One thing that I’ve tried to stress these past few days, in case you’re just catching up: Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani wasn’t just an Iranian military official or a “revered” veteran of the Iran-Iraq War. He was a terrorist.
There are a panoply of reasons why the branch of the Iranian state apparatus that Soleimani led was considered a terrorist organization by the United States. One of the main ones had to do with its role in the Iraqi insurgency that claimed so many American lives during the Iraq War.
Remember those IEDs that were so deadly? The ones that sent so many of our men and women in uniform home with scars, both visible and invisible, that will never heal? You can thank Qassem Soleimani for that. And yet, we hear him being talked about as if he was some sort of legitimate military figure and as if what we did was an “assassination.”
If you need a primer on what Soleimani was responsible for, all you need to do is listen to Jason Church.
Church is a double-amputee veteran who’s running in the Republican primary for the nomination to represent Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.
He lost part of both his legs while fighting in Afghanistan thanks to an IED.
In a viral video after Soleimani’s death, the retired Army captain gave his thoughts on the strike against the Iranian terrorist, and thanked President Donald Trump for taking Soleimani out:
Soleimani led proxy wars resulting in the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition forces, including my friends and colleagues. Thank you, President @realDonaldTrump for your bold decision in fighting against our enemies #WI07 pic.twitter.com/PwtynIPTOW
— Jason Church (@JasonChurchWI) January 3, 2020
“Qassem Soleimani, a leader in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, was killed by an airstrike in Iraq,” the viral statement, posted Friday, began. He went on to say that “Trump’s bold decision-making is the kind of leadership we need in Washington.”
“This Iranian general led proxy wars leading to the deaths or wounding of hundreds of U.S. and coalition forces,” Church said, adding that his “friends and colleagues [were] included.”
In addition to lending his support to Trump, Church lashed out at the “career politicians who helped coddle Iran in the first place, giving them the resources necessary to fight these wars.”
“It’s the same people who are trying to remove the president from office today,” he continued, making it clear which party he was talking about just in case you didn’t get the point.
“It’s the weakness of these career politicians that needs to be fought, and I will fight with President Trump every day to defend our nation,” he added.
While it remained unnamed in his statement, Church was clearly referring to the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama-era agreement that allowed most of the sanctions on Iran to lapse and the Islamic Republic to stock up on plenty of new weaponry.
Church’s post got plenty of plaudits in response, as well as confused attempts to discredit its line of thinking:
Sad. No dispute #Soleimani was a bad man who killed thousands, but #ElChapo is no different. So if I stood outside the courthouse & killed him, that’s ok? Justice done? No laws broken? Our country has always gotten justice by being above rouge behavior, not stooping to it!
— Defend Democracy -Join the Mavericks (@Rob63134919) January 4, 2020
It depends. Is @Rob63134919 the U.S. military? Is El Chapo a terrorist who poses a significant threat to the United States? Is there no other way of bringing him to justice?
Since we know that the answer to most of these questions is no, we can rightly assume that, no, @Rob63134919 doesn’t have the ability to do so, and thus he’d be acting in “rouge” (or blush) behavior.
However, our many-numbered friend might think about things a bit differently if he took an honest look at the weapons Soleimani’s forces helped spread throughout Iraq for use against U.S. forces, particularly the type known as an “explosively formed penetrator” — a more lethal cousin to the traditional improvised explosive device.
“The weapons, compact but potent, are deployed against armored vehicles in a way similar to traditional IEDs but are much deadlier and more effective … But they are also more complex and difficult to produce,” The Washington Post noted in a Friday article.
“Shaped like a coffee can but a little smaller, with a slightly concave end, the device is packed with plastic explosives that turn a copper plate into molten slugs that barrel through several inches of armor, sending elongated shards tumbling through bodies and vehicles, and producing entry and exit holes similar to gunshots.”
“The copper slugs, which form into a tadpole shape, can reach Mach 6, or 2,000 meters per second, The Post previously reported. By comparison, a .50-caliber round fired from a sniper rifle has a muzzle velocity of less than 900 meters a second.”
The weapons came to Iraq in 2004 — and guess who helped introduce them?
“Soleimani’s Quds Force provided EFP training and logistics to militants in Iraq, along with far-reaching supply routes and factories inside the country … where knowledge and tips on their construction filled CD-ROMs circulated among bombmakers,” The Post reported.
Maybe if the Democrats who are doubting the wisdom of this mission had been a victim of one of Soleimani’s EFPs — or knew someone who was — they’d be singing a different tune.
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