On Friday evening, Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” to discuss the Trump administration’s decision to kill Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Quds Force.
After noting that Peters is regularly critical of President Trump, Cooper asked the Lt. Col. for his thoughts on the move by the administration “to take out Soleimani.”
Peters replied, “I think it was absolutely the right decision. And I was actually very disappointed by the reaction from the other side of the aisle today, which seemed awfully petty.”
He added that Soleimani was a powerful individual and that the United States is lucky he is now dead:
General Soleimani was the ace of spades that our enemies in the Middle East had. Soleimani was a visionary strategist; he was a brilliant mastermind of terror. Here’s a man who, with a paucity of resources, was able to build while fighting the U.S. military, however surreptitiously, he was able to build the most expansive Persian empire in 2,500 years.
… Iran’s influence now stretches from Western Afghanistan, touches Central Asia, goes west through Iraq, through Syria, through Lebanon, through the Mediterranean Sea, down to Gaza. It’s a remarkable achievement and we are very, very, very lucky this man is dead. And I, for one, am grateful, and have no reservations about it.
Cooper then laundry-listed Soleimani’s record: He’s “responsible ultimately for the killing and murder of hundreds of American forces, American men and women, but also probably hundreds of thousands of others in Syria and beyond.”
Peters went on to emphasize Cooper’s point that Soleimani wasn’t only responsible for American deaths, but Iraqi and Syrian deaths as well.
“Yes, that’s an absolutely critical point that people forget,” Peters said. “Yes, he’s got the blood of thousands of Americans dead and wounded on his hands, but plenty of Iraqi blood and certainly an incredible amount of Syrian blood as he and the Russians have supported and at times spearheaded Assad’s campaign against the civilians of Syria.”
Peters added that Soleimani was “a man dedicated not only to killing Americans, but to the destruction of Israel.”
Supplies of missiles have also proliferated under Soleimani’s watch, according to Peters, including as many as “40,000 by Hezbollah in Lebanon.”
“So I just cannot understand how people can be reluctant to see this guy go,” Peters told Cooper.
Repercussions will follow, “but it’s not going to be World War III,” said Peters, adding that in the long-run, we “may well be” safer.
Cooper then asked Peters if the timing was appropriate, to which the Lt. Col. responded that he wanted Soleimani taken out years ago, and that while “actions have consequences … inaction also has consequences.”
And in the short-term, you’ll see “death to America” protests. The hardcore anti-Americans will rally to him. In the long-term, we don’t know exactly what will happen.
“The Middle East is so convoluted that we cannot say for certain where we’ll be in five years. But we can now say with certainty that Soleimani is dead, and we have avenged the deaths and the maiming of many brave Americans,” Peters concluded.
“General Soleimani was the Ace of Spades that our enemies in the Middle East had,” says Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on the US lethal strike on Iran’s top military leader. “…We are very, very, very lucky this man is dead… we have inflicted justice on a monster.” pic.twitter.com/rdpMcVDzck
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 4, 2020