By Theodore Shoebat
While Americans cheer the death of Soleimani, waving the American flag and acting like this is some sort of win for peace, understand that this is not going to bring peace. Rather, this is only going to act as good propaganda fodder that is going to be used by the Iranians to justify terrorism and by the Americans to bolster American politics. Soleimani was the second most powerful person in the Iranian political scene: killing him did not remove an “Iranian threat,” rather it made a martyr that can easily be replaced, and that martyrdom will serve as a convenient tool to boost fanaticism. Prominent journalist Gary Sick made the observation that the killing of Soleimani was not necessary and that will cause more problems than good:
The reason that heads of state, foreign ministers, senior military leaders and others are seldom killed is not because it is impossible but because their opponents understand the consequences.
Soleimani was an enemy of the United States. He wanted to see U.S. military power withdrawn from the Middle East. He was a symbol of opposition.
His death will not end the opposition. Instead, it is an invitation to ignore the existing rules of the game. Americans in the Middle East, whatever their profession, are now targets.
The United States chose to withdraw from a carefully negotiated nuclear deal that was working, and to impose the most severe sanctions in history. Iran lost some forty percent of its national income. It struck back by placing limpet mines on oil tankers, by shooting down an American drone, by striking critical Saudi oil facilities, and by attacking Iraqi bases where U.S. troops were stationed — all conducted in a manner to avoid direct responsibility and all with virtually no loss of life until an American contractor and some Iraqi security personnel were killed in one of the recent raids. Iran also began a deliberate process of backing away from the commitments of the nuclear agreement.
This escalation was utterly unnecessary. It was triggered by the U.S. decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.
Remember all those Iraqi protestors? They were protesting against Iranian meddling in their government. But with the death of Soleimani, the Shiite factions in Iraq will be riled up and pro-Iran hysteria is going to increase with a radical spark. Shiite violence is going to increase and it will be attired with an anti-American face. Iranian political analyst, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, made a number of observations to the the likes of this:
His killing is going to complicate Iraqi politics tremendously. Shiite militias will undoubtedly stage more attacks on American forces to avenge his killing and that of the deputy head of Popular Mobilization Forces Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Iraqi citizens and politicians will pressure the parliament to pass legislation demanding the withdrawal of American forces. Even Ayatollah Sistani and Moqta al-Sadr, two Shiite clerics not sympathetic to Iranian meddling in Iraq, will now be under pressure to denounce the killings.
The interim caretaker Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, will most probably be replaced with someone more friendly to Iran. The cause of Iraqi protesters demanding the end of corruption and provision of better services will now be overshadowed by the unfolding repercussions of Soleimani’s assassination and the grandiose dynamics of US-Iranian rivalry in Iraq.
Don’t expect peace to come about this. Just because you kill a leader does not mean that you solved the problem. Soleimani was just a major piece in the apparatus of Iranian politics. The politics are still there, and they will continue on, manifesting themselves through various other personas who could be more dangerous than the one whose death we are vainly celebrating.