Enforcing a Red Line

On January 3, 2020 Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general and the architech and mastermind to projecting Iranian power throughout the Middle East, was exterminated by an American Raptor drone. It was pleasant seeing his car smoldering and melting on the world news. I couldn’t help but notice that the strike left no crater. We obviously reserved our best precision munitions for him; how kind we are to allow him to die so quickly. A kindness he himself denied many of his victims.

Soleimani left a trail of murder, death and destruction in his wake. He was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers at the hands of Iranian IEDs and the proxy groups he controlled. Was he planning future attacks? If history is any guide, it’s a certainty he was. But does it matter? Was his past not reason enough to send him to Allah?

I am incensed that guys around here have the audacity to speak out against this action. The very people who’ve shown that they cannot live by the norms of society are suddenly so righteous. It’s a funny thing to hear people who’ve never traveled out of Ohio, never been to a foreign country, don’t follow world events, and couldn’t tell you where the Middle East is on a map if their freedom depended on it, suddenly become Instant Experts.

How fortunate my peers are that they should enjoy the freedoms that they do even in incarceration, that they can freely criticize our leaders and even our military personnel and the very country in which they’re living in.

Said one guy, “We shouldn’t even be in the Middle East!” Thank you sir for your opinion, you were obviously a military strategist or worked for our Intel services prior to incarceration to be able to offer such a convicted statement. Or perhaps you were a professor of history at a major university, who understands the rise and fall of empires, and you felt compelled to offer this amazing informed opinion.

Another guy said, “We’re the terrorist! We just assassinated someone.” Well, hot damn buddy. First off, I’d imagine you’re lucky you didn’t just get knocked out for crapping on the memory of every military family who has lost a loved one at the hands of Iranian proxies led by this man. Second, if it weren’t for the selfless sacrifice of generations of our men and women who’ve served just so you could freely say such an ignorant thing, you might be speaking Japanese or German right now. I know you have no understanding of world history, it’s not your fault you’re an idiot, I blame the public school system. So you’re just gonna have to take my word on this one.

Most inmates have no clue as to life outside the U.S. By extension this applies to most Americans; it’s a sad truth. I suppose this is the price you pay when you live in the country that crafted and runs the world order. ‘Why go anywhere else?’ is the misguided logic of many sheltered Americans.

If you asked inmates to tell you three things that their chosen political party stands for they can’t come up with a single one. Ask them who heads their party of choice and they can’t tell you. If you ask them to point out where Syria or Iran is on a map, they can’t. Yet, these same people will argue passionately about something like the assassination of Soleimani.

Who was Soleimani? The simplest way I explained this to my peers was to give them this analogy:

If Soleimani were a convict, he would be that dude who’s controlling the movement of drugs throughout the entire institution. He’d be that one dude that’s so connected that he also controls the flow of drugs into other institutions in the region. He’s the one moving weapons and cell phones. He’d be the one that has people in his pocket and on his ‘payroll’, simultaneously a bogey man and savior to his peers. He would be that one convict who has organized the gangs to see the authorities as the enemy and not each other. He extorts his peers on the yard, orders paid hits on his enemies with impunity and is able to provide whatever drug of choice addicts want. And, he’d do it all with confidence and arrogance that the local authorities wouldn’t dare take him down. “Don’t believe that such a man exists?” I’d say. “Well you just watched that very man get blown to bits in front of the whole world.”

But what if there’s a war? I’ve got news for you, the Iranians have been at “war” with the U.S. and our allies for a long time now through their proxy groups. How convenient that these same voices seem to forget about recent and ongoing Iranian aggression:

    –Attacks on several oil tankers earlier last year.
    –An attempt to storm the U.S. embassy in Iraq.
    –Ongoing cyber attacks against critical American institutions.
    –A large drone attack in the country of Saudi Arabia destroying critical infrastructure just months ago.
    –The ongoing funding and logistical support of the terror organization of Hezbollah and other proxy terror groups throughout the Middle East.
    –Iranian made IEDs distributed to their terror proxies and responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans over the past decade.

As for a direct war with Iran? Nah. The Mullahs prize one thing above all else, and that’s staying in power. If they truly wanted a direct conflict, the missiles Iran recently launched at bases in Iraq would have come without advance notice and would have certainly targeted areas where personnel were sure to be. The whole counter move by the Iranian leadership was all about show and appeasing hardliners.

The United States drew a clear line in the sand and enforced it.

Negotiating from a position of strength is only credible when your enemies believe you will use those strengths. Everything else is just bluster.

*If you enjoyed this post, please like and share with your friends. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing for you! Also, if you know of other blogs written by inmates, please let me know because I enjoy reading what other guys write. Frankly, it helps keep me sane.


3 thoughts on “Enforcing a Red Line

  1. Your ability to relate activities of a guy like Soleimani to someone on the inside is impressive. I have to assume that you have met one of those guys in your travels?
    This then begs the question: why does the system permit such a monster to exist?

    1. Kupper, years ago I met men in the system like this. They oversaw a network of criminal actors that carried out their wishes and desires. These central actors were the exception, but when they were in action they were very disruptive. Why were they allowed to operate? For the same reasons Soleimani was allowed to operate. Is it worth the trouble to take down such a character or easier to pretend there’s no monster?

      1. Christopher, your “pretend” response is likely correct … but that makes me think, Did we, as children, believe our parents when they said that there are no monsters under the bed or in the closet? I don’t think so! More to the point, was this the beginning of the great pretend

        Wonder how the Neanderthals handled it?


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