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President Trump ordering the U.S. to remove Iran’s Qasem Soleimani from the face of the earth has many people offering strong opinions on whether it was a strategically sound decision or not. I won’t offer mine. However, since journalists are memorializing Soleimani’s demise, I will ask this question: What would’ve they thought if Iranian militias killed me while I was deployed to the Iraq War?
I did around nine months in Iraq from 2009-2010. The Iraq War was still going strong back then. It was also a time when journalists regularly portrayed Islamic terrorist groups in a rather forgiving light. Some of those Islamic terrorist groups were the Iranian-backed Special Groups—Special Groups supported by Qasem Soleimani.
Journalists often portrayed these enemies as “freedom fighters” who were opposing “American occupiers.” Journalists said that American troops were fighting an “illegal war.” They portrayed terrorists (directly or indirectly) as having a right to kill us, they accused us of “war crimes,” and they said and did other such things.
History effectively repeats itself now with the way journalists are behaving. So be it.
Journalists can go ahead with memorializing Soleimani’s departure. They can even think that they are angry about it. They aren’t angry, though. Disappointed and upset? Sure. But not angry.
Anger—rage—belongs to me. And it belongs to me because of the question I’ll now repeat: What would’ve journalists thought if Iranian militias killed me while I was deployed to the Iraq War?
Top Image: Photograph of the author as he trained in the U.S. in 2009 in preparation for deployment to the Iraq War. © Paul Hair.