By any reasonable measure, the world is a better place without Qassem Soleimani.
As the head of Iran's Quds Force, a division of its Revolutionary Guard Corps, Soleimani was responsible for that country's clandestine operations. It was designated a terrorist organization recently by the U.S. and has been blamed for numerous U.S. deaths and casualties. Soleimani was considered to be the most powerful person in Iran behind its Supreme Leader.
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute where he specializes in Arab politics and teaches classes on terrorism for the FBI, wrote in a piece for The National Interest that "Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of more Americans than any terrorist leader since Osama bin Laden."
On Friday, Soleimani was killed in a targeted strike in Iraq by U.S. military via drone. His death came on the heels of an attack by a mob on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, an action that many believed he was behind. The mob was protesting U.S. strikes against Shiite Militia airbases in Syria and Iraq.
It was believed Soleimani was in Iraq stirring up further tensions and planning further attacks. His death brought those plans to an end and should have been celebrated in terms many celebrated bin Laden's death. But instead it was condemned, not just in Iran but from too many looking to score political points here.
This was the second high-level takedown of a known terrorist by the Trump administration, which earlier killed Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, another terrorist leader.
Those who have a deep knowledge of the Middle East left no doubt about what kind of threat Soleimani represented and the wisdom of the U.S. actions that eliminated him.
In an opinion piece titled "Qassem Soleimani will kill no more," Saudi Arabia-based Arab News editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas was blunt.
Abbas also labeled Soleimani a prolific terrorist alongside the likes of bin Laden and Al-Baghdadi, but then spelled it out in direct terms.
"Like those two killers, Soleimani brought death and destruction to a vast swath of the Middle East and beyond. And like them, the more publicity his vile deeds attracted, the better he liked it," Abbas wrote.
He went on to note that over the past 15 years, as head of the Quds Force, Soleimani did Iran's dirty work, but in the shadows. However, in the past five years, he came out of the shadows and enjoyed the limelight.
Abbas noted, in Iraq, there was a cost for Soleimani's "bloodlust and vanity." It came at the cost of "hundreds of coalition troops killed in thousands of attacks by Soleimani-trained militias.” He also writes Soleimani had flown to Baghdad "to take personal charge of the brutal crackdown in which at least 450 unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed."
It is likely no coincidence Soleimani felt more empowered to come out of the shadows recently, especially in light of the Obama administration's disastrously one-sided Iran deal that not only lifted sanctions but delivered $150 billion to the terrorist nation.
During a press conference on Wednesday at the White House, President Trump noted missiles launched at Iraqi bases housing American personnel on Tuesday by Iran in retaliation for Soleimani's death were paid for by funds provided by the previous administration in their cash drop.
Fortunately, the missile attack proved to be of no major significance and cost no American lives. Trump also struck a strong tone while at the same time not escalating it further. He was steadfast in insisting Iran will never have a nuclear arsenal as long as he is president.
Iran played up the attack for maximum propaganda purposes on its state-run media as it continues to try to maintain its stronghold over the Iranian population, which had recently taken to the streets demonstrating for more freedom.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of the national media continues to give more voice and credence to Iranian propagandists.
On Tuesday, CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, who spent much of her interview delivering an uninterrupted diatribe against the U.S. You may recall Ebtekar was one of the Iranian dissidents involved in taking Americans hostages at the U.S. embassy in Iran in 1979. She even became the spokesperson for the hostage takers.
Interviews with family members of Americans who were killed during Soleimani's tenure? None.
Soleimani's death was just the latest strong action by Trump, whose administration continues to undo the damage done by his predecessor.
Fortunately, the days of appeasement of our enemies are gone and in its place lies a clear, unmistakable desire to protect American lives, both today and in the future.