Does killing Soleimani really change anything in the Middle East?
For a generation Iran's May General Sulejmani he was a consequential Fica League in the Persian Gulf for the Americans in the region Sunnis? He was a terrorist mastermind for the Iranians the Assad regime in Syria Hezbollah in Lebanon. Sulejmani was a hero who protected the Shia cresent in the region. So it's no wonder the Iranian generals death via a drone attack attack in Baghdad. That was a huge news story. Earlier this month cast into the money rainy and military commander assassinated in the US drone strike on mm struggling marks a huge escalation coming just days at was revered by Iran supporters in proxies being blamed for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Middle East over the we took took action last night to stop a war. What comes next? What's the broader strategy? Here we did not take action to start a war. Your since the American killing of Sulejmani Tehran launched a missile strike on your spices in Iraq and in the process mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian Ilana carrying one hundred seventy six passengers something. The Mullah's had initially denied responsibility but crucially the Iranians signings avoided killing Americans. which was the red line? The president trump has drawn. US military response. So we'll this episode. Leave Iran Ryan stronger or is tyron now more isolated than ever and what is the showdown between Tehran and Washington Maine for Iraq the US military Tori prisons there and Iran's nuclear ambitions. Danny Applica- is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and Co host of the AAAGH. Ah podcast what the Hell is going on. Making sense of the world get identity. Hey Tom and I'm in. Sokoll is author of Iran Rausing the survival and and future of the Islamic Republic and CO author of Islam beyond borders the Oma in world politics. Welcome back to Iran. How good morning now? Also Amani abetted genocide in Syria to keep the Assad regime in power. He's responsible for the deaths of many American troops. He armed Hezbollah in. Lebanon with rockets is to attack. Innocent Israelis killed many innocent Sunnis in Iraq. So I mean isn't the world better off without Sulejmani. Were president trump. I think so. And also quite a number of American allies in the region Probably I think the same way but at the same time demand was a national hero and in fact that he was the one of the top strategic brains behind Iran's overseas operations and expansion of eight onion influence in the region. I will just support related to the fair that it only leadership has about the possibility of an American attack or an Israeli attack on a combined and attack. But let me see this Tom that nobody is commendable. dimitris full of commanders. Top commanders into the Nobel Prize winners and so on General money is being replaced And I think e to the debt is a widespread view in the West. That if you bump one or two individuals isn't the situation is going to get better We duty cold in history that take for example a Prime Minister Anthony Eden go around the nineteen fifties and calling for the elimination of Jamaa Nasser as the national president of Egypt and has was that this man is removed from a then. Everything will be fine. Nothing died in nine hundred. Seventy and a situation has not improved a cold and and at the same thing was said to be so I mean the point though. Is that knocking off Salomon. He's not going to make a great deal of difference. But also can I just add to this Dani salamone and these Iranian backed Shia proxies. They did help inadvertently into why help. America Islamic state. So does it worry you that people cheering the loudest about this. Guy's death other suny jihadists in there are slighted areas in the desert and the mountains of Iraq and Syria. I don't think they're the ones who are cheering the loudest I. I think you heard pretty loud cheering from here. I think you heard some plenty of loud cheering in In Iraq and Lebanon and and elsewhere throughout throughout the region. Look you know. I think it's important to acknowledge that. That as the head of the cuts force Qassem Soleimani was a very powerful folks very influential very strategic and very effective leader and he brought that effectiveness to things. That would terrible And the arming of Hezbollah. The murderer of half million Syrians. The arming of mass. The arming of in Yemen. We could go on for a while here but but But he did all of those things but when when the challenge was from Sundays you had is. He helped set up and guide ride. The hoste. Shabby the popular mobilization units in Iraq that That that ended up being part of the battle to to defeat Isis. The problem here is that every situation in the region is is more complicated than the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Just because Stalin Fort with us to defeat Nazi Germany did not make stolen a good guy. And if you look at these anti-regime protests some and. I've been breaking out in Iran since Tehran admitted that its military military shot down. A Ukrainian passenger Ilana have the Iranians overreached because despite the Iranian successes in Iraq Syria and Lebanon on on their rule out officials sites there on stable they print across he so have the Iranians overreached. There's no doubt that many Iranians feel about the Ashim and today have protested over the last few months in order to bring about A structural reforms today as a system of governance and economy which is setting enormously under represent- trump's sanctions but has the Iran overreached. What are I pointed out earlier I mean Iran does fear a a very strongly as possible American that much Israeli combined attack and therefore what update on your the humans done his belt reasonable security and press such for itself which would really want? Shepherdess Arafat at all costs but that does not necessarily Saudi mean that Iran is only Aggressive power in the region aggressive actor in the region. I mean. Let's not forget that that that the destabilization Iraq really started the two thousand three. US invasion of that country. Okay so the. The American invasion of Iraq helped Iran on because it overturned the suny state and it created a Shia majority Stein. I saw a natural law with the Shia brethren in Tehran following following on from that Danny shortly a problem about striking at pro Iranian sheeham paramilitary groups as trump has done is the now part of the Iraqi state. So is it any wonder. Washington's increasingly modulation is part of the world. First of all. I think it's offensive talk about Shiites. As if they're all some sort of monolith. The share of Iraq are Arabs. The Shia of Iran are Persians. These these are different people this. These two countries Shia versus Shia fought a bloody war for eight years in which there were one million casualties casualties in the nineteen eighties. The notion that somehow Iraq is a natural satellite or or or or slave to Iran is wrong Iran has chosen to try to dominate that country and demonstrations throughout the central and southern part of Iraq. Over the last month have been against Iranian domination the Iranian consulate in Jeff was burned to the ground at the end of last year not by Sonny's he's not by Sunni jihadis not by Isis not by Kurds but by Shiites carrying placards yelling out to out for Iran. Get Out of our country and I think that that is absolutely right to suggest that Iran has gained more influence in Iraq since the demise of Saddam Hussein. I I guess I I'm just not that big a fan of Saddam Hussein and the and the stability that he brought to Iraq. I wish that the United States had done more in the aftermath of the wall. I think thinks that we I think that we failed miserably. In many instances I think it was absolutely fatal in two thousand eleven when at a time of genuine stability in Iraq Iraq. President Obama withdrew troops and really provided the opportunity for Isis. To rise up again. My guest Daniel Placate from the American Enterprise Institute. And I'm in Sokoll. He's the author of Iran rausing and Islam beyond borders. I mean how would you respond to all of this. Because we've got these tensions here between Tehran Iran and Washington and the Iranian backed Shia politicians released most of them in Baghdad. I support if not closer ties with Tehran. They want the the Americans out of Iraq. But don't the sooners and the Kurds fee for the Iranian intrusion in Iraqi sovereignty. I absolutely and of course sir. The APP is not only the president of the American so who'd be which are being the opposed to in Iraq but also the presence of eight onions there. No question Ah about that but at the same time if we know that the majority of the Iraqi population is made up of the Shiites and some powerful elements among the Shiites have got the value equals relationship and relationship. What they don't know in the meantime ago? The Iraqi parliament release the iranian-backed Majority Shia legislators I support the withdrawal of US troops Danny now given trump's ambivalence about the region and the fact that he was elected impact to get the US out of the so-called forever awards isn't a US military withdrawal from Iraq. Just what trump and many war-weary Americans want. Well it's kind of funny. Isn't it because we start off talking about the you know the Iranians and what they want and and of course. The number one goal is to get the Americans out of the region and that is in fact the instruction is that has gone out to all of their proxy groups. All around the region. Is You need to step up activities to get the Americans out. Then we've got the president of the United States. It's who dearest and fondest goal is to get American troops out of the region so so a couple weeks after killing Kassim Sulaimaniyah. We have this unbelievably in coherent bizarre response. Where we where we're doing exactly what the around him one let? This is what Donald Trump has to sort out. He has to sort out whether he's the president. He's the kind minded president who who leads in a forthright fashion against men like costume ceremony. Who Seek to destabilize the region and extend Iran's hegemony Germany or he is going to be the kind of president that like Bernie Sanders like Barack Obama wants to turn around and high tail fin is to the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump's uh-huh Washington energy independent America Stein fought these endless wars danny well A? They aren't endless wars. We have lost fewer people in these. This was than than than we lost a single day in World War Two so while they are conflicts that have continued on and off to a certain extent. You know the notion Shen that we've been sold that somehow we've still got one hundred and fifty thousand troops on the ground and losing them at a rapid pace is just wrong. We lost six in Syria. I I mourn every single one of them but the Kurds lost eleven thousand in their fight against Isis. So what what. What is the reason? We'll tell you very straightforwardly woodley because every time we turn tail every time someone says let's get out of that bloody Middle East. Let's pay attention to something fun. Like Asia and you'd like that. Tom Would now but hang on your way but every time we say that we end up being dragged back because the dynamics in the region of the ones that bring us back we need. We need a long-term solution that lets us. Stay away for good rather than one where we run away. Anita did it come back every single decade I mean the two thousand fifteen nuclear deal Provided tyron with as much as apparently one hundred fifty billion dollar windfall. Aw and certainly many people who are skeptical of the deal side that the Iranian spent lavishly arming the Shia militias across the region. So what it was trump right to pull the US out of the deal and instead impose maximum Prussia built around these economic sanctions on Iran. I think he was totally wrong and and I can care. There has been a backlash president. Trump's would would you withdrawal has a basically a provoked said that on Not to really go for the for police. Speed to in order to rebuild that they have nuclear program and. I think you're going to really do that. And of course that also carries the risk of a possible confrontation from tation between the United States and Iran possibly Israeli attacks on Iran and that could easily dissolved in a regional warfare. That at the end nobody may may be able to control it Danny. Any I mean a lively debate. Thanks so much for being back on. ABC