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Soleimani is no anti-imperialist hero

63 341 0
06.01.2020

Immediately after news broke of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, some leftist circles in the West proclaimed with great confidence - yet again - that World War III is around the corner. Previously, these same warnings of global doom were evoked when US President Donald Trump ordered rather toothless strikes on empty military targets in Syria and escalated his rhetoric against North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

And just as a world war did not break out on these previous occasions, it will not break out now either.

Much of the left in the West (the same ones who describe themselves as progressives) also viciously attacked people in the Middle East who celebrated the deaths of Soleimani and al-Muhandis. While it is wrong to praise Trump's decision to assassinate the two commanders as a "noble deed", framing what happened within the old, tired leftist narrative of US imperialism erases the regional context and the suffering of millions of people in the Middle East at the hands of other powers.

Indeed, it is important to expose Trump's recklessness and political opportunism, but it is inexcusable to ignore the crimes of both Soleimani and al-Muhandis and those who they served.

With an upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate, more Americans disapproving than approving of his presidency, and an election coming up, Trump is trying to cement his position in US politics and play to his base. His term has been marked by no clear domestic or foreign policy agendas, frequent golfing trips that spark ethical questions about how federal dollars are being spent, and Twitter meltdowns that often do not have anything to do with reality. In short, when Trump ordered the assassinations, his presidency wouldn't necessarily be described as successful.

While it is clear the US president was motivated by domestic considerations, in the aftermath of the attack, he claimed that he ordered it in the name of fighting global terrorism and that Soleimani's assassination meant his reign of terror was over.

This rhetoric might help him improve his ratings ahead of his re-election bid in November, but it is simply a lie that Soleimani's assassination will make the world a safer place. In fact, none of Trump's interventions in the Middle East has been of any........

© Al Jazeera