For the Saker Blog 

Even some mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media (but none that are Republican) acknowledge the fact that Qasem Soleimani was among the most effective of all nations’ generals who fought against ISIS. Other mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media seem very reluctant to do so, because the entirety of America’s mainstream ‘journalism’ has spewed hatred against Iran’s Government after Iranians in 1979 succeeded at overthrowing the dictator Shah, whom America’s CIA had installed in 1953 to end Iran’s democracy and to control the country, and he privatized the National Iranian Oil company and cut America’s aristocrats in on the profits from sales of Iranian oil. (Under George W. Bush, the U.S. Government did basically the same thing to Iraq’s oil industry.) So, America’s mainstream ‘news’ media, which are owned by the same aristocracy that imposed Iran’s dictatorship in 1953, have portrayed Iran’s #2 leader, General Qasem Soleimani, as a ‘terrorist’, instead of as the leading fighter against ISIS, which he actually was.

On 3 January 2020, Ilan Goldenberg, of the Democratic Party neoconservative Center for a New American Security, headlined in the Council on Foreign Relations’s Foreign Affairs“Will Iran’s Response to the Soleimani Strike Lead to War?” and only two references to ISIS were there, both buried in his article: “He led Iran’s campaign to arm and train Shiite militias in Iraq — militias responsible for the deaths of an estimated 600 American troops from 2003 to 2011— and became the chief purveyor of Iranian political influence in Iraq thereafter, most notably through his efforts to fight the Islamic State (ISIS).” And: “ISIS retains an underground presence and could take advantage of the chaos of an American withdrawal or a U.S.-Iranian conflict to improve its position in Iraq.” So, it’s hard for a reader there to figure out that Trump actually assassinated ISIS’s main enemy.

On January 4th, Marketwatch headlined “Who was Qassem Soleimani, and why is his death a major development in U.S.-Middle East relations?” and there was only a single reference to ISIS, the source being Iran, which that article was criticizing: “In a tweet, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the strike that killed the general as an act of international terrorism: ‘The US act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani — THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al — is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,’ he said.”

Some of America’s mainstream ‘news’ media portrayed the killing of Soleimani as being damaging to America’s ability to continue occupying Iraq and therefore harmful to the fight against ISIS because the U.S. — not Iran and Russia — lead the fight against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. In other words: they presume that lie. Politico headlined on January 3rd, “How the Soleimani strike could kneecap the fight against ISIS” and opened:

The U.S. strike that killed Iran’s top military leader could put America’s fight against the Islamic State in jeopardy, opening the door to the reemergence of the terrorist group.

The Thursday night attack on Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani could also prompt the government in Iraq to kick U.S. troops out of the country, ending America’s mission to train the Iraqi military to fight terrorist groups.

U.S. troops have deployed to Iraq since 2014 to fight ISIS and train Iraqi forces with permission from the Iraqi government. As part of this agreement, Iraq asked the U.S. specifically not to target Iran within the country, a request America has now violated “in flagrant fashion” with the strike on Soleimani near the Baghdad airport, said Scott Anderson, a former legal adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

“This is going to put a lot of pressure on those aspects of our relationship they have control over,” Anderson, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Friday. … “If we can’t be in Iraq, we can’t be in Syria,” Barbara Slavin, the director of the Future Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said Friday.

They don’t mention that both Brookings and the Atlantic Council are neoconservative, pro-imperialist, and controlled by (overwhelmingly funded by) large U.S.-based international corporations and U.S.-allied governments, which benefit from U.S.-and-allied arms-sales and oil-extraction. So, that’s just a standard propaganda-piece from Politico, pumping the U.S. empire.

For once, CNN broke with U.S. imperialism, and headlined on January 3rd, “Analysis: It’s important to remember the role Soleimani played in the fight against ISIS”. Perhaps because CNN is controlled by Democratic Party billionaires instead of by Republican-Party ones, they reported that:

It is important to remember the role both he and Iran played in the fight against ISIS.

While US aircraft, special forces and local allies fought ISIS in Syria, as well as in Iraq, Iranian-backed militia also pushed the terror group back in Iraq. Soleimani was reported to have often led that fight from the front line …

The 62-year-old led Iran’s elite Quds Force, which had a hand in both fighting the Islamic State militant group and U.S. forces.

There was no contradiction between those two positions shared both by Soleimani and Iran, because ISIS was created as a fundamentalist-Sunni U.S. proxy fighting force against Iraq’s Shiites. There was also this:

Long known as the ‘shadow commander’ in Western media, his profile was raised in 2015 as Iranian outlets began releasing photos of him in the battlefield guiding the war against ISIS. …

Soleimani is also credited with fighting the Islamic State militant group in IraqIn a 2017 public letter, he denounced the “evil movement” that managed “to deceive tens of thousands of Muslim youth” in Iraq and Syria, while also blaming the U.S. for the rise and spread of ISIS.

Iran had launched airstrikes against ISIS fighters outside Baghdad in late 2014 just as the United States and its coalition partners were taking on the extremist group.

ISIS, made up of Sunni extremists, was ideologically at odds with Soleimani and the Iranian Shiite regime he defended.

Soleimani and his commanders were on the front lines in Iraq and his name became synonymous with victories attributed to Iraqi ground forces [fighting against ISIS]. He had presented himself as the face of the offensive in Tikrit, a city which fell under ISIS control in 2014 [HE WAS FIGHTING AGAINST ISIS THERE].

Iran sought to highlight his efforts against ISIS while protesting his death Friday.

Another pro-Democratic-Party ‘news’ site, MSNBC, likewise included, on January 3rd, some of ‘the enemy’s side’ in this: “The 62-year-old led Iran’s elite Quds Force, which had a hand in both fighting the Islamic State militant group and U.S. forces.”

Indicating how confused and hostile Americans are to encounter — in the few media where they can — the truth about Soleimani and about the reality in the Middle East, there was a January 3rd news-report from Washington Times headlined “Geraldo Rivera laments strike on U.S. ‘friend’ Qassem Soleimani, says Quds leader ‘saved people’” which opened:

Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera says the Baghdad airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was a strategic error against a U.S. “friend” who “saved people.”

A “Fox & Friends” panel was injected with heated rhetoric on Friday when Mr. Rivera defended the Quds force leader’s résumé in a discussion with Ainsley Earhardt, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy.

“Six months ago, Ainsley, this guy was our friend,” Mr. Rivera said.

Rivera was opposed not only by the other Fox “Friends” there, but by the reader-comments, such as the most-liked ones:

Sort byBest

• RedBowtie

What planet does Rivera live on? Soleimani has engineered the killing of many Americans.


• RedGuitar

stalin was our friend and helped us defeat hitler. no really a friend. ha


They want to remain suckers of America’s billionaires, who want to have Iran back.

Of course, Russia’s news-media were honest about this matter; they have no reason to lie about it; and, besides, they don’t lie nearly as frequently as America’s billionaire-controlled ‘news’-media do — they know they are distrusted from the get-go throughout the U.S. empire, because Russia’s lying Soviet predecessors (before 1991) are constantly pumped to America’s ‘news’ media behind the scenes by America’s CIA (representing America’s billionaires) as being like today’s Russian news media, which they very much are not. Russia really did end the Cold War; the U.S. regime never did.

On January 4th, India’s Economic Times headlined “Soleimani, face of fight against ISIS, Taliban”, and reported that:

Soleimani was the face of armed resistance against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and contributed in a big way in defeating ISIS, said an expert familiar with West Asian dynamics who requested not to be identified.

Last year Soleimani had also slammed Pakistan for its failure to control terror groups on its soil that targeted Iranian Revolutionary Guards group.

Iran and India were among regional powers that backed anti-Taliban forces along with Russia before Taliban was ousted in Afghanistan. …

Last February, a car laden with explosives hit a bus of Revolutionary Guard soldiers on Zahedan-Khash road in Iran’s border province of Sistan-Balouchestan, killing 27 and injuring 13. Pakistan-based Jaish ul-Adl Takfiri terrorist group, which has ties to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Days after the attack, Soleimani said Iran does not want mere condolences, but concrete action from Pakistan. “Can’t you, as a nuclear-armed state, deal with a hundreds-strong terrorist group in the region?” he had said.

That’s a major daily newspaper in Hindu India, which isn’t a place about which readers in America and allied countries haven’t been taught by their news media to expect to see such a commentary being published. According to Wikipedia, “As of 2012, it is the world’s second-most widely read English-language business newspaper, after The Wall Street Journal,[4] with a readership of over 800,000.”

Also on January 4th, former UK Ambassador Craig Murray headlined from Britain “Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani” and he exposed lies against Soleimani by Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and a key neoconservative legal advisor to UK’s Government. He was exposing there a bipartisan and international sliming operation, the type of thing that traditionally persuades masses of suckers to vote for politicians who continue the grand imperial enterprise, for the benefit of U.S.-and-allied billionaires. However, that scam might not be so successful this time around.

On January 6th, the U.S. Government informed Iraq’s Government that the U.S. military occupation of Iraq is now at an end and all U.S. forces are withdrawing from Iraq. Then Trump changed his mind. Shortly afterward. Iran did its first retaliation, firing missiles against U.S. military facilities in Iraq. Trump’s constant aggressions against Iran (starting with cancellation of the Iran nuclear agreement and restoration of anti-Iran sanctions) will sink the Middle East and maybe the entire world in blood. The EU seems nonetheless to be sticking by the U.S. regime. All leaders who do so will be damned along with him. But none of them seem even to care. They all share in his guilt.

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.


Gen. Soleimani World’s Most Accomplished Military Figure in Counter-Terrorism: Analyst

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst and author described Iran’s IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani as the “world’s most accomplished military figure” in the field of counter-terrorism.

Gen. Soleimani World’s Most Accomplished Military Figure in Counter-Terrorism: Analyst

“Major General Qassem Soleimani is the world’s most accomplished military figure in the field of counter-terrorism… Gen. Soleimani’s fight against Daesh is a wholehearted fight— unlike America’s ambivalent war on Daesh that has included covert support for the same terrorists it fights,” Kevin Barret from Madison told Tasnim.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Tasnim: How do you see the role of commander of the IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in fighting terrorist groups, particularly Daesh, in Iraq and Syria in the past years?

Barret: Major General Qassem Soleimani is the world’s most accomplished military figure in the field of counter-terrorism. The word “terrorism” is defined as the intentional targeting of civilians. Daesh is undoubtedly a terrorist organization since it intentionally targets civilians based on their ethnicity or religion. And it does so in such barbaric fashion that many have wondered whether part of its real mission is to make Islam look bad in the eyes of global public opinion.

Gen. Soleimani’s fight against Daesh is a wholehearted fight— unlike America’s ambivalent war on Daesh that has included covert support for the same terrorists it fights. Gen. Soleimani, unlike the Americans and Russians, has led forces that are indigenous to the region. His forces are genuinely committed to defeating Daesh. They are not just in it for a paycheck; whereas some of the anti-Daesh forces under US command, not to mention the Americans themselves, are mere mercenaries, of whom John Cale once said: “Mercenaries are useless, disunited, with nothing to keep them in the battle except a meager wage, which is just about enough to make them want to kill for you, but not enough to make them want to die for you.” Gen. Soleimani and his troops, unlike the mercenaries (including Daesh mercenaries drawing Saudi paychecks), are willing to put their lives on the line. Like the Ansarullah in Yemen, Gen Soleimani’s forces have fought bravely and skillfully against mercenaries hired by tyrants.

Tasnim: The 33-day war launched by Israel in 2006, also known as the July War, took place in Lebanon, northern parts of Occupied Palestine and the Golan Heights. How much do you think General Soleimani has been effective in strengthening the axis of resistance and confronting the US and Israeli plots in the region?

Barret: Gen. Soleimani recently gave a rare interview in which he discussed his role in the 33-day war. Western sources have long admitted that Gen. Soleimani’s leadership was a crucial factor in Hezbollah’s humiliation of the Zionists in 2006. But only now has the world learned that Gen. Soleimani spent virtually the entire war in Lebanon, shoulder to shoulder with Hezbollah leader Syed Hassan Nasrallah and commander Imad Moughnieh, who was later martyred in 2008.

Gen. Soleimani’s remarkable achievements (and his courage in taking the fight to the Zionist enemy in its own backyard) highlight the wisdom of Iran’s regional policy, which involves offering support to independent, principled groups committed to resisting Zionism and imperialism. This approach contrasts starkly with the American approach to building alliances, which seeks out ambitious, unprincipled egotists who are willing to sell out their countries for a fistful of American dollars. Those sell-outs become America’s “friends and allies.” But since they are basically selfish and corrupt, they are not very effective allies. They are not courageous in battle. Nor are they much loved by the people of their own countries.

Right now the Western world is wondering how Saudi Arabia, with its $67 billion military budget, can be losing to the low-budget Ansarullah forces. The answer is that the Saudi forces are corrupt from top to bottom. They are in bed with Zionism and imperialism, and they have no true leadership, no principles, and no real cause except their own pocketbooks.

Gen. Soleimani leads faithful Muslim forces committed to truth and justice. The Axis of Resistance is fighting for a just cause: to expel the forces of Zionism and imperialism from the Muslim East. This is a cause that the vast majority of the population of the region, in their heart of hearts, strongly supports. That is why the Axis of Resistance, with its relatively tiny military budget, can successfully wage a David vs. Goliath struggle and defeat the richest and most powerful entities on earth.

Tasnim: Mobilization of volunteer forces in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Lebanon by the General has played a key role in defeating hegemonic powers and their schemes. What do you think?

Barret: General Soleimani is able to mobilize volunteer forces not only due to the great respect in which he is held (even by his enemies) but because he is known to be fighting for a just cause. Nobody will volunteer to fight for a tyrant! But many will volunteer to fight against tyranny and aggression, especially when called upon by such a skillful and charismatic leader as General Soleimani.

The American mainstream coverage of the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria admits the key role played by these volunteer forces in defeating Daesh, while at the same time casting these volunteer forces as a problem for the US. This is one of those rare instances in which the mainstream media is basically right.

Americans and Zionists used the September 11, 2001, false flag to try to remake the region in their interests. They are now facing defeat, thanks to the resistance of the people of the region in general, and the leadership of the Axis of Resistance, including Gen. Soleimani, in particular. As an American citizen, I believe my government should face the reality of the situation and radically change its policy, embracing or at least working with principled, independent forces, and giving up on Zionism and the tyrannical (Persian) Gulf monarchies. Such a policy shift would align with America’s real interests. But it probably won’t happen until Zionist domination of the US ends.

Original article