After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the Trigger

Khameini and Soleimani
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini and Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, right (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Last October Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad, spoke openly about assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“He knows very well that his assassination is not impossible,” Cohen said in an interview. Soleimani had boasted that the Israel’s tried to assassinate him in 2006 and failed.

“With all due respect to his bluster,” Cohen said, “he hasn’t necessarily committed the mistake yet that would place him on the prestigious list of Mossad’s assassination targets.”

Yossi Cohen
Yossi Cohen, Mossad chief

“Is Israel Targeting Iran’s Top General for Assassination?” I asked on October 24. On Thursday, Soleimani was killed in an air strike ordered by President Trump.

Soleimani’s convoy was struck by U.S. missiles as he left a meeting at Baghdad’s airport amid anti-Iranian and anti-American demonstrations in Iraq. Supporters of an Iranian-backed militia had agreed to withdraw from the U.S. diplomatic compound in return for a promise that the government would allow a parliamentary vote on expelling 5,000 U.S. troops from the country.

The Pentagon confirmed the military operation, which came “at the direction of the president” and was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The Pentagon claimed in a statement that Gen. Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” 

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, under indictment for criminal charges, was the first and only national leader to support Trump’s action, while claiming that that Trump acted entirely on his own.

“Just as Israel has the right to self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,” Netanyahu told reporters in Greece. “Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and other innocents, and he was planning more attacks.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed retaliation for the general’s death,  tweeting that “Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”

Capable Foe

Qasem Soleimani
Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds force. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Soleimani was the most capable foe of the United States and Israel in the region. As chief of the Al-Quds force, Soleimani was a master of Iran’s asymmetric warfare strategy, using proxy forces to bleed Iran’s enemies, while preserving the government’s ability to plausibly deny involvement.

After the U.S. invasions of Iraq, he funded and trained anti-American militias that launched low-level attacks on U.S. occupation forces, killing upward of 600 U.S. servicemen and generating pressure for U.S. withdrawal.

In recent years, Soleimani led two successful Iranian military operations: the campaign to drive ISIS out of western Iraq in 2015 and the campaign to crush the jihadist forces opposed to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Israel denounced Iran’s role in both operations but could not prevent Iran from claiming victory.

Soleimani had assumed a leading role in Iraqi politics in the past year. The anti-ISIS campaign relied on Iraqi militias, which the Iranians supported with money, weapons, and training. After ISIS was defeated, these militia maintained a prominent role in Iraq that many resented, leading to demonstrations and rioting. Soleimani was seeking to stabilize the government and channel the protests against the United States when he was killed.

In the same period, Israel pursued its program of targeted assassination. In the past decade Mossad assassinated at least five Iranian nuclear scientists, according to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, in an effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear program. Yossi Melman, another Israeli journalist, says that Mossad has assassinated 60-70 enemies outside of its borders since its founding in 1947, though none as prominent as Soleimani.

Israel also began striking at the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq last year. The United States did the same on December 29, killing 19 fighters and prompting anti-American demonstrations as big as the anti-Iranian demonstrations of a month ago.

Now the killing of Soleimani promises more unrest, if not open war. The idea that it will deter Iranian attacks is foolish.

“This doesn’t mean war,” wrote former Defense Department official Andrew Exum, “It will not lead to war, and it doesn’t risk war. None of that. It is war.“​ 

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported a year ago that Washington had given Israel the green light to assassinate Soleimani. Al-Jarida, which in recent years has broken exclusive stories from Israel, quoted a source in Jerusalem as saying that “there is an American-Israeli agreement” that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.” It is generally assumed in the Arab world that the paper is used as an Israeli platform for conveying messages to other countries in the Middle East.

Trump has now fulfilled the wishes of Mossad. After proclaiming his intention to end America’s “stupid endless wars,” the president has effectively declared war on the largest country in the region in solidarity with Israel, the most unpopular country in the Middle East.


16 Replies to “After Mossad Targeted Soleimani, Trump Pulled the Trigger”

  1. Thank you so much for getting this right.

    Check this out it’short and to the point, with the science to back up the story.

    hppts://www.alternet.org/2019/12/neuroscientist-explains-why-christian-evangelicals-are-hard-wired-to-believe-donald-trumps-lies?

  2. I liked the article untill you said the Iranian president tweeted that…. just because Trump tweets you think every one tweets…. i highly doubt the Iranian president even uses twitter

  3. I think your chemical weapons angle in your analysis is lacking.
    On the first point, the experts agreed that, given the conditions of burial of the alleged victims, the likelihood of finding evidence of chlorine exposure was low, and exhumation would not prove useful. More significantly, on the second point, according to the minutes, “the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure,” based on the video and photos they were shown by the investigators.

    The chief expert laid out two possibilities for the OPCW team—that there was, in fact, a real chemical weapons attack, or that the event had been a propaganda exercise. The experts were insistent that victims of a chlorine gas attack would not have gathered in piles in the middle of their apartments, as they had been found. Instead, they would have rushed to close-by exits in search of clean air.

    The OPCW team concluded after their meeting with the four experts “that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified.”

    Marc-Machael Blum, then head of the OPCW laboratory, noted in an OPCW Director General Fernando Arias email sent on August 28, 2018 after reviewing the minutes that speculation by the chief expert during the meeting that the Douma incident was staged “was mainly fuelled by the fact that the circumstances of death for the victims do not match chlorine rather than corpses arranged for propaganda purposes.”

    These observations from the investigators and experts, countering the official narrative, were likewise excluded from the final OPCW report.
    ******
    So let us take a little look at the “official” report.

    Noteworthy is the “official” statement from Arias made on May 28, 2019 when he stated,
    “In March 2019, I received the first indication that an internal document pertaining to the Douma incident, produced by a staff member could have been disclosed outside of the Secretariat. It should be noted that, the time of the FFM (Fact Finding Mission) deployment in Douma in 2018, this staff member was a liaison officer at our Command Post Office in Damascus. As such, and as is customary with all deployments in Syria, he was tasked with temporarily assisting the FFM with information collection at some sites in Douma.
    The document produced by this staff member pointed at possible attribution, which is outside of the mandate of the FFM with regard to the formulation of its findings.
    Therefore, I instructed that, beyond the copy that would exclusively be kept by the FFM, the staff member be advised to submit his assessment to the IIT, which he did, so that this document could later be used by the IIT.
    As is the case with all FFM investigations, the Secretariat encourages serious and
    professional debates within, so all views, analysis, information and opinions are considered. This is what the FFM did with the information included in the publicly disclosed document; all available information was examined, weighed and deliberated. Diverse views were expressed, discussed and considered against the overall facts and evidence collected and analysed.”

    Summary: The Hoax and Coax Game Plan
    This all sounds so wonderfully democratic but the conclusions and “official” report we can now see as being completely faulty and, in terms of their findings, inconclusive of their theory. What has come to light shows a disturbing pattern of cover-ups and a far from impartial involvement by the US in so-called impartial “inter-governmental” agencies.
    Even more disturbing is the fact that various anti-secrecy organizations and whistleblower heroes are being subjected to inordinate harassment and bullying. The US and their complicit allies are engaged in a pathological propaganda camapaign to reduce meaningful narrative of dissent and cast it as subversive to the nation-state. Thus, what are by now the ludicrous clichés foaming from the Twitter feed or the “chopper talk” of the president of the US, have like sand in the cogs of democratic thinking, slowed down the ability of that machine to grind on.
    I trust that it has been demonstrated (with facts) that the patterns of deceit and collusion have been used now for decades to coax and hoax a rationale for purposive military action. The CIA and Generals of the Pentagon are in charge of the US nation-state and they let the politicians and lobbyists do their bidding.

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