Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Do not be fooled by their military uniforms


January 17, 2020

On Jan. 3, 2020, as their motorcade was exiting the Baghdad Airport, Major General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, along with other high ranking members of the IRGC were killed by an American drone missile attack.

Also killed in the attack was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chairman of one of Iraq’s notorious non-state militias, the Popular Mobilization Forces, a group controlled and armed by Iran.

Not unexpectedly, the left has been in an uproar, calling the attack and resulting fatalities a reckless action, an escalation of the already high tensions between Iran and the United States, and unlawful under international law.

Iran has for decades described its overall foreign policy as “Death to America; Death to Israel” and buttressed that policy pronouncement by regularly threatening to incinerate Tel Aviv and all of Israel. To make their point Iran embosses these words on its missiles. Iran has made it quite clear, the goal is not just to defeat an army; it is to destroy a people.

Of course, all of the leading candidates seeking the Democrat Party nomination for president have joined in to condemn President Trump’s decision to hunt down and kill this notorious military leader

Part of the criticism has been based on the fact that he was a military officer representing a sovereign government; and that his status under the Geneva conventions at the time of his demise was that he was not engaged in actual conventional combat, a circumstance that would permit killing as a non-culpable act of war.

General Soleimani had been, prior to his death at the hands of the U.S. military, the leading Iranian military official formulating and guiding Iran’s strategic foreign policy for the past two decades.

This was and continues to be a policy of creating, training, financially and logistically supporting with billions of dollars in cash and advanced weaponry, non-Iranian terrorist organizations who operate as non-state militias under his ultimate command.

Iran’s aggressive policy of sponsored terrorist attacks by its proxies has not been based on any economic or social grievance or security threat perpetrated by its victims against the regime in Teheran. The policy is based and guided by an Islamic religious fanaticism and ideology to destroy and eliminate the Jewish people and the State of Israel as a first step in establishing its brand of Islam throughout the Levant and ultimately throughout the world.

This conflict with Western society (and with rival branches of Islam who similarly and unfortunately share an ideology of “infidelism”) cannot be settled by negotiation or diplomacy because peace and stability can only be achieved when all branches of Islam, as Christianity did centuries before, shed their dream of world conquest and hegemony in favor of mutual respect for religious beliefs and cultural practices other than their own.

While the late general and his entourage were not engaged in actual combat at the time of their deaths, the entire thrust of their enterprise was and continues to be infliction of maximum death and destruction to the civilian population of Israel and U.S. “interests.” They were not engaged in preparing for attacks on military targets; they were engaged in terrorism, which is not protected by the Geneva conventions.

The U.S. claim that their elimination was necessary to thwart imminent unconventional attacks against U.S. and allied interests through their proxies, was and is a matter of self-defense against criminal aggression and crimes against humanity.

Given Iran’s increasingly provocative attacks on civilian targets in Israel from Syria through Hezbollah, from Gaza through Islamic Jihad and Hamas, direct attacks on Saudi Arabia oil refineries, and other marine targets in the Persian Gulf, the killing of these individuals was a necessary and legitimate exercise of military power. Do not be fooled by their military uniforms. General Soleimani and the other fatalities were not soldiers; they were terrorists.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.


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