Critics Condemn Trump’s Unauthorized Assassination Of Top Iranian Military Leader
“The US pulled out of the Iran deal, implemented illegal sanctions (including on medicine), assassinated a top Iranian military figure who was on the front line fighting ISIS, and I guarantee you the media is about to make you think the bloodlusting empire is the victim.”
The Trump administration’s assassination on Thursday of Iran’s General Qassem Suleimani was widely condemned by progressives and anti-war advocates who argue that the unauthorized murder of one of Iran’s most powerful figures puts the U.S. on the brink of full-fledged warfare and betrays the president’s campaign promise to end America’s endless wars.
“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” tweeted Sen. Bernie Sanders. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.”
Suleimani is widely considered to be the second-most powerful person in the Iranian government behind supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, making his assassination an extreme act of aggression.
“The US pulled out of the Iran deal, implemented illegal sanctions (including on medicine), assassinated a top Iranian military figure who was on the front line fighting ISIS, and I guarantee you the media is about to make you think the bloodlusting empire is the victim,” tweeted Secular Talk host Kyle Kulinski.
The Pentagon provided no evidence for its claim that Soleimani was planning attacks on U.S. forces in the region, which it used to justify the strike. The U.S. security state has repeatedly lied about its foreign engagements, from systematically deceiving the public about Afghanistan, completely fabricating the justification for the invasion of Iraq, and new OPCW whistleblower claims that they were pressured to mislead the public about chemical weapons in Syria in order to drum up support for yet another regime change war.
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last year: “I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole. That’s, it was like, we had entire training courses.”
“This was the US retaliation for the assault on the US embassy, itself a reaction to the US strike on Kateb Hezbollah; now the Iranians will respond; & Trump will get his war to secure his re-election. What a world,” tweeted Vijay Prashad.
Others noted that Congress did not authorize an act of warfare on a sovereign country.
“This is the most blatantly impeachable violation of the constitution there is,” tweeted journalist Jon Schwarz. “Trump did not have congressional authorization to do this. But of course the Democrats will do nothing.”
“No one voted for this. No one authorized it,” tweeted journalist Krystal Ball. “And yet here we are on the precipice of war with Iran. If we assassinated Soleimani, it’s hard to overstate just what a massive escalation and dangerous situation this President has just put us in.”
Trump campaigned on promises to ‘drain the swamp’ and end America’s endless wars, but has overseen a sharp increase in civilian deaths in conflicts abroad, has filled his cabinet with pro-war Washington insiders and corporate lobbyists, and has now ordered the most serious act of aggression of his presidency. Iran has promised to retaliate.
“Iranian sources in Iran are warning that killing Gen. Qasem Sulaimani spells war. ‘Official reaction will begin with a strike,’ one says,” tweeted journalist Farnaz Fassihi.
The Guardian’s Mohamad Bazzi argues the assassination’s “most likely immediate effect will be to ratchet up pressure on the Iraqi government to expel US troops from Iraq. And that would mean Iran extending its already substantial influence over Iraqi government and society.”
“Whatever happens next, understand and never stop pointing out that Donald Trump walked into office with no crisis with Iran,” said Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War. “He then filled his cabinet with warmongers, walked away from a multilateral diplomatic accord, and purposefully engaged in ‘maximum pressure.’ He owns this.”
Trump’s Old Tweets Resurface
Video footage and tweets from 2011 and 2012 of Trump accusing President Obama of starting a war with Iran in order to secure his reelection resurfaced shortly after the U.S. assassinated Iran’s top military leader and six others in the Thursday night drone strike.
In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2011
Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2012
Don't let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected–be careful Republicans!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2012
Trump on Nov. 16, 2011:
“Our president will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected — and as sure as you're sitting there — is to start a war with Iran.” pic.twitter.com/usZFLiHnBw
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 3, 2020
“The assassination came with Trump’s approval rating mired at 42% and with him facing removal from office through impeachment in a US election year,” notes Business Insider.