The targeted killing of Iranian general Qassim Suleimani by U.S. forces in Iraq has already drawn threats of retaliation from the supreme leader of Iran, and now we know that Suleimani was not a threat to the the United States, according to a stunning admission by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Appearing on CNN Friday morning to discuss the assassination of General Suleimani, Pompeo was asked by host John Berman about the threat the Iranian general posed to U.S. interests abroad. Pompeo responded:
“I’m not going to say anything more about the nature of the attack, but know this was not just in Iraq. It was using the proxy forces he has manipulated for so long to bring so much destruction to the Shias, Sunnis and Muslims throughout the region. He inflicted harm not only on American lives but created terrible activities supporting Hezbollah, Hamas. Qassim Suleimani was at the center of all of it.”
Berman then asked the logical follow-up question:
“Any imminent threat to the U.S. homeland?”
“These were threats that were located in the region.”
The CNN host then mentioned that some U.S. allies are worried killing Suleimani will destabilize the region and make the world less safe:
“We heard from a French official this morning putting out a statement saying that the world is less safe following the killing of General Suleimani. And the concern there, no one is saying General Suleimani was a good actor. He was a bad actor. What they’re suggesting is the destabilization will create a threatening environment. When you hear from France, the world is a less safe place this morning, how do you respond to that?”
“Yeah, well, the French are just wrong about that. The world is a much safer place today. And I can assure you Americans in the region are much safer today after the demise of Qassim Suleimani … the Iranian people know that America is a force for the good in the region.”
With President Trump facing impeachment and an uncertain reelection later this year, one has to wonder if this escalation of hostilities in the Middle East is an attempt to “wag the dog” by the administration.
Trump has long criticized former President George W. Bush for going to war in Iraq. And yet he’s on the verge of starting his own conflict with a foe much more dangerous than Saddam Hussein ever was.
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