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The Death of Soleimani was Just, and Happened too Late

Member Views is a series of opinion pieces written by Blue Beyond members.

On Friday, President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike to take out Iranian military leader Qasem Soleimani. The event has sparked a foreign policy debate world over. At the same time, the twitter-sphere fell into a predictable, and somewhat now tiresome meltdown predicting world war three. If the twitter trends were replicable to the real world, then I would be a veteran of two world wars within the past year. Many political commentators are debating whether or not Trump's decision to drone down Qasem Soleimani was right or wrong. I am critical of the decision to kill Soleimani for one reason - it happened too late. In my opinion, it should have been done years ago by previous administrations.

Now the first question you may be asking is a moral one of why, why do I believe it was right to kill Soleimani? For me, it is clear. We are talking about a principle director and orchestrator of multiple terrorist groups. Soleimani was the puppet master pulling the strings of destruction around the middle east and the world. During the Iraq war, Soleimani was responsible for hundreds of deaths of British and American troops. Further, he had choreographed peril against the Iraqi Kurdistan community as he sent in Iranian Quds forces to attack several villages filled with civilians. He is understood as being the leading architect behind the existence of Hezbollah in Lebanon. The group are now armed with thousands of weapons and now look to increase their influence over the next few years as they continually attack our allies. Soleimani can take responsibility for the war in Yemen and, or as he put it, "empowering" the Houthi movement with rockets and missiles. Within Soleimani's CV, we can also find his involvement in the Syrian civil war in which he commanded and trained militias. He also coordinated attacks for Bashar Al-Assad- the delightful leader who used chemical weapons against his people. All the while holding responsibility for Islamic Jihad in the Gaza strip and being rightfully given the blame for multiple terrorist attacks around the world.

Now, you can ask me again. Was it right to kill Soleimani? In my view, we have not just killed an Iranian leader but a murderous terrorist.

The next question some of you may be asking me is, why did the west have to intervene and not one of the many countries surrounding Soleimani? Iran's aggressive power grab has not just been regionally within the middle east but has affected us too. Trump has not been responsible for this escalation but is responding to the years of Iranian aggression on western allies and interests. From holding British and American prisoners, to the oil tankers, which were seized, to the storming of an American embassy over the weekend, alongside years of militarily and financially supporting organisations which have killed British and American soldiers- as well as a near unmatched global terror record.

My question to those of you who oppose the killing of Soleimani is, how far would you have let this man go before acting? Would you take the Obama route and bribe the Iranians whilst allowing them to take covert actions in other countries civil wars like? Would you have let him carry on supporting and orchestrating terrorist attacks around the world? If we continuously allow murderous terrorists of Soleimani's calibre to gain influence and power, then the question is one of: when will we oppose them, or will we wait until they are too powerful to be stopped? I know which one I would pick. We should have stopped Soleimani before he had the power to commit atrocities. I say again, my only opposition to the killing of Qasem Soleimani was that it was done too late.

Joel Clough