Prior to being eliminated like a pesky cockroach, Iranian military general and terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani repeatedly taunted President Donald Trump and tried to wage a meme war against him. But in doing so, it appears he signed his own death warrant.
The two’s beef reportedly began in July of 2017 when, in response to pressure campaigns from the U.S., Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning.
“[Americans] must understand that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace. … [D]o not play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally,” he reportedly said in a speech to diplomats in Tehran.
This infuriated the president, so he responded with the following furious tweet:
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
And that’s when Soleimani promptly entered the picture.
In a speech delivered three days later in the Iranian city of Hamedan, he derided the president’s “idiotic comments on Twitter” and warned that “you may start the war, but we will be the ones to determine its end.”
“[I]t has been over a year since Trump became U.S. president, but that man’s rhetoric is still that of a casino, of a bar. He talks to the world in the style of a bartender or a casino manager,” he dismissively added.
He also seemed to suggest the existence of sleeper cells within the U.S.
“Let me tell you, Mr. Trump the gambler… Let me tell you… Know that we are near you, in places that don’t come to your mind,” he said. “We are near you in places that you can’t even imagine. We are a nation of martyrdom. We are the nation of Imam Hussein. Ask around. We have endured many hardships.”
(Source: Middle East Media Research Institute)
Yet despite his rhetoric about America starting a war, he himself started the meme war.
“That same month, he shared with his nearly 70,000 Instagram followers an image of the White House exploding, which was later archived by the Middle East Media Research Institute,” The Washington Post reported Friday.
“The poster appeared to have been taken from the 2013 film ‘Olympus Has Fallen,’ and doctored so that Soleimani stands in front of the inferno with a walkie-talkie in his hand.”
New CJL Report: IRGC Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, Designated By U.S. Treasury Dept., Is Active On Instagram; Posts Include Image Of White House Exploding https://t.co/9jP83VDsQ5 pic.twitter.com/ui8WA2is6z
— Steve Stalinsky (@SteveStalinsky) August 17, 2018
The Middle East Media Research Institute reported at the time that Soleimani’s Instagram account boasted 710 posts and 69,100 followers.
As of Jan. 4, 2020, roughly a day after his elimination, the account still remained active, though most of its previous posts had been removed, and it boasted only 96 followers.
Dovetailing back to 2018, four months after the Iranian general posted a meme of the White House exploding, the president posted a “Game of Thrones”-styled meme warning of new sanctions.
But less than 24 hours later, Soleimani responded with his own “Game of Thrones”-styled meme.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2018
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (#IRGC) #Quds Force Major General Qassem Soleimani responded to #US President Donald Trump’s announcement that ‘sanctions are coming’ with a Game of Thrones-inspired meme of his ownhttps://t.co/336UFrTL8E pic.twitter.com/5uh1qtQPMB
— Tasnim News Agency (@Tasnimnews_EN) November 3, 2018
It was definitely a meme war, albeit a one-sided one.
The Post notes that Instagram suspended Soleimani’s account — as well as those of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and two other Iranian officials — last April, only a day after the Trump administration designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Sorry, but meme wars aren’t for cold-blooded terrorists …
Months later, Soleimani is dead, and the idea that Trump was ever a “gambler” vis-à-vis his foreign policy decisions has been entirely debunked. If anything, details of the operation suggest that the only gambler was the now-deceased general.
As previously reported, Soleimani was struck by a drone while being picked up at the Baghdad International Airport.
“Why … such senior — and notorious — figures would have traveled from an international airport, is something of an open question, as the United States has perfected this sort of operation in the last 18 years,” Canada’s National Post newspaper notes.
Exactly. It’s almost as if Soleimani GAMBLED with his life.
“They took a big risk. They put themselves in very close proximity to a lot of U.S. surveillance. It was a golden opportunity,” Michael Knights, a security expert and senior fellow at the Washington Institute in D.C., said to the paper.
“[The Americans looked at it and thought] it’s a VIP convoy, it’s not one of our own, or any of the coalition, it’s not anyone else. All the boxes were ticked. ‘If we want to do this, we can do it clean.'”
Knights added that it was a “very foolish” decision by Soleimani to travel to and be picked up from an international airport so close to U.S. forces.
In the end, it appears Trump was the grand winner. Not only did he defeat the tough-talking general on the social media battlefield, but he defeated him in the real-world battlefield as well.
RT! Soleimani airstrike footage!!! Wow!!! pic.twitter.com/vuGE8WV9gT
— Deep State Exposed® (@DeepStateExpose) January 4, 2020
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