“The military action that resulted in the death of Iraqi General Qasem Soleimani was fair, punctual, accurate and intelligent. It was defense, not attack. ”
This is the opinion of Leonardo Coutinho, journalist, writer and expert on transnational threats in Latin America, terrorism, corruption, drug trafficking and transnational crimes. A miner from Belo Horizonte, Coutinho lives in Washington, USA, where he conducts research for the Center for a Secure Free Society.
In the researcher's evaluation, the action ordered by US President Donald Trump had the commendable feature “having been extremely well thought out from a humanitarian point of view, as it went directly to the cause, that is, about a military chief and his supporters, without slipping civilians or not involved ”in the fighting. “They have not bombed cities or killed civilians, as in initiatives that are often condemned. Another hit point.
Coutinho recalls the sequence of events that led to the action at Baghdad airport on Thursday (2), which culminated in the death of Soleinami, commander of the Revolutionary Guard of Iran, a leading ally of the Iraqi Shiite militia and at least Seven more people.
“Shiite militias killed an American official. Does anyone think it was just one because they wanted to? I am sure they could not catch others. Then 25 people linked to Shiites died in US attacks on bases in Iraq and Syria. Some consider this action disproportionate compared to the one that resulted in the American's death. Of course this is not the case to commemorate deaths, but it was two military attacks. In these situations of attack on militias and paramilitary groups, once the targets are set, it is not known who will or will not be spared in that context, ”argues the researcher.
In retaliation, Shiite militiamen stormed the Green Zone, embassy area in Baghdad, Iraq's capital. They stoned and took part in the external sector of the American representation. They almost never completely invaded it.
“The truth, which many resist admitting, is that the Americans were beaten and invaded in this episode of the embassy. An invasion commissioned and administered by Soleinami. The intelligence services attest to this as well as the fact, alleged by the US government, that there were other actions of attack and aggression formulated and ready to be executed soon, ”he says.
Coutinho sees justice in US action in what he calls "a long history of years of planning and action by Soleimani in military and terrorist attacks against the United States." In an article about the American action in Baghdad, titled Calm, the world will not end, Coutinho gives details of Soleimani's “glorious” military career, “who was a pupil of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and quoted as president of Iran.” . According to him, the trajectory has an additional ingredient: "terrorism".
The facts cited by the researcher do not refer exactly to what may be called glory. Soleimani and his Quds Forces commanders have signed a series of attacks throughout history. Its debut was in 1983, when explosives-laden trucks were detonated in front of military installations in the United States and France, countries that were part of the Multinational Force that operated in the country during the civil war. ”
"The attack that killed 241 Americans and 58 French was claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, which although it was the executor, acted under funding and coordination from the Quds and Iran."
At another point, Coutinho recalls the actions of the Iranian general in partnership with the Lebanese organization Hezbollah, the 'Party of God'. “In 1992 and 1994, the Quds used Hezbollah to apply their logic of revenge and terror. The two targets were our neighbor Argentina, showing the world that conflicts in the Middle East would no longer be confined to geographical boundaries. ”
Coutinho counts the victims. “The first attack was against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires (which killed 29 people and injured 242 others). The second, against the headquarters of the Israeli Mutual Association (Amia), which left a balance of 85 deaths and about 300 injured. ”
Another expert against the disproportionate qualifications for US action at Baghdad airport is professor, journalist and writer Sérgio Praça, PhD in Political Science from the University of São Paulo with a postdoctoral degree in Public Administration and Government from FGV-SP and a researcher from CPDOC School of Social Sciences, FGV-RJ.
“It was a bold and risky action for many, but absolutely within the game. In the same circumstances, it could have been taken by any other American, Republican, or Democratic president. But since Trump has the impetus as a personal characteristic, brought from civilian life, they usually include all his decisions in this context, which is an amplified mistake in this case of the action in Baghdad, ”says Praça.
The teacher makes other considerations. “It was all within American logic. Soleimani, as Trump himself said, had long been observed and could have been eliminated much earlier. They waited until the moment it was possible. It is one thing to kill an innocent, a civilian or the son of a president, for example. Another is to eliminate an enemy declared, assumed, and recognized for his actions, such as the Iraqi general. ”
What about possible retaliation by Iranians, Iraqis, Arabs and Persians? "Despite Iran's renowned military strength, the discrepancy with US military might is so great that there is a possibility of believing in the possibility of a worldwide conflict, as many have touted," comments researcher Coutinho. “But over time, terrorist actions against civilians, such as those carried out in Argentina, may unfortunately occur. It is a concrete risk. Incidentally, those in Argentina were promised years earlier, on the occasion of the death of a Hezbollah leader in an Israeli attack. But terrorism is just that: cowardice against defenseless civilians who must be condemned and fought. By the way: the greatest victims of Islamic terrorism, in quantity, in history are the Islamists themselves. ”
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