Soleimani’s domino effect

By Andrea Widburg, AMERICAN THINKER

When President Trump ordered the military to strike Qassem Soleimani, a legitimate military target responsible for the deaths of hundreds of troops, Democrats were up in arms.  How dare Trump bait the Iranians by striking someone so close to Ayatollah Khamenei?  They were certain that Trump had just ignited World War III.

Republicans were more confident that the strike would, at the very least, remove a dangerous character from the Iranians’ forty-year-long war against America and, at the best, topple the regime.  This last belief was based upon the fact that the Iranian regime is fragile now that Trump walked away from Obama’s terrible Iran deal and reinstated sanctions.  The economy is collapsing, and people all over Iran are coming out in protest.  After forty years of a repressive theocracy, the Persian people, a people accustomed to beauty and life, have had their fill of Islam’s cruel puritanism.

Michael Ledeen, an experienced foreign policy observer, thinks the Republicans may have been correct because there are strange doings in Iran — all good if one wants to see that abysmal regime collapse:

The elimination of Qassem Soleimani has produced surprising results. It turns out that the United States received intelligence on Soleimani’s movements from a variety of sources, some within his Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, others from Israel’s vaunted intelligence apparatus.

The operation against Soleimani and his ilk was so well-organized that leading terrorists in Iraq ran for the hills:

U.S. officials have intercepted chatter and received confirmation that terrorist leaders in Iraq have been fleeing the region and have gone into hiding fearing United States intelligence capabilities after the successful airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani.

Undoubtedly some of the terrorist leaders are cutting deals with U.S. intelligence, and the events of this weekend suggest that at least some of that information has made its way to Iraqi demonstrators.

In addition to escalating protests, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), home of the Quds Force that was Soleimani’s special unit, is in serious disarray, with an apparent push to take down those loyal to Soleimani.

Soleimani, despite being truly evil, was also a gifted general.  This means that the vacuum his death creates forces Iran to retrench rather than continuing its push into the greater Middle East.  This retrenchment matters because the Iranian people, according to Banafsheh Zand and Harold Rhode, two Iran experts, are sensitive to trends.  If they see that the mullahs are weak, they will push harder against the regime:

Both Zand and Rhode see the Soleimani strike as a potential turning point for Iran, but both insist that the Iranian protesters will need unwavering support from the Trump administration to continue building momentum. Rhode cautioned that the regime will try to stay in power at all costs and will not simply bow to international economic and diplomatic pressure, however fierce. The same applies to Iraq and Lebanon.

“Soleimani was betrayed by fellow IRGC members. They are killing each other,” said Zand.

Rhode sees the trend in play already, as was the case with the viral video showing protesters carefully walking around, rather than on, American and Israeli flags drawn on the ground.  However, he says that, as the Iranian government weakens, America still has a role to play:

“It is important that the Trump administration stay strong and not show Iran any weakness and respond to any aggression with overwhelming strength,” said Rhode, while noting that crippling international sanctions administered by the U.S. are taking a severe toll on the country as well as the stability of the Islamic regime.

As if to add further credence to the above analysis, on Wednesday, Reuters reported that gunmen in Iran killed one of Soleimani’s most important allies:

Gunmen in Iran shot dead a commander of the hardline Basij militia who was an ally of Qassem Soleimani, the senior Revolutionary Guards commander killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The Basij are under the command of the Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed security force in the Islamic Republic.

When Trump carefully waited seven months for the right moment to strike against Soleimani, he may have knocked down the first domino, triggering a cascade of falling pieces that spells the end of the Mad Mullahs’ tyrannical and dangerously expansionist regime.

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When President Trump ordered the military to strike Qassem Soleimani, a legitimate military target responsible for the deaths of hundreds of troops, Democrats were up in arms.  How dare Trump bait the Iranians by striking someone so close to Ayatollah Khamenei?  They were certain that Trump had just ignited World War III.

Republicans were more confident that the strike would, at the very least, remove a dangerous character from the Iranians’ forty-year-long war against America and, at the best, topple the regime.  This last belief was based upon the fact that the Iranian regime is fragile now that Trump walked away from Obama’s terrible Iran deal and reinstated sanctions.  The economy is collapsing, and people all over Iran are coming out in protest.  After forty years of a repressive theocracy, the Persian people, a people accustomed to beauty and life, have had their fill of Islam’s cruel puritanism.

Michael Ledeen, an experienced foreign policy observer, thinks the Republicans may have been correct because there are strange doings in Iran — all good if one wants to see that abysmal regime collapse:

The elimination of Qassem Soleimani has produced surprising results. It turns out that the United States received intelligence on Soleimani’s movements from a variety of sources, some within his Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, others from Israel’s vaunted intelligence apparatus.

The operation against Soleimani and his ilk was so well-organized that leading terrorists in Iraq ran for the hills:

<
>
U.S. officials have intercepted chatter and received confirmation that terrorist leaders in Iraq have been fleeing the region and have gone into hiding fearing United States intelligence capabilities after the successful airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani.

Undoubtedly some of the terrorist leaders are cutting deals with U.S. intelligence, and the events of this weekend suggest that at least some of that information has made its way to Iraqi demonstrators.

In addition to escalating protests, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), home of the Quds Force that was Soleimani’s special unit, is in serious disarray, with an apparent push to take down those loyal to Soleimani.

Soleimani, despite being truly evil, was also a gifted general.  This means that the vacuum his death creates forces Iran to retrench rather than continuing its push into the greater Middle East.  This retrenchment matters because the Iranian people, according to Banafsheh Zand and Harold Rhode, two Iran experts, are sensitive to trends.  If they see that the mullahs are weak, they will push harder against the regime:

Both Zand and Rhode see the Soleimani strike as a potential turning point for Iran, but both insist that the Iranian protesters will need unwavering support from the Trump administration to continue building momentum. Rhode cautioned that the regime will try to stay in power at all costs and will not simply bow to international economic and diplomatic pressure, however fierce. The same applies to Iraq and Lebanon.

“Soleimani was betrayed by fellow IRGC members. They are killing each other,” said Zand.

Rhode sees the trend in play already, as was the case with the viral video showing protesters carefully walking around, rather than on, American and Israeli flags drawn on the ground.  However, he says that, as the Iranian government weakens, America still has a role to play:

“It is important that the Trump administration stay strong and not show Iran any weakness and respond to any aggression with overwhelming strength,” said Rhode, while noting that crippling international sanctions administered by the U.S. are taking a severe toll on the country as well as the stability of the Islamic regime.

As if to add further credence to the above analysis, on Wednesday, Reuters reported that gunmen in Iran killed one of Soleimani’s most important allies:

Gunmen in Iran shot dead a commander of the hardline Basij militia who was an ally of Qassem Soleimani, the senior Revolutionary Guards commander killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The Basij are under the command of the Guards, the most powerful and heavily armed security force in the Islamic Republic.

When Trump carefully waited seven months for the right moment to strike against Soleimani, he may have knocked down the first domino, triggering a cascade of falling pieces that spells the end of the Mad Mullahs’ tyrannical and dangerously expansionist regime.

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January 25, 2020 | Comments » | 426 views

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