Finian Cunningham is an Irish journalist and writer. For over 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. What Comes Below is Habilian Association’s Interview with this creditable Irish analyst.
Habilian: How do you evaluate General Soleimani’s role in the fight against terrorism?
FC: There is little doubt about General Soleimani’s colossal achievement in the strategic military planning enabling Syria and Iraq to defeat the foreign-backed terror threat against those countries. The Russian ministry of defense paid tribute to the general following his death. If it were not for Soleimani’s military leadership, Syria and Iraq could have been over-run by the Takfiri terror hordes which were covertly backed by the US and its NATO allies as well as Washington’s partners in the Middle East: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Israel. It is because of General Soleimani’s formidable leadership in thwarting the imperialist designs on the Middle East that he became a “hate figure”. Disgracefully, following his death, much of the Western media commentary has regurgitated the American propaganda demonizing Soleimani.
Habilian: What goals lie behind the Trump’s assassination order?
FC: It is not clear what prompted Trump to take such a reckless action in killing General Soleimani. Maybe the Americans got their chance because Soleimani was reportedly on a diplomatic mission in Iraq and therefore his whereabouts became known to them. But I think there are at least two factors: 1) the US was infuriated by Soleimani’s defeat of their imperialist machinations in Syria and Iraq; and 2) the Trump administration appears intent on provoking Iran into war.
Habilian: What does international law say about assassinating a country’s senior military officer?
FC: It is quite clear that such extra-judicial killing of a foreign leader is a grave criminal act, especially when the foreign state is not officially at war with the perpetrator. Trump’s action is one of. He should be prosecuted for committing a war crime. The pathetic American justifications of “pre-emptive defense” for this barbaric murder are contemptible.
Habilian: How do you analyze Boris Johnson’s position in support for Trump’s order to assassinate General Soleimani?
FC: Boris Johnson is totally dependent on Trump to cut a trade deal for Britain after it leaves the European Union. This is a matter of British economic survival to get a trade deal with the Americans. Therefore, Johnson can be relied upon by Trump to be an obedient lap-dog who will give Washington all the political cover it needs for its crimes.