Letter to the Editor

On killing Soleimani

On January 3, the United States used a drone strike to kill Qassem Soleimani who was Iran's most important general. I certainly do not mourn his death, but I believe that there are problems associated with our action.

For us to have been in compliance with the United Nation Charter when we killed Soleimani, we would have needed to have been under attack from Iran. The United States has long taken the position that this doctrine also permits the use of enough force to stop an imminent attack. While the administration has insisted that we were under imminent threat, it has not presented to the people of this country even a scintilla of evidence to back up its claim.

It is also interesting to note the situation in which we took the general's life.

We killed the most well-known military commander of a country with which we were not formally at war. We did this while he was visiting a country that had not opposed his presence. The failure to follow the rules of the United Nations in the manner in which we killed Soleimani invites future retaliation against us at unexpected times and places.

This country has used drones in circumstances similar to the situation where Soleimani was killed ever since the second Bush administration. Our technological superiority which has allowed us to take these actions with impunity will not last forever. It is sobering to think that what we have done, others can and will do.

John Piepho, Cape Girardeau