While the American media portrays the U.S. strike killing Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani as controversial and deeply destabilizing to the region, terrorism expert Brigitte Gabriel says throughout the Middle East the news is being cheered by people and nations increasingly worried about Iranian ambitions in the region.
Gabriel is the chairman of ACT for America, the largest grassroots national security organization in the U.S. and author of “Rise.” A native of Lebanon and fluent in Arabic, Gabriel says many media reports in the Middle East show people joyful of Soleimani’s death.
“The difference in coverage is shocking. A lot of the Arab Street is celebrating the death of Soleimani. They know that Soleimani was a bad man, not only in Iran but throughout the Arab Street, even in Egypt, even in Saudi Arabia. Even in those types of countries they understand. In Qatar, they understand the danger of Soleimani.
“In Iran, there are videos of people passing out candy. In the Middle East and Arabic culture, when they’re celebrating a good event (such as) a wedding, a birth, an engagement, they pass out candy and bake cakes. After the death of Soleimani, they were baking cakes and passing out candies in the street. That was not covered in American media,” said Gabriel.
And why were the people in Iran and elsewhere celebrating Soleimani’s death? Gabriel says they all know Soleimani was critical to Iran’s territorial ambitions throughout the region.
“Iran’s tentacles reach throughout the whole Middle East as Iran tries to establish hegemony over the whole Middle East, ” said Gabriel. “My own country of birth, Lebanon, went from being the Paris of the Middle East to now being basically a terrorist hub controlled by Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran.”
Listen to the full podcast as Gabriel tells Radio America’s Greg Corombos why she believes Soleimani’s decades of carnage warranted the strike that killed him. She also discusses what can be done to encourage the Iranian protesters as they try to force massive change.