks in Washington an opportunity to dramatically escalate political tensions with Tehran.

The US assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani, the effective commander of the Quds Force, a clandestine unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) somewhat similar to the Special Activities Center of the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States, in a missile strike on his convoy near Baghdad International Airport is well beyond what we have come to expect in the decades-old tit-for-tat contest between America and Iran. While some in the Middle East will undoubtedly rejoice at the death of Soleimani, many more, even among his opponents, will be infuriated by it. And to make matters worse, Washington has effectively destroyed its relations with the Republic of Iraq by also taking the lives of four senior members of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the militia umbrella body that has grown into a paramilitary wing of the Iraqi state, including the influential Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Of course, the irony here is that those who will greet the death of Qasem Soleimani with the greatest glee will be found among the ranks of the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups who recognised the Quds Force commander as one of their most troublesome foes. And one that Donald Trump has now taken out of the picture.

4 comments on “The US Assassination Of Qasem Soleimani In Baghdad

  1. Ro Khanna tried to add an amendment to the NDAA reauthorization this year but proscribing war with Iran. 188 Democrats voted it down then have Trump 784 billion for war.

    Trump has propelled the Iraq war vote of 2002 into the Dem primary. Along with Warren’s vote against Khanna’s amendment and for every bloated military budget Trump had asked for. Sanders will romp home.


  2. I suspect that Trump acted 100% on impulse. To look for strategy misunderstands the whole situation completely. Trump is an impulsive child. He is unfit to be political leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ar an sliabh

    Meirican politics crack me up. A few weeks ago they wanted to go to full blown war with Iran over a drone, now they squabble over this potentially elevating tension. What a joke! This is neither the “savage blow” to Iran one side claims nor the catastrophe the other side reports. They did this under every administration and it hardly raised an eyebrow. Many people appear to forget that Iran has a very well organised military and is not a conglomeration of fighters with a cause often only held together by some enigmatic leader. For such an organisation losing their leader can spell the end. I would venture to guess that Iran has an actual strategy, and all that will happen on their side is a promotion for some other officer who will press on with business as planned. The rest is the usual sabre-rattling. The ball has been in Iran’s court since the revolution. It doesn’t matter who the president of the U.S. is. The will do what they think they have to do, when they think they need to do it.


  4. One of the main reasons ISIS had the brakes put on it in the Middle East and the US kills him. And yet it’s still a ‘conspiracy theory’ to some if one ventures to claim the west/US sponsored ISIS or at the very least use them as an excuse to further their selfish interests.


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