Let us admit the obvious, it was murder. Even the UN agrees.
Back in 2020, the US launched a drone strike inside Iraq on Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani. The strike killed him and several others. It led to a retaliation strike on US bases where close to 100 US servicemen were injured. That counterstrike proved to the world that the US cannot defend itself against ballistic missile strikes and what will happen to Israel should a war break out between Iran and itself. Despite the rhetoric, such a scenario is actually not likely unless Israel does something very stupid, i.e. to move the covert shadow wars to a conventional strike which will be answered conventionally.
As a counterterrorism expert, I condemned the Soleimani strike as plainly stupid and typical Trump White House idiocy. Mind, there is no difference between the two parties, and no one can explain their warlike attitudes to me either. Personally, my Soleimani condemnations got me banned and then reinstated on Facebook a day later. At which point I closed the account with the utter disgust that the evil giant deserves. I will never be found on Twitter either. And may I say good riddance too. Through the years I noticed Facebook suppressing the GMJ page with a passion that is beyond normal. I experimented at other pages, same article or blog, same links, obtaining numerous more hits. To be sure that my views are known I recorded the Facebook-Soleimani ban inside every book. Some readers agreed, some disagreed, and such is life. Freedom of choice is a good thing.
I then wrote a blog, https://www.georgemjames.com/post/no-imminent-threat-then-also-no-justification-to-kill-general-soleimani on why the drone strike was illegal under international law and came down to common murder. It has to do with “imminent threat…” and even then it is highly debatable. As I said in the above blog, the Members of Congress received a briefing from then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley (later years to be famous for telling China that he will warn them before an attack takes place and thus committing treason as far as I am concerned). This briefing was less than impressive: “The briefing lasted only 75 minutes, whereupon our briefers left. This, however, is not the biggest problem I have with the briefing, which I would add was probably the worst briefing I've seen at least on a military issue in the nine years I've served in the United States Senate. I find this insulting and demeaning to the Constitution of the United States. It's un-American. It's unconstitutional. And it's wrong . . . They are appearing before a coordinate branch of government responsible for their funding, for their confirmation, for any approval of any military action they might take. They had to leave after 75 minutes while they were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public. I find that to be absolutely insane. The officials refused to go into ‘sensitive’ information, even though senators have security clearances and the briefing was held in a secure facility on Capitol Hill.” Senator Lee would later say to Fox News: “What I'm concerned about is the flippant attitude that they reflected, both with regard to the underlying facts on Friday's attack and especially as they relate moving forward to any subsequent attack that we might undertake on Iran. There was a dismissive attitude, one that was displayed in such a way that resulted in them saying: ‘We can't identify what circumstances in which we would need to come back to Congress to get approval or authorization.’ That is antithetical to the Constitution.” Senator Rand Paul said, “The briefing was ‘less than satisfying’ ... I see no way in the world you could logically argue that an authorization to have war with Saddam Hussein has anything to with having war with people currently in Iraq. They have justified the killing of an Iranian general as being something that Congress gave them permission to do in 2002. That is absurd, that's an insult.”
Of course, people forget. Most reading here would only vaguely remember the incident and I don’t blame you – the news cycle is designed to keep you distracted and demoralised. In fact, it is filthy and mostly inaccurate serving certain views. Press freedom is nonsense, it does not exist and did not for a long long time. Anyway, on 6 July 2020, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions submitted a report (totally repressed in the USA, of course, and NATO countries, of course) regarding the Soleimani Strike: “The report by Agnes Callamard finds that “in light of the evidence that the US has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing which, under IHRL (International Human Rights Law), the US is responsible. The strike was in violation of Art. 2(4) of the UN Charter with insufficient evidence provided of an ongoing or imminent attack.”
In other words, murder was committed, multiple murders, in fact. Now, where is the outcry? And let me explain the problem – every time that such murder takes place someone somewhere will pick up a rifle to kill a US or NATO (same animal) serviceman or citizen. It is the most stupid course of action to take in counterterrorism and yet it is the only one, it seems to me, followed by those in Washington. People that live in a bubble and are blind to what we see from the outside.
The good news though is that many foreigners (not South Africans) are now streaming to the Legacy Conversations YouTube Channel where the South African counter-insurgency and counterterrorism history is discussed by former security forces members of all ranks. It is my hope, forlorn as it will be, that they will learn something. I think that what we forgot they still must learn. If it was not so sad it would have been funny.
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* All 51 GMJ books deal with modern military subjects like espionage, counterterrorism, military strategy, military history, and exposing mainstream media lies/propaganda. The GMJ books are a delight for lovers of military history with content to be found outside the schoolbook-approved histories. What is revealed in the GMJ books is shocking to the uninitiated. Prepare to find out the true state of affairs that no mainstream outlet will publish. If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the new battleground where the radicals are to be found, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques, and military history not known outside the select few.