How Qasem Soleimani’s Killing was Tactically Foolish, Unnecessary, and Likely Leads to a War We Won’t Win

A Concerned Citizen
7 min readJan 3, 2020
Ruins of “Hadish Palace” in Persepolis in Iran. By josesoyo, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Let me start out by saying this: if you are an American who is not of Iranian descent, please understand that I likely have many, many more issues with the current government of Iran than you do. Iran’s religious theocracy has many bad actors, including Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed on January 2nd in a targeted strike conducted by U.S. military forces.

I am of Iranian-American descent. My father and other family members fled Iran in the wake of its revolution in 1979. I have family members that stayed and tried to oppose the Ayatollah to no avail. I still have family members there, and they continue to live under the Ayatollah’s oppressive, anti-democratic regime.

Not only do I have no love for Soleimani, but had we met, I suspect he wouldn’t have had much love for me. He wouldn’t have liked that I am American-born, live in America, and proudly call myself an American. He wouldn’t have liked that I am openly gay. He wouldn’t have liked that I am decidedly not a Muslim, even though my ancestors were.

I have many reasons to despise someone like Soleimani and to celebrate his death. And yet, despite all these reasons, I am outraged, angry, and depressed that President Trump and the American government killed Soleimani.

My outrage has little to do with the moral or legal repercussions of killing Soleimani. Frankly, American policy in the Middle East has long tested the boundaries of international law, and I cannot muster too many ethical qualms against the killing someone who very well may have liked to see me dead.

No, my outrage is rooted in three basic truths about the killing of Soleimani: his death was (a) tactically foolish, (b) entirely unnecessary, and (c) seems likely to lead to another long, impossible to win war in the Middle East.

Allow me to expand on these three points.

1. Killing Soleimani Was Tactically Foolish

President Trump’s administration is asserting they killed Soleimani because, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, he was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in…

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A Concerned Citizen

Publishing thoughts and insights related to local, state (California), national, and global politics. All opinions are my own.