They acknowledge General Soleimani’s role in dislodging the terrorist group of ISIL from Iraq and Syria, while condemning Washington and its allies for their “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, supporting extremist militia, exacerbating sectarianism, and suppressing progressive democratic movements.
In their words, the claim that General Soleimani and the Iranian government are somehow responsible for the deaths of “hundreds of Americans” in Iraq – which has been repeated by Trump and the mainstream media – are indeed groundless, lies and lies.
Indeed, there have not been significant US casualties in Iraq since around 2007, when baseless charges of Iranian involvement in attacks against US forces first surfaced. Virtually all attacks against US forces since the 2003 invasion had come from Baathist, Sunni, and other anti-Iranian groups. Of the more than 10,000 suspected insurgents arrested in US counter-insurgency sweeps prior to the first US withdrawal in 2011, are foreigners among them were Arabs, not Iranians.
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, compiled by America’s sixteen intelligence agencies and issued in February 2007, have equally dismissed Iran’s role in Iraq’s violence and instability. Yet it was at this point that the George W. Bush administration began making the claim that Iran had become the principal foreign threat to US forces in Iraq.
The Bush administration’s claim was based primarily on assertions that bomb fragments, such as those displayed by US military officials in a press conference in Baghdad on February 11 of that year, were of Iranian origin. But they never showed any proof making this linkage. The same argument could be made today. Trump did give the order to assassinate General Soleimani, but so far he has failed to show any proof that he was about to attack US embassies.
Trump still claims the US has documents, computer files, confessions by captured Iranians, and evidence that Iranian officials were caught with explosives. He is yet to make it public, however, raising doubts as to whether such evidence even exists in the first place.
Trump also insists that Iran is responsible for the increased sophistication over the past several months of what are known as “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs), which were being used by Iraqi insurgents against US and Iraqi military convoys. But the increased sophistication is not necessarily a result of outside aid. In virtually every conflict, particularly those involving irregular warfare, each side constantly seeks to improve the accuracy and lethality of its weapons in the course of the struggle.
While the Bush administration insisted the machine-tooling was so sophisticated it could only have been manufactured in Iran, British government scientists found that the devices could have simply been “turned on a lathe by craftsmen trained in the manufacture of munitions” and were not that different than munitions manufactured elsewhere. Put simply, they ruled out any Iranian involvement.
Likewise, the claim that General Soleimani and the Iranian government are somehow responsible for the deaths of “hundreds of Americans” in Iraq is groundless. The assertions being repeated today by Trump are based on groundless claims from twelve years ago by the same people who said Iraq possessed weapons, weapons programs, and weapons systems that were such a grave threat that they ignited the US-Iraq war. It was this invasion, of course, that led to the rise of ISIL in Iraq.
Segments of the Saudi regime and religious hierarchy certainly have been providing training, arms, as well as financial and logistical support to ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria too. General Soleimani was a key figure in the effort to defeat them later. Thanks to Saudi cash and American weapons, the ISIL were highly effective and ruthless fighters in the war against the central governments in Baghdad and Damascus, often in conjunction with US forces, but in the end it was General Soleimani that defeated them with help from allied forces of Syria, Iraq, Russia, Hezbollah and Popular Mobilization Units.
Rather than recognizing that General Soleimani is the reason why there is no more terror attack in the West, Trump gave the order to assassinate him. The whole idea was to avoid impeachment at home and of course to take advantage from the dramatic US-instigated changes in the political and strategic situation on his domestic flank – winning the presidential race for a second term.
With the backing of many Democrats, Republicans and of course Israel, Trump is still desperate to depict Iran’s role as something sinister in Iraq. The problem is that the world community, his European allies in particular, don’t believe him. They have all condemned the assassination of General Trump, which they say would destabilize the entire region.
In short, it is Trump’s one-man foreign policy that has contributed to the suffering of the Iraqi people and the ongoing chaos in the region. The only way to save Iraq, the region and themselves, is for all US troops to pack up and leave.