By Michael Snyder - theeconomiccollapseblog.com
The world is most definitely a better place without Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani. He was a butcher, a murderer and a despised international terrorist. All over the globe, people are celebrating his death, but without a doubt this also brings us much closer to a cataclysmic war with Iran. In fact, as you will see below, the phrase "World War 3" is now trending on Google and Twitter. Soleimani was the second most important person in Iran, and he was a greatly cherished national hero. His death has absolutely enraged the Iranians, and they are already vowing revenge.
Of course many top Democrats are already strongly criticizing President Trump for ordering the strike that killed Soleimani, but what was Trump supposed to do? According to NBC News, Soleimani was actively plotting more attacks against American targets...
Planned attacks against American military, diplomatic and financial targets in Lebanon and Syria comprised the imminent threat cited by U.S. officials as the reason President Donald Trump ordered the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, multiple U.S. officials said Friday.
"When we start seeing extensive and very solid intelligence that [Soleimani] is plotting imminent attacks against the United States, the president as commander in chief has a duty to take decisive action," said a senior State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity. "If we had not taken this action, and hundreds of Americans were dead, you would be asking me why didn't you take out Soleimani when you have the chance."
Was Trump supposed to just sit there and allow the Iranians to kill hundreds or even thousands of Americans?
And the truth is that Soleimani has been behind attacks on U.S. forces all the way back to 2003. The following comes from a USA Today editorial...
The criticism that this move was escalatory ignores the fact that Iran has been escalating conflict in the Middle East for years. Iran supports insurgent and militia groups in Yemen, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, among others. Iran, using Soleimani's Quds Force as its spearhead, was responsible for more than 600 American deaths in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, 17% of all U.S. dead in that conflict. President George W. Bush's administration never adequately made Tehran pay, and the Obama administration was more interested in paying Tehran.
If he would have been left alive, a lot more Americans would have died.
But because President Trump took decisive action, his "reign of terror is over"...
In brief remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in south Florida, Trump said Soleimani, who commanded Iran's Quds Force, had been caught "in the act" planning "imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel."
"We caught him in the act and terminated him," Trump said in a brief address. "His reign of terror is over."
So that is the good news.
The bad news is that the Iranians are vowing "severe revenge", and that means that a major war in the Middle East is almost a certainty.
And a key adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei is also warning that "revenge" is coming...
Ahman Khatami, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a chilling threat to the US troops in Middle East that it is "time to clear the region from these insidious beasts".
He added: "I am telling Americans, especially Trump, we will take a revenge that will change their daylight into a nighttime darkness."
So what will that look like?
We don't know yet, but one former CIA official is telling us that there will be "dead civilian Americans"...
CBS News senior national security contributor, and former acting and deputy CIA director Michael Morell told "CBS This Morning" the drone strike on Soleimani will lead to "dead civilian Americans."
"Soleimani was an evil genius, he had a lot of American blood on his hands," Morell said. "The world is a better place without him. The problem is that comes at a very high cost. Number one, there will be dead Americans, dead civilian Americans, as a result of this. Possibly over the next few days in any place where Iran has its proxies, Iraq is the most likely place, but also Lebanon, Bahrain, other places in the Middle East."
Of course President Trump will respond to any Iranian attack by hitting back even harder, and the escalations will just continue until missiles start flying back and forth.
Needless to say, the Israelis are monitoring these developments very closely, because they definitely understand that they would be attacked if a major war breaks out. In fact, Iran may decide that one of the best ways to take revenge is to have their proxies start firing missiles into Israeli territory...
But Israel Army Radio said the military had gone on heightened alert, amid fears that Iran could strike through its regional allies such as Tehran-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah to the north, or through Palestinian militant group Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
"They will wait for the right moment to exact revenge, perhaps by firing into Israeli territory through Shiite militias in Syria and perhaps even from Gaza," Ron Ben-Yishai, a commentator for Israeli news outlet Ynet, wrote on its website.
The coming days are going to be chaotic and unpredictable.
But what is now clear to everyone is that we are now closer to World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East than we have ever been before.
In the hours after Soleimani was killed, the phrase "World War 3" began trending on both Google and Twitter...
Many of those tweeting about the airstrike used memes to bring light to the situation, joking about fears it could spark 'World War 3' - a phrase now trending on Twitter.
Searches for 'World War 3' also spiked on Google within hours of the airstrike in Iraq overnight.
Google Trends recorded 'Iran' as the second most searched term in the United States, with more than 500,000 searches for the topic.
President Trump is not going to back down.
So the only way that we aren't going to have a war is if the Iranians back down, and I don't see that happening.
These are the times that so many of us have been warning about, and all of our lives are about to change in a major way.