Iraq Says ISIS Did the Attack that Trump Killed Soleimani For.
Soleimani Was ISIS’s Main enemy. Did ISIS Fool Trump There?
Scott Ritter on Why Soleimani Is a Hero to Almost All Iraqis
On February 6th, the New York Times headlined “Was U.S. Wrong About Attack That Nearly Started a War With Iran? and presented the Iraq Government’s evidence that ISIS had actually done the December 27th rocket-attack which had killed an American contractor (an Iraqi translator for U.S. forces), for which Trump killed Iran’s second-most-powerful leader, General Qasem Soleimani. The NYT reporters were unable to obtain from the Trump Administration any of their alleged secret evidence that Soleimani was behind that attack. Though Iraq’s Government was forthcoming with answers and evidence to the reporters’ questions, America’s Government was not.
Even some of America’s mainstream news-media have previously reported that Soleimani was an extremely effective general in the international war against ISIS. Whereas Russian media openly state that Qasem Soleimani was the world’s most effective general against ISIS, no U.S. media do, but some of them provide buried in a report facts which support that conclusion, such as here and here and here, and some news-media of other nations (even of predominantly Hindu India) also are public about the fact. (Even in anti-Muslim India, General Suleimani is recognized as having been a global leader in the battles against both ISIS and the Taliban — both of which fundamentalist-Sunni groups threaten not only Shiite Iran but Hindu India.) So, on January 3rd, Trump assassinated the world’s most effective general who led the elimination of the Sunni-terrorist group ISIS. And the U.S. Government calls Soleimani a ‘terrorist’, because America’s billionaires want to grab Iran back like they had it after the CIA coup in Iran in 1953 and before the Iranians overthrew the U.S.-imposed dictator Shah in 1979. However, by killing General Soleimani, Trump may have benefitted not only ISIS but also America’s billionaires — the same group that had conquered Iran in 1953 by means of that CIA coup.
On January 12th, Aaron Maté on YouTube interviewed Scott Ritter, the former Marine and then lead U.N. weapons-inspector in Iraq during 1997-98. The topic was Trump’s assassination of Soleimani, and the ways in which that action will affect America’s relations with both Iraq and Iran.
Ritter, who had been a Republican, was always outspoken against Democratic Party U.S. President Bill Clinton’s caving to the Republican Party’s pressure to comply with the CIA’s and MI6’s plan to use the U.N.’s weapons-inspections team in order to acquire information that could subsequently become used in order to kill Saddam Hussein; and Ritter vociferously opposed George W. Bush’s and Tony Blair’s lies that they possessed evidence that any weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq when the U.N. team departed Iraq in August 1998 (or subsequently).
On the seventh day of the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq, Channel 24 TV in Lisbon Portugal headlined 26 March 2003, “US defeat in Iraq ‘inevitable’” and reported their brief interview with Ritter, in which he said, “Every time we confront Iraqi troops we may win some tactical battles, as we did for ten years in Vietnam, but we will not be able to win this war.” The Lisbon station reported, at that time: “A combination of bad weather and heavy fighting in central Iraq has slowed the advance of coalition troops marching on Baghdad. Ritter resigned in August 1998 after accusing both Washington and the United Nations of not doing enough to support the weapons inspectors.” The U.S.-UK regime wanted to conquer Iraq.
Ritter has consistently been critical both of Clinton-Blair and of Saddam Hussein, but he has blamed especially CIA, MI6, and the neoconservatives (imperialists both Republican and Democratic, Tory and Labour), for refusing at that time to even consider Hussein’s authentic need for there to be a firm wall separating U.S.-UK intelligence away from the U.N.’s weapons-inspections. Ritter perceived that U.S.-UK were determined for regime-change in Iraq (and takeover by the empire) even before Bush came into power in 2001. Though Ritter did not, and never does, speak of any “Deep State”, he has constantly criticized its actions. Whereas both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden praise their own long experience in foreign affairs as being consistent neoconservatives, as a qualification for them to be President, Ritter has a solid record opposing such experience as being a qualification — instead of as being an absolute disqualification — for becoming America’s Commander-in-Chief. Right now, Ritter is just as opposed to Donald Trump as he was opposed to George W. Bush. And this is why he is going public, now, as he did back then, to warn the American public about the country’s leadership.
Here, along with links to sources supplied by me, and with added occasional explanatory comments from me [italicised between brackets], are what I consider the key passages in Ritter’s January 12th interview:
12 January 2020, Aaron Mate, The GrayZone
3:00-4:20: The Iraqi Government can revoke the status-of-forces agreement that currently exists … and when this happens it will radically alter the rules of engagement … and it will expose them as illegal occupiers.
5:30-9:00: Qasem Soleimani, he’s a legend in Iran, in Iraq, and Syria, and anywhere where, frankly speaking, he’s operated, the people that he worked with view him as one of the greatest leaders, thinkers, most humane men of all time. I know in America we demonize him as a terrorist, but the fact is he wasn’t, and neither was Mr. Muhandis [the other leader Trump killed in that car and called a ‘terrorist’]. [Abu Mahdi al-]Muhandis is a more difficult character from an American perspective because he has a history that dates back to what we call terrorist bombings of American embassies of Kuwait . He was involved in creating Kata’ib Hezbollah militia in 2003, and he has been somebody who has been violently oposing the American occupation of Iraq from the very beginning. … The PMF (Popular Militia Forces) came into existence when ISIS swept into Iraq from Syria in 2014 [ISIS actually started in Iraq, as a branch of al-Qaeda, to wage war against Shiites and non-Muslims, in October 2006, and took hold in Mosul in Iraq’s Kurdish north in 2008], quickly occupying the city of Mosul, and they were driving down on the Iraqi city of Baghdad. The U.S. armed and trained Iraqi army had collapsed, litterally thrown down their weapons and ran away, and there was nothing standing between ISIS and Baghdad until Ayatollah Sistani the head Shia authority in Iraq, issued a fatwa calling upon all Shia men to mobilize in defense of Baghdad. And this is the creation of the Popular Militia Forces, these tens of thousands of Shia youth, who came together and joined existing militias like Hezbollah, like the JAM of [Muqtada] al-Sadr, they all coalesced. Hezbollah played an important role in this, but they only had a few thousand men. We’re talking about mobilizing somewhere around 40-50 thousand and this is where Qasem Soleimani showed, he came in from Iran and led the creation of the PMF as a viable fighting force, and then motivated them to confront ISIS in ferocious hand-to-hand combat, in villages and towns outside of Baghdad, driving ISIS back and stabilizing the situation until this allowed the United States to come in and get involved in the ISIS fight, but if it weren’t for Qasem Soleimani, and Muhandis and Hezbollah, Baghdad might have had the black flag of ISIS flying over it, and so the Iraqi people haven’t forgotten who stood up and defended Baghdad from the scourge of ISIS. It wasn’t just Qasem Soleimani — yes, his name was first and foremost, but Muhandis played a major role and his death is a serious blow to the PMF, Hezbollah, and to all of the Iraqi people. And I don’t think that the United States understands that. There is a tremendous amount of hatred on the streets of Iraq today, toward the United States for killing a national hero.
9:30-10:45: [responding to interviewer’s pointing out that Soleimani used “brutal tactics” and also killed American troops] War is hell. Siege warfare is a reality of warfare, it is a two-way street. And we also have to remember that propaganda cuts both ways. … You have to look at the facts at play. Is it possible that there was wrongdoing on the part of Qasem Soleimani? Yes. But I will tell you this: If you go to Syria today and talk to the Syrian civilians who were liberated by the forces manned or motivated by Qasem Soleimani, they are deeply grateful. Of course, his enemies [Sunni jihadists] … trained and organized by the United States, they’re not going to be so happy about his success, and they will do their best to slander this man’s name.
Even the neoconservative-neoliberal Foreign Policy magazine headlined on 6 November 2014 “Breaking Badr: Meet Hadi al-Amiri, the unabashedly pro-Iranian leader of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite militia. His bloodthirsty fighters might be Baghdad’s best hope of stopping the Islamic State.” He’s a member of Iraq’s Parliament who is reported by the CIA-edited and written Wikipedia negatively for “the role of Al-Ameri and his Militia Badr, also of Qais Al-Kazali and his militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq, in the organization of the repression, the assassination and the kidnapping of the demonstrators” while not even mentioning that those demonstrators, whom al-Amiri opposes, are being supported by the U.S. and UK Governments in order to restore the control they had over Iran during 1953-1979. The U.S.-UK regime uses al-Qaeda and even ISIS as proxy-fighters in order to reconquer Iran and to keep Iraq conquered. But many of those “demonstrators” are simply naive, not jihadists. Like Ritter said: “War is hell.” And consider what the U.S.-UK regime has been doing to Julian Assange for his having helped the public to know that its publics are not the people that those Governments have been serving and protecting in all of this. The question here, then, is: war for whom, and against whom, and why? Even when the Government is the enemy of its own citizens, handing that Government over to an enemy Government is no way to bring democracy there. If those demonstrators, whom al-Amiri opposes, are trying to hand Iraq over to the U.S.-UK regime — which is a proven enemy of the publics everywhere since at least 2001 — they’re only making things worse, no matter what the CIA and MI6 say.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.