In response to Reza Behnam’s lionizing Iranian General Quassem Suleimani (Guest Viewpoint, 1/16): Just because Donald Trump says someone is bad, we should not have the knee jerk reaction that they must actually be good.
Without defending the policy of assassinating foreign political and military leaders, it is irresponsible to portray Suleimani as a hero rather that yet another bad actor in a region full of bad actors, responsible for untold misery, bloodshed and death.
As the architect of various conflicts and proxy wars around the region, I ask you: Is the Middle East and the world a better place because of his heroic actions? Propping up the Assad regime in Syria so he can use poison gas on children? Arming Shiite death squads to fuel sectarian violence in Iraq, a major factor in the rise of ISIS to begin with? Arming Houthi rebels in Yemen to ensure the prolonging of their civil war and one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world? Does a heavily armed Hamas and Hezbollah on Israel’s borders do anything to advance the Palestinian cause? Aren’t all of these things directly contributing to the international refugee crisis?
It may prove to be a disastrous decision to assassinate him by a president incapable of nuanced thought, but let’s be clear: Suleimani was no hero.